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. Why are people so uneducated

    We need higher education in this country because for lack of a better term as a whole we are "STUPID!" Obama takes a vacation to Hawaii and we call him and elitist, come one it where he was born and his grandmother is there. Be pretty stupid for him to vacation in "small town Alabama" when his family is from Hawaii.

    All of you who live in a different state from your relatives, if that state is more of a tourist state than the one your from, your and elitist and you can't go!

    August 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. steve

    surely nobama's 1 million dollars he made in a single year puts him in touch with every day americans.. yeah right. with a million dollars a year (and that's before his book sales went big) i'm sure he can afford 520 dollar loafers. he just took his family vacation to hawaii. how many of you do that?
    a day late and a buck short nobama. i know your campaign of change has changed to negativity and attacking, but it seems all you can do is parrot what the other guy says

    August 14, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. KC

    Lets not forget that our founding fathers were all elitist. Who do you want running the country the guy serving you Starbucks?

    August 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. The Truth Is!!!

    THE AFL-CIO John McCain as a wealthy elitist who is unconcerned with the needs of senior citizens.He is an "elitist."He has a private jet and $500 shoes That is why he doesn't feel comfortable talking about the economy and does not feel our pain as far as the struggling economy is concerned .......that is why he is so negative his every sentence begins Senator Obama...... Senator Obama...... Senator Obama ..... I don't envy him
    TO-fella from Chicago-Obama Your white mom and grandmother made sure you got what you wanted. Hypocrite! Don't HAtE
    I wonder -Y- you stated Your white mom and grandmother .......color doesn't matter or does it ? IDIOT!!!!

    August 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. Sherry, Atlanta

    McCain's not an elitist. He's just NOT A VERY SMART MAN

    August 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. trust


    August 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Ann, California

    This is exactly the kind of ad the Obama campaign should be putting out but maybe it's better if it comes from a surrogate organization. Whatever the case, I'm glad it's finally getting out there who the real elitist is.

    August 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. curly

    I don't think Obama knows what elitist means. He just needs to look in a mirror.

    August 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. wilfred

    afl-cio = Anarchist For Liberals – Center Is Obsolete
    Paint yourselves as the elitists while you take the workers dues and acomplish nothing

    August 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Deb, Allentown, PA

    dollorbill, was that comment to me? I'm quite familiar with labor unions, having been on both sides of the fence. My family, while growing up, had what we had because the work of the labor unions within the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Now, my husband works in management and deals with the unions from a different perspective, some of it good and some of it bad.

    Unfortunately, I believe that the unions are what has driven many companies out of this country. There are a number of reasons for my thoughts on this matter, but as an example, their protectionism of all members, even those that should be kicked to the curb, is detrimental to the overall benefit they provide.

    Therein lies my conflict...many positives offset by many negatives.

    August 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Jay

    finally someone to return McSame what he has been dealing out, cuz Obama wasn't gonna hit back cuz that's just not his style.


    I don't understand how McCain can call someone an elitist and he's worth a hundred times more money that barack(litereally). America, we would be stupid if we don't make this election a blow out for Obama.

    August 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Linda31

    McCain is an elitist if I ever saw one! So many homes he can't remember to pay the property taxes on time.

    August 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Deb, Allentown, PA

    Lisa, your comment to PUMA Murphy was incredibly rude. I trust that there are a number of times any one of us would like to have said the same thing to you (I know I have!), but we hold our comments out of respect for your opinions, no matter how horribly wrong they are.

    August 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Nando, Florida

    RUMBLE YOUNG MAN RUMBLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08,12

    August 14, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Mary, Kansas City, Missouri

    People who support McCain support him because they are die hard Republicans not because they believe he can fix our problems, some are even elitist like him. Most of the Repubs in the USA would never vote for a Democrat. John McCain is what he is, a mean, bitter old man who was forced to follow in his Father and his Grandfather's footsteps. So listen up, I know you don't want to hear that he is an Elitist but if the $500.00 shoes fit, ask him if you can borrow them!!

    August 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Red Blooded American

    To open minded american,

    Are you sure you are open minded.

    I've always voted Republican. I would vote for Condi Rice if she ran for President. I would vote for Colin Powell if he ran as a Republican for President. So stick your racist inuendo you know where.

    America is for everyone, even jerks like you. I value the Republican platform of small government, low taxes and personal freedom and resposiblity. I don't want a big govenment run by elitist idiot Democrats taxing the hell out of my hard earned income because they think they can do a better job running my life. I could care less what race or religion they are.

    August 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Charlotte

    When Michelle was on the View she said when she first met Barrack he was pathetic, I think he still is...

    August 14, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. morefromLA

    Finally, some real money to show the facts. Let us see the net worths of the two candidates, the home value of one versus the home values of the other. Let us see which candidate wasn't able to pay off his college loan until he was 40? Elite? Of course McCain is. There's no necessary harm in that UNLESS he is attacking his non-elite opponent for being elite. That is why McCain has a very large HYPOCRISY problem.

    August 14, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Awesome....compareing McBush Oranges to Obama Peanuts, comparison, MCBUSH is a oil Mcnate and a Lobbyist Poodle!

    August 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Que Quedas

    he's living with the heiress that is worth 100 million dollars

    August 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Viet Vet

    Well Patick: People aren't able to save, so look at Social Security as forced savings so people will have a small fixed income when they
    are old and no one will hire them. (Sort of like McBomb) If not for Social Security the people who could save would ultimately wind up
    supporting them from welfare rolls or the would simply starve, freeze to death, die of heat exhaustion, get beat up by our teenagers who demand respect that they haven't earned. (Pick one) If you have control of your own money, saving it for retirement, and you have to have that new car, new furniture, new TV for the big game, where ya gonna go? Straight to your retirement savings

    August 14, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So McCain's net worth is more than Obama's. He's also 30 years older, so why wouldn't you expect that? If you want to cast stones, start with Edwards, Kennedy, and Kerry; all of whom are worth more than McCain. How is it that just a few years after paying off his college loans, Obama is a millionaire with a multimillion dollar house? So, Obama ONLY earns $1 million/year. It sure doesn't seem like he's eating many leftovers. The fact of the matter is that more US Senators are millionaires than not. what's Obama's plan to save social security? Let me guess, raise taxes.

    August 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Catherine

    Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter:

    I'm a REAL American and have always seen McCain a an elitist.

    I am bitter and pray to God every night that things will get better for American. America is in a rough state right now...and there is NO denying it. The economy is horrible and every other day, another person I know has been laid off and struggling to pay their bills.

    So for your sake (with or without your vote) you better hope Obama is our next President or you could be losing your job and standing in the unemployment line next year.

    May God heal the bitterness of disappointment in your soul.

    August 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Peter (CA)

    How hard can this be?
    He is the scion of military royalty. Both Dad and Grandad were admirals. He had an easy ride to Annapolis (where he was a lousy student).
    He leaves his first wife when the going gets tough to marry an heiress. He has 6 homes and is worth hundreds of millions. So, what does he have in common with 95% of us??

    Of course he is the elitist. His policies favor his friends, his advisors are a bunch of lobbyists, and in the last several months he has flipped on his positions to appease his new "masters".

    He is not a maverick, he is a politician.

    August 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Joe

    Both McCain and Clinton are elitist and I would never vote for either one.

    August 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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