August 21st, 2008
06:15 PM ET
6 years ago

GOP highlights Obama-Rezko land deal

Sen. Obama purchased land from Chicago businessman Tony Rezko in order to enlarge the yard next to this house.
Sen. Obama purchased land from Chicago businessman Tony Rezko in order to enlarge the yard next to this house.

(CNN) – It appears both presumptive presidential nominees have vulnerablilities when it comes to their homes.

Democrats and Sen. Barack Obama have pounced on Sen. John McCain’s inability in a recent interview to say definitely how many homes he owns with wife Cindy.

Now, Republicans are hitting back hard by highlighting a land deal between Obama and Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman who was convicted in June on federal corruption charges.

The Republican National Committee launched a new Web site - ObamaRezkoShadyDeal.com – Thursday. The site focuses on Obama’s relationship with Rezko and collects information about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s ties to the disgraced businessman.

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa also took the opportunity Friday to redirect attention away from McCain’s home ownership and onto Obama and his ties to Rezko. Suggesting that Obama had gotten a sweetheart deal in the transaction with Rezko, Issa said Obama received “a preferential Chicago-type deal.” Issa also told reporters on Capitol Hill that Obama had been the subject of “a near criminal investigation” and that there are doubts about whether the land deal with Rezko was legal.

Watch: Rep. Issa on Obama's land deal

In mid-2005, the Obamas and the Rezkos both closed transactions on adjoining pieces of property. The lot owned by the Rezkos was empty and the Obama land contained the Illinois senator’s newly purchased home. About six months later, Obama approached Rezko about buying a piece of the empty lot next to the Obamas’ property in order to enlarge the yard next to their home. The land deal occurred when it was widely known that Rezko was under investigation by federal authorities.

When news of the land deal surfaced in late 2006, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that he regretted not being more sensitive to how the land deal may have appeared. Obama has maintained that his conduct in the deal with legal and ethical and Rezko’s federal conviction was unrelated to the deal with Obama.

Raising questions about the nature and propriety of Obama’s relationship with Rezko was a strategy Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign employed during the primary battle against Obama.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Doris,Memphis,TN

    My first grader knows how many houses we have.
    And we want John McCain for our president.

    August 21, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  2. Jim

    Can you say Keating 5 McCNN

    August 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. John

    Rezko also hosted a multimillion dollar fundraiser for George W Bush and other Republicans.

    Guys like that spread the money around.

    August 21, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. ron

    what difference does it make how many houses McCain and his wife owns, he at least can afford to buy what he wants. obama no sooner got a few dollars from his book sales than he went and bought a house that was over his head for what reason, wouldn't a more upscale but moderate house do. obviously not for the obamas so another example of his superior judgment first he misses the fine print (some lawyers they are ) that says both properties must close on the same date, then he sets himself up for questionable judgment by asking the Rezko's for help

    August 21, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Barack The Vote!

    Sounds like McCain is way past senile and has completely lost his bearings!!! Who can't answer how many houses they own? And, this answer coming from the "recently portrayed sharp, "on his game", conception begins at birth, $5 million is considered rich, I will hunt Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell, I can look into Putin's eyes and see evil, just two Christians drawing a cross together in the dirt, Saddleback Church Christian star?" I'm SHOCKED!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. Go Away McCain

    McCain is hiding something. There is a reason he could not answer how many houses he owns. There's oil in the air.

    August 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. VOICE OF REASON

    REALLY, INCONSIDERING, REALLY, THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD SHOULDNT INTEGRITY BE A DESIRABLE QUALITY. REALLY, IF HE'S BEEN ON THE TAKE AND SLY BEFORE WHY SHOULD HE BE TRUSTED. REALLY SEEMS LIKE HIS MESSIANIC COMPLEX INVOLVES MOR FORGIVENESS AND BLESSEDNESS THAN THE ORIGINAL MESSIAH. THEN AGAIN I GUESS IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK.

    August 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. DA

    Old news!!! McCain seven homes please!!!
    You McCain supporters need to try something else!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. GerryM

    Poor Johnny McCain,
    Doesn’t know how many houses he maintains.
    The simple life for me, boasts Johnny,
    Only five or so houses and a nanny.
    Poor Johnny McCain,
    Thinks the economy is your domain.
    ‘I understand war’ saber rattles Johnny,
    Don’t ask me about the economy!

    August 21, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Phil

    Same old politics , Obamas no different !!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. dgordon

    And then you wonder why the rest of the world thinks Americans are stupid. I hope when this is all said and done we start focusing on re-educating the next generation. If not, the rest of the globe will be soon be fencing us off.

    The house was on the market for 1.8 million. So Obama got the place at a discount of 16%. How many homeowners out there paid the market price for their house? Clue in people. He bargained for the selling price. That is not a crime. If it was, we'd all be doing time.

    You need to start doing you're own thinking and ignore what the media is throwing at you. Their motives are at best questionable. I don't care what your political stance is, I just hate the fact that we're too lazy to think things through. Oh well, maybe natural selection will eventually take care of the problem.

    August 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. plb

    Maritza August 21st, 2008 6:59 pm ET

    Attacking McCain in how many homes he owns was petty, this shady transaction however was more relevant to the shady charecter of Obama, proof. He will do anything for the sake of convenience, he's not worthy of the White House. It appears he was hanging with the wrong croud, this is not the only shady pal of his , the other guy likes bombing US buildings..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Maritza,
    maybe would should be asking to see your citizenship papers and decide if you are worthy of being in our country. I guess for you have ties to Keating 5, being a undercover draft warmonger, and a Wh3r3 is more to your liking. GET OVER IT...

    August 21, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Jay

    I think Obama has drawn blood with this one..... all of a sudden the GOPer's are sounding really defensive now!!!! I love it!!!!

    Keating 5, McCain's Draft statement, 100 years, economics whiners, cheating on crippled first wife is next!!!!!!

    John McCain = worth over 100 million dollars, owns 10 homes, flies a $12.6 million private jet and wears $520 Italian Ferregamo loafers.

    August 21, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. arlene, CA

    Old News, & it was proven Obama did nothing wrong in the land deal. McShame always comes up with a lame response, & he gets by with it. I hope Obama brings up everything they can on him, Keating 5, does not even know how many houses he has, he's so far out of touch with his millions, there's no way he can relate to or represent the average American. He always uses his POW status & thinks he should be given special treatment. Obama needs to start some hard core attacks on McShame & there is allot he can go after.

    August 21, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  15. levis210

    cnn ,don't change the debate. the topic is mc can does not how many houses he has.

    August 21, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. g4

    its same all game and tricks from mc-can! he cannot answer a simple fundamental questions and when he gets caught he then goes ahead and attacks ob for something that is totally irelevant....one house cannot be compared to a piece of land obama bought...alteast h can count that he only one....by the way in the mean time i understand china owns land here in the usa...i wonder what the republicans have to say anything about this....

    August 21, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. Dylan

    McCain's foreign policy: Joke about bombings (which kill civilians including women and children); threaten to bomb anybody who doesn't look exactly like us; and then smile. The man is bizarre, reckless, and extremely dangerous to our long-term future. Think for yourselves and aim higher.

    August 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Ask McCain in another month how many houses he owns and I bet that he FORGETS AGAIN!

    Dementia creeping in.

    Too risky for America.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12

    August 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  19. Barbara - NC

    Hey CNN – ask Nat. Enq. to investigate – How about Cindy stealing drugs and WAS CONVICTED but kept out of PRISON because she was married to a senator that her mafia-related daddy helped get a start in AZ politics?

    Where's that CNN??????

    August 21, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  20. Jules

    Ok, now that you are showing Obama's house, Can you please show McCain's houses also. We expect fairness from CNN.

    August 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  21. 4Obama

    Oh Please CNN, this is old news and you know it. This has been debuked time and time again. The REAL issue is that McCain DIDN'T KNOW how many houses he had. Now if we're getting ready to go into the land of Keating 5, let's go.

    August 21, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  22. Wayne D. PA

    OBAMA NEED TO GET TO THE POINT AND ON IT INSANE MCCAIN IS KICKING MY MAN BEHIND THE UNDER TONE IS RACIST THAT WHAT THEY ARE USING THE GOP WILL KEEP THAT GOING. IF THE PEOPLE WANT TO GO TO WAR WITH RUSSIA & IRAN THAN VOTE FOR MCCAIN IM TO OLD TO GO SO IT WONT BOTHER ME. I DONT CARE HOW MANY HOUSES A MAN HAS OR HOW HE GOT LET LOOK WHAT IS HAPPING TOMMOROW GAS IS GOING BACK UP TRUST ME

    August 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. Obama gone win

    Such old news. Rezko was charged and sentenced at the beginning of the year, and Obama was cleared of any wrongdoing. Oh, how many houses does McCain have?

    August 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Indiana Bob

    Funny how the Obamabots defend The Messiah by saying that he was not charged with anything illegal for his underhanded real estate deal, so lets just move on. Yet they want to fry McCain for the Keating 5, even though McCain was not charged with anything illegal. And why do I care how many homes McCain has? Did Rezko personally pay for a $17,000 fence around McCain property like he did for the Obama mansion? You think DC is corrupt now, just wait until Obama brings in Chicago style political borruption!! You ain't seen nothing yet!!

    August 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  25. Barack Obama IS Our 44th president!

    Sen. Obama has not been convicted of any wrongdoings, so nice try McCain but you have failed once again.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    August 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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