September 21st, 2008
08:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Dems seize on McCain's 13 cars

Democrats are seizing on a report the McCains own at least 13 cars.
Democrats are seizing on a report the McCains own at least 13 cars.

(CNN) - Democrats eager to portray John McCain as out of touch with average Americans and as a flip-flopper seized on a report Sunday the Arizona senator and his wife, Cindy, own more than a dozen cars - including several foreign-made automobiles.

A Newsweek article published on the magazine's Web Site Sunday said registration records show the McCains currently own 13 cars - two of which are foreign-made: a Honda and a Volkswagen. That appears to contradict the Republican presidential nominee's past statements he only buys cars made in America. (Cindy McCain also drives a Lexus and daughter Meghan owns a Toyota Prius, but neither are registered to the McCains.)

Newsweek also reported Barack Obama owns one car: a Ford Escape Hybrid.

In a quickly-arranged conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee, United Auto Worker Union President Ron Gettelfinger - an Obama supporter - said the registration records show McCain is not being truthful with Americans and undermining autoworkers.

Listen: Gettelfinger blasts McCain on conference call with reporters

"The last thing we need is a presidential candidate who undermines autoworkers, and these days it seems that John McCain is doing just exactly that," he said. "When he's in the Midwest, he tells voters he supports the industry, when he is in other states he brags about buying a foreign car, as he did with the Prius." (It is not clear if McCain or his daughter bought the Prius)

Gettelfinger also pointed to comments McCain made in an interview with Detroit TV station WXYZ, saying, "I've bought American literally all my life and I'm proud."

"That's really a nice campaign line," Gettelfinger said of the comments. "But it turns out that John McCain wasn't being straight with the people of Detroit, or the state of Michigan, or our country as a matter of effect," adding later, "The American auto industry and the American voters deserve a president who will be straight with them.”

For the record, Honda has four major automobile and engine plants in the United States employing more than 25,000 Americans, according to its Web site. Volkswagen is scheduled to open a plant in Tennessee in 2011 that is expected to employ 2,000 people, the AP reported in July.

Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain, said "Barack Obama is more interested in childish political attacks than confronting the reality that his plans to raise taxes and close off trade will kill our American auto industry and the jobs of hardworking folks in Michigan and all around our nation."

Rogers also said McCain was referring to his own car in the WXYZ interview:  "He drives a Cadillac today and has always driven American cars," Rogers said.

Newsweek's report comes a month after McCain now-infamously could not name how many houses he owned in an interview with Politico. The publication later reported he owns at least eight properties.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Sounds like he is keeping the car companies here in Michigan in business. I think the dems should keep their pie holes closed on this one.

    September 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. GARY

    MCCAIN CAN HAVE AS MANY STINKEN CARS AND HOUSES AS HE WANTS. WHATS OBAMA JEALOUS. BELIEVE ME OBAMA ISN'T BROKE. HE LIVES PRETTY GOOD. YOU SEE HOW HE CONS YOU YOUNG VOTERS OUT OF MONEY. O.B. AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE A BIG JOKE. OBAMA HAS NOTHING BUT HATE AND TRASH TOWARD ANYONE ON THE REP.'S SIDE OR EVEN DEMS. WHEN IT CAME TO HRC. OBAMA WILL SAY ANYTHING TO YOU BRAINWASHED LOST MINDED MORONS TO GET YOUR VOTES. SURE HE WILL COMPARE BUSH TO MCCAIN ,JUST LIKE HE CRITISIZED HIS OWN PARTY HRC OVER THE WAR. HE IS A JOKE. HE THAN PICKS BIDEN OUT OF OLD WASHINGTON THAT VOTED FOR THE WAR TOO. OBAMA IS A BIAS,ARROGANT,FLIP FLOPPING,CON MAN ,DOUBLE STANDARD PERSON. DID I MENTION ANTI-AMERICAN TO YOU MORONS THAT BELIEVE EVERYTHING HE SAYS.I NEVER KNEW THIS COUNTRY HAS SO MANY NAIVE MORONS IN IT. I BET YOU WOULD ALL BELIEVE OBAMA IF HE SAID THE MOON WAS MADE OF CHEESE. WHAT A JOKE. MCCAIN/PALIN COUNTRY FIRST.

    September 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    MIMI TOLD YOU FOLKS THAT MCSENILE IS

    NOTHING BUT A GREEDY SENILE LITTLE SLUG.

    HE HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO ONLY ONE THING,

    MONEY, MONEY & MORE MONEY. HIS HAS NO HONOR,

    NO HONESTY, NO DIGNITY & SURE AS HELL NO LOVE

    FOR THIS NATION INSPIRE OF WRAPPING HIMSELF IN

    THE AMERICAN FLAG EVERY TIME HE IS ASKED A QUESTION

    HE DOESN'T WANT TO ANSWER. "I AM A POW, POW, POW, POW."

    September 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Melly

    It's a sad day to recogize that Republican Candidate, John Mccain is a lier. I hope that Americans are not fooled by his word or Palin's.

    September 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. JOHN WHITE

    ANOTHER FACT TO HIGHLIGHT MCCAIN'S LIES. HOW MANY MORE DO WE NEED TO REALIZE THE TRUTH ABOUT MCCAIN?
    A 26 YEAR OLD SINGLE FATHER WHO IS BLACK WANTS TO KNOW.
    I LOVE AMERICA, BUT IM SCARED MY SON WONT WHEN HE GROWS UP.

    September 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Wake Up!!

    Why is it that John McCain is able to blantly LIE about so much and yet still people are willing to vote for him.

    John McCain's and his campaign has become Sooooo Sad. Once a man that I highly respected, he has now been reduced to a uncontrollable liar that will do and say anything so as long as the media will not out him. He has now stolen almost everyone of Barack Obama's lines: ie (change, enough, he just doesn't get it, wall street vs main street and it goes on and on).

    it's sad, an American war hero has become a bumbling puppet without a mind of his own. Americans vote for this man if you want but be prepared to deal with the consequences. I am no obama supporter and I was going to vote for John McCain, but now I realize that John does not deserve my vote.

    I will not allow party lines to dictate my vote, nor will I allow racism, sexism and all the other "ism" to dictate my vote. I am now searching for which one of the alternative parties to vote for.

    SOMETIMES A PROTEST VOTE IS BETTER THAN VOTING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS UNDESERVING.

    September 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. CJ

    Well if american automakers would produce a hybrid like the prius or insight and bring high mpg cars that they offer in other countries to the US then maybe that would not be a rpoblem

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Ohio for Obama

    This is to all the McShame followers and Campaign staff who continue to get on the Cable Network and say President Obama voted 94 times for raising taxes.

    Fact Check:
    Verdict:
    Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes.

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Rose

    Good grief, now we are talking about cars, can't the Dems come up with something better than that?? Who cares how many cars the McCains have, so what?? Get real with real issues. Obama is now scraping the bottom of the barrel. More people driven foreign cars because they are cheaper, take a look at the cars next time your on the freeway. I don't care what kind of a car Obama drives either.
    Quit talking about the petty stuff and get real.

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Paul, NY

    Unbelievable!!

    What a jerk!! McCain is the same as every other republican i've heard of.. He's a Liar, manipulative, and makes me sick!

    Oh, and in his bio McCain wrote that the reason he wants to become president is because he sees this as his last chance to achieve the goal!

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Kal Venkataraman

    There is nothing wrong on the part of McCains to own Honda or Toyota. As a consumer every one has a right to expect value for the money they invest in items like cars. As an owner of GM car my experience has been dismal. Before Mr. Gettlefinger raises his finger let him insist on the UAW workers to produce quality cars. For manufacturing such poor quality automobiles, the UAW expects costly medical care even after retirement and liberal other benefits. The management of GM is more interested in pocketing money for themselves and the dealers are happy milking the customer for fixing the defects. In fact public ends up holding the bag to support the US auto industries. Noe they ask for $25 Billion in rescue package from the government.
    On the other hand if you buy the foreign cars, one need not worry about all these problems. I am not a supporter of McCain but it is a dumb argument to use against him.

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    I guess Michelle doesn't drive? He doesn't need any, with all those taxpayer vehicles furnished. I only see him getting into big black SUVs?

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. jonathan

    My friends, for five in a half years as a POW in Vietnam I didn't have any cars. Although one time at Christmas, one of my captors drew a steering wheel in the sand and we pretended to drive together.

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. whybuffetmatters

    Lier Lier pants on fire.. How can we have a President who doesn't buy American cars? I am a common citizen and will look for value. But, a Presidential candidate with $100 m in wealth lying to get votes? Sickening.

    September 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Emily

    I doubt McCain knew what cars he had when he made the comment. Either way, he flip flops way too much.

    I will point out, though, that Obama has one of the most sought after and hardest vehicles to find on the market right now. You know how long my husband and I have been looking for a Ford Escape Hybrid?

    September 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. andrew s

    can i hear out of touch? american wake up and fire them all

    September 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. annette

    This does not surprise me at all about McCain.

    September 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Jeremy

    It is absolute Right to buy foreign cars but Morally wrong to LIE about it........especially for Presidential Material! All British Government operate British made cars. Actually the Late Princess Diana was in trouble for buying BMW. Germany and France likewise have similar laws. Mcain should endevor to lead by example.

    September 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Jason

    Strange how McShame can question anybodys patriotism, when he owns a few foreign cars and calls the other guy an Elist. Considering that the america auto industry is in trouble, and McShame would rather send his money to a foreign auto maker!

    September 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. acl0608

    So what's the big deal? That leaves 11 American cars that are registered to McCain. Most people own only 1 or 2 American cars or drive foreign made vehicles. Sounds to me like McCain has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to buying American.

    September 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. blackpope808

    There is nothing more American than owning as many cars and houses as you can possibly afford! I am a registered Democrat and I don't have a problem with Mr. and Mrs. McCain owning however many cars and homes as they can afford. Is Mr. McCain out of touch with the American people? Well I am from Hawaii and can tell you that the school Mr. Obama attended is quite elitist and far removed from the world of the average salaried worker in Hawaii. As far as the UAW weighing in, let's face it, the UAW is equally to blame for the auto workers strife as the management of the companies the workers are employed by. If Mr. Obama's handlers had any sense they would be talking comprehensively about his plans to make these "changes" in our government and nation and CNN would be screaming for details rather than running "ticker" reports on non-issue charges.

    September 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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