August 14th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Labor organization looks to paint McCain as elitist

This mailer is expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday.

This mailer is expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN)—The AFL-CIO launched a new offensive on Thursday, the 73rd anniversary of Social Security, looking to paint John McCain as a wealthy elitist who is unconcerned with the needs of senior citizens.

In a mailer expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, the labor organization focuses in on McCain’s plans to privatize social security and increase the minimum age for eligibility above 65 years old.

“John McCain started receiving Social Security when he turned 65,” the mailer says. “But now he has a risky scheme to privatize Social Security—threatening our benefits.

“McCain’s worth over $100 million...,” the mailer also says. “He walks around in $520 Italian loafers. If John McCain lost his Social Security, he’d get by just fine. Would you?”

In 2006 the Arizona senator earned $3.9 million and has a net worth of $40.4 million, which Democrats have noted in an effort to paint McCain as out-of-touch with the average voter.

McCain’s net worth far succeeds Obama’s $1.3 million. In 2006, the presumptive Democratic nominee earned $991,000.

The presumptive Republican nominee has said that he supports a partial privatization of Social Security — which the AFL-CIO is using to try to tie his positions to President Bush’s unpopular 2005 attempt to overhaul the system.

According to the AFL-CIO, their efforts will be expanding over the coming weeks to reach a larger number of voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan—with the potential of extending outside those swing states.

Filed under: AFL-CIO • John McCain
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Veteran for Obama

    It is not very hard to factually point out the McCains ARE elitists. Just look at Cindy's before an after pictures. She has clearly transformed her entire body with surgical procedures and paid cash for all of them.

    August 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Tejano

    The unions finally got their Marxist candidate. Unfortunately or foruntunately for our country , the Unions are irrelevant and are part of the problem with the loss of jobs in American Industry. Socialists are not what we need at this time in our country.

    August 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The only thing McCain wants from seniors is their vote no matter how they make it to the polls. McCain's money and power separates him from senior citizens so don't let his age fool you but he does need your children and grandchildren to go to war.

    August 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Republicans for OBAMA





    August 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. V from London

    Yes Obama doesn't like to get his hands dirty...

    he just happened to graduate from Columbia and instead of taking what probably could've been an amazing, high paying, powerful job, he decided to become a community organizer in the slums of the southside of chicago...yea, real elitist, get a clue before you speak

    August 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. anonymous

    Like the former mob ran AFL-CIO cares either! Pot/Black

    August 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Carl from MI

    McCain IS the original ELITEST!! He is SOOOOOO out of touch with the average voter. There's a REASON why unions are against Repuglicans, and rightly so. If not for unions, we would still all be working 12 hour days/ 7 days a week WITHOUT healthcare, WITHOUT vacation, WITHOUT life insurance, WITHOUT safety in the workplace... all these things are brought to you by ORGANIZED LABOR!!!

    And why did it take organized labor to bring you these things... why didn't employers just freely offer such benefits? Because they were too cheap and too greedy!! You can bash organized labor all you want... and do it while you're on vacation this summer... or on your way to the Dr.'s office... or as you're coming home from your 40 hour workweek...

    Thank you, organized labor!!!! It's nice not being a slave to employment like many people are in 3rd world countries.

    August 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Nik wrote:

    "Obama claims he could not disown reverend Wright yet two weeks later after polls indicated otherwise, he trashed him so hard and tossed him under the bus. Wait until Rev. Wright comes out swinging again…he will definitely make some waves in the runup to the election. Anyone seen him hanging out with Rev. Jackson lately?"

    -So does this mean that you're not going to vote for Obama? Gosh, what a shame. Oh well...

    August 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. CJ

    No need to paint McCain as an elitist, we all already know that. What gripes me more than anything though at this time is to hear him criticize Russia for "invading a country," never acknowledging that is what the US did to Iraq and he supported it! What is even worse, we sat idly by and watched a hanging. Wow, is that the pot calling the kettle black?

    August 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Jon from Indiana

    McCain has never tried to hide his wealth, nor should he. he shouldn't have to apologize for it either. He married into a rich family. So what? I don't understand what the argument is. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. The McCain's have never had to struggle financially. That's about as important an issue as Obama's middle name. Another non-issue tossed about in an election being played exactly like every one before it.

    August 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. McSAME

    $520 shoes?! This man's a pimp.

    August 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. a southern bell for OBAMA







    August 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    'I'm Barack Obama and I support the truth.'

    'I'm John McCain and I support lies, fears, and smears.'


    August 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Joe FoneBone

    Did the AFL-CIO run the same against Hillary Clinton (pretty high net worth) or John Kerry (wife worth about a billion)? Apparently, democrats with money are OK, and republicans with money are not.

    August 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. One United States of America

    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist
    McCain is an elitist

    August 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. dollorbil

    I'll bet most of the hourly workers at wal-mart would love to be represented by a union. Better working conditions,health care,not having to absorb overtime, ect.....

    August 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Obama is the dumbest candidate ever

    Hahaha, the only elitist I see is Obama.

    August 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. steve

    obama made 991,000 in one year and he's only worth 1.3 million??
    sounds like a typical spend-happy liberal.

    fiscally responsible?? i think not.

    August 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    McCain supporter from 4:50, you're messed up on drugs or something.
    Guess what, in tough times, I do go to my bible for direction. You, go to the local bar, get drunk and try to start a fight.

    Obama had the trip already planned WITHOUT the cameras. But, when the Pentagon called and suggested it might be political, he did the right thing in his mind by not going. By the way, do you know how many times he's been to Walter Reed Army Hospital? Too many to count on two hands, but you wouldn't know that because Obama DOESN'T want to politicize his support of the troops.
    McCain allowed Senator Clinton to be called a b*** and he just laughed about it. Further, he champions NOTHING for womens rights, NOTHING.
    If McCain had taken some responsibility, he'd still be married to Carol as opposed to feeling the hots for a young 25 year old with lots of cash.
    Your turn. '-)

    August 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    I wouldn't do well at all without my social security.

    And, while I understand that all who pay into the system are entitled to draw social security when they reach the proper age, I think it is ridiculous for wealthy persons to do so. It's a drop in the bucket to them, meaningless, in the face of a system that struggles to survive. I feel the same way about some wealthy friends of mine, so this is not a slam against McCain in particular. It does smack of greed, however.

    August 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. cevans, tx


    Why don't you SHUT UP and post some where esle.

    You HATEFUL little person...


    August 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Morningstar

    It was about time. McCain health care system cannot provide McCain cancer treatment if he was an average US citizen. This is in contrast with Obama who want all Americans to have the same heath insurance that McBush has. This old hypocrite goes about scaring and lying about Obama

    August 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. fella from Chicago

    To Republican for Obama- You need food stamps if you live in Hawaii; moron

    To Obama/Hillary 08- Shut up!!

    August 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Open-minded American

    To Red blooded American:

    Don't hide behind the American label, just call yourself what you really are: White bigot with a bike. Voting for the white guy is a safe vote, am I right???

    August 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. dollorbil

    Boy are you uneducated. Most unions fought tooth and nail against Bush and his cronies to keep jobs in this country. The republicans have made an atmosphere of union busting going back to Reagan. I think you need to read up on your rights and how the unions helped you get them.

    August 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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