August 21st, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama takes swipe at McCain over houses

Sen. Obama's campaign released a new ad, 'Seven'.
Sen. Obama's campaign released a new ad, 'Seven'.

(CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign continued to hit John McCain on his failure to answer a question on the number of homes he owns with a new ad Thursday, as the presumptive Democratic nominee hammered the same point on the campaign trail in Virginia and the McCain camp battled back.

Watch: Obama hits McCain on homes

“Somebody asked John McCain, 'how many houses do you have?' and he said, 'I'm not sure, I’ll have to check with my staff,'” said Obama at a Thursday morning campaign stop. “True quote! 'I'm not sure, I'll have to check with my staff.' So they asked his staff and he said, 'at least four.' 'At least four.'

“Now think about that - I guess if you think that being rich means you gotta make five million dollars, and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong,” he continued. “But if you're like me and you've got one house - or you were like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so that they don't lose their home - you might have a different perspective. …

He also said that there was a “fundamental gap of understanding” between McCain’s world and “what people are going thru every single day here in America.”

The Republican’s campaign continued to press their long-time charge that Obama himself is an elitist. “Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?

“The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”

The Obama campaign’s new ad, released hours after McCain’s comment was published, also paints the portrait of John McCain as privileged and insulated from current economic woes. “Maybe you’re struggling just to pay the mortgage on your home. But recently, John McCain said ‘The fundamentals of our economy are strong,’” says the announcer in the 30-second spot, “Seven.”

“Hm,” he continues skeptically, as the ad flashes a picture of a house with a foreclosure sign in the front yard.

“Then again, that same day, when asked how many houses he owns, McCain lost track. He couldn’t remember. Well, it’s seven. Seven houses,” he continues. On-screen, the legend flashes: “it’s seven. worth 13 million dollars.”

The White House appears on-screen, as he concludes: “And here’s one house America can’t afford to let John McCain move into.”

The ad is Obama’s fifth negative spot in the past two days.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Good add Obama.

    How about one that asks which of these rich guys owns more homes and is richer.

    McCain or Senator Edwards or Al Gore or Senator Kerry or Senator Kennedy.

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. katiec

    Hey, if you make a comment on how biased CNN is towards
    Mccain they won't print it.
    Course, they won't print this either.

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. BlueInVA

    The difference is stark. Obama earned his money last year, from his Senate salary, sales of his book and whatever working-mom Michelle brought in. The McCain family declared some $35,000,000+ in income in 2007, mostly from investments from his wife's portfolio. That's not earned income!

    And McCain - or his wife - hasn't checked out the price of homes in the Chicago suburbs of late, or he -rather, excuse me, his staff - would know that $1,000,000 is the going rate for homes in those suburbs. And, like homes everywhere, I'll bet it's dropped significantly in value.

    I'll bet Obama could tell you the exact worth of his one home. McCain will have to have his staff get back to you, but first they'll need to determine how many homes there are. Is it 4? 7? 10? Some say 13.

    The man has no idea how many homes he owns, people! That's the story.

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. kel

    Ice
    the only time that the buget was balanced was durning when the white House was under the control of the Dems .
    And he was in 57 contest. this is not the same as forgetting that you joinly own at least 10 housees

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Rob

    this is soo stupid. McCain's family (his wife) worked hard to get what they have now. for me it is the american dream. they worked hard and managed to get a good life. how can this be out of touch. AND i am sure McCain paid the real price and did not receive faked loans and cheaper houses from a friend like Rezko.

    where is the story. I start to dislike Obama more and more every day.

    Rob – a former Democrat

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. gl

    I can not believe the McSame camp keep calling Obama elitist. That is all they do is call Obama bad names. I am glad to see Obama fighting back.

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    JOHN MCCAIN DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY HOUSES HE OWNS JUST LIKE WHEN ASKED WHY HE CHEATED ON CAROL AND WHY HE FILED FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE WITH CINDY WHILE STILL MARRIED AND LIVING WITH CAROL. MCCAIN ANSWERED, "I DON'T KNOW". FACT.

    August 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Alex in TX

    As much as Americans' claim they want politicians to run a clean campaign, the average American idiot still falls for the dirty tactics as witnessed by the narrowing of polls resulting from McCain's recent negative "surge." Until the american electorate wisens up and refuses to fall for these tactics they will continue to be used by polititicians.

    Obama...fight fire with fire. The gloves need to come off.

    August 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. victor,nj

    TO ALL INTELLECTUAL INDIVIDUALS LIKE MYSELF THAT THINKS THESE ATTACKS ARE JUVENILE, WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT SADLY THIS IS THE WAY TO WIN AN ELECTION BECAUSE MANY AMERICANS ARE EASILY PERSUADED BY THESE TACTICS. WHAT ELSE CAN EXPLAIN JOHN MCCAIN PUTING OUT AD COMPARING OBAMA TO PARIS HILTON AND NOW HE IS UP IN THE POLLS. OR HOW GOERGE BUSH GOT ELECTED NOT ONCE BUT TWICE.

    August 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. john

    IS -- THIS -- THE -– NEW -– COOL -- WAY -- TO -- MAKE -- COMMENTS? -- HOW -- LAME -- IS -- THAT!

    August 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. J.C.

    In fact, I think McCain is cool. He is not that interested in the number of houses he or Cindy owns, because he has better things to do than counting their investments. This just shows how little McCain thinks of money. This is another proof to that Senator McCain does put his self interest after his country, although I haven't decided which candidate to vote for.

    August 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Jorge

    It was just a joke.

    I'll have my staff get back to you.

    Is this how More-of-the-Same McLame is going to answer questions in the debates, when he won't have his note cards to refer to?

    August 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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