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. Matt, Pa

    another day another outright lie from McPalin.

    September 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. pat C.

    mcain is such a fraud that i am sick of reading about him. how can the american public be so blind as to not see thru this deceit?
    mccain has lied so many times that he can't remember what and when he says things. i am shocked that he has any republicans supporting him with all the bull he throwing out.
    i can't stand to look at him or listen to him on TV. i will be so glad when the election is over and we have a new leader to get us back on track with the world. obama/biden 2008

    September 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. anyonmous

    (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 undermine 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.”

    September 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Roger

    So, Obama having his own jet isn't out of touch with average americans. Average Americans don't wear empty suits.

    September 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. Shane

    OK...I'm a Democrat...and to be honest...I don't mind that he has 13 cars and that not all of them are American made! These issues are small compared to the big issues like the lies...the "moral" issues not to mention Palin and her lack of any type of experience. There are a lot worse thing than cars...I'm just sayin'.

    September 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. Kjetil

    Do McCain ever tell the truth? Is it straighttalking to tell lie after lie?

    September 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Malcolm

    Who cares! I make less than $40,000.00 per year and own 7 cars! 5 being collector cars! I will vote for McCain in 08!

    September 21, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. anyonmous

    « Back to mainNext article:
    Fact Check: Did Obama vote 94 times for higher taxes?

    September 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. voter

    Dems should stop talking about the foolishness of McCain's 13 cars and follow Obama's 7 point plan regarding the bailout. This is not the time to discuss how many cars and homes McCain has. The dems should fight the republicans who want to provid money to the ceos of companies that got us in this economic mess. Main street should be allowed to re-finance their homes to avoid foreclosure and oversight should be included in the bill. Dems need to stand up for the average joe and not cave to the republicans.

    September 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. King

    McCain is the most dishonest man in politics since Nixon.

    September 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Seattle Sue

    McCain is less truthful than George W. Bush and that is not a record to be proud of. McCain/Palin can not tell the truth.

    September 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. Jeff

    If McCain should be our leader then why didn't he have people use his cars to drive some displaced hurricane Ike victims to some of his eight houses? This would be real leadership. But no he is McSame...doesn't really care about anyone but the rich elite. Go home(s) McCain if you can remember how to get there.

    WHITE MALE HOCKEY DAD OBAMA/ BIDEN '08

    September 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. Disgusted

    Not too surprising....with McBush & Carabou Barbie it's hard to know which lie is the truth. Barack the Vote!!

    September 21, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Patty

    Who cares how many cars one owns. Why not stick to the real issues and how are these candidates going to work for us in the highest office in this country. Too much nit picking going on and the media is to blame. I think McCain will do a fine job as pres. I mean we all know McCain and we all like him. So thats that.

    September 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Harmony

    What in the World? Why must people lie? This man has 13 cars is trying to paint Obama as an Elitist. Open your eyes people! While you are loosing your homes, jobs, cars, and MINDS this man and the rest of his super rich friends are robbing America. No wonder he does not want regulations.

    September 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. JASON FROM LOS ANGELES .

    WOW! 100 CARS 100 HOUSES!
    IM STILL SAVING UP FOR A CAR!

    September 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. James, NY

    7 houses and 13 cars... o yeah and the other guys an elitest. What a joke this guy is.

    Obama/Biden 08'

    September 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. mccain's affirmative action pick

    with thirteen cars he can't be expected to keep track of the country of origin for ALL of them. Next u will be asking him to remember where all of his houses are located.

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

    Not too surprising.....with McBush and Carabou Barlie it's hard to know which lie is the truth or half truth.

    September 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Douglas Marshall Jr.

    What an elitist!

    McSleazy and Pinocchio!

    They'll drive our country even further into the gutter!

    September 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Willa-PA

    I have been home an hour from a trip and have heard Palin's schpeel on Obama's tax msg 3 x, in 1 hour, don't they have anything else to talk about…the republicans are the ones with the no regulations tactics who brought down this economic crisis…Obama should be up to 20 points…but, be cause he is black, he is not. Some people are still so racist that they can't vote for a half white/black man to be the best choice for this presidency…it is sickening they are going to vote against their interrest…again…and will be the ones who will be ignored by the elite republicans…come blue collar people and independents…is a man who owns 3 cars is in touch with us and who own 7 or so houses is about us??? and says he doesn't own foreing cars. Granted, those foreing Honda's and Toyota's are great, we ougt to be making them here..think about mine and your children's and grandchildrens' futures.

    From a white middle aged woman…

    September 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  22. Andy, Olathe Kansas

    13 Cars – $400,000
    7 Homes – $9,600,000
    1 pair of a shoes – $500

    That sinking feeling you have in the pit of your stomach on Nov 4 –

    PRICELESS!!

    September 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Phil

    Straight talk -express-foreign made thought?

    September 21, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Come ON!

    That's less than two cars per house.

    Give the guy a break.

    OBAMA 08

    September 21, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. Jasmine in Germany

    If the cars were not made in USA by US workers, then McCain has not told the truth.

    September 21, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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