September 22nd, 2008
07:09 AM 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 • John McCain
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