August 21st, 2008
11:02 AM ET
14 years ago

Dems jump on McCain's house gaffe


Watch Kaine on American Morning.

(CNN) - Democrats jumped on a comment by John McCain that seemed to suggest he was unsure of how many homes he owned – the latest move in a series of attacks designed to paint the presumptive Republican nominee as wealthy and out-of-touch with ordinary Americans.

“I understand Senator McCain was asked yesterday this question: ‘how many houses do you own?’ And he couldn't answer that question,” Virginia Governor and VP contender Tim Kaine told CNN’s John Roberts in an interview on American Morning. “He couldn't count high enough to know how many houses he owns.

“We have Americans struggling, with foreclosures skyrocketing in Virginia and elsewhere, gas prices, jobs slowing down and the deficit at a record level. We have to have somebody who can change the direction of this economy. John McCain won't do it, but Barack Obama understands the new economy and he will.”

McCain’s wife Cindy is heir to a beer fortune estimated at roughly $100 million.

When asked about the number of houses he owned in a Politico interview published Thursday, McCain was unable to answer. "I think — I'll have my staff get to you," he replied. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

The remark comes days after McCain faced criticism from Obama over a weekend remark at Pastor Rick Warren’s faith forum, where the Arizona senator joked that someone would need to earn $5 million a year in the United States to be defined as rich.

The McCain camp later told Politico the Arizona senator and his wife own at least four homes in three states. Other news organizations have reported a higher total.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Rache from Bowie

    The headline is:
    A fool with a lot of houses is running for president.

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Me

    who's elitist now???????

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Chanda in Cincinnati Ohio

    Yeah...he really knows what the average American is up against. For crying out loud people!!!!!! This man could give a rats you know what if you can not make your mortgage, or buy groceries for your children. His rich cronies and Big oil will be the benificiaries of his term in office. While the rest of the American public gets flushed down the toilet...he will be sitting pretty off his millions.. Not to mention his military pension,social security benifits, and Senate salary. WHY THE HELL IS THIS MAN TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY!!!! He is worth MILLIONS, and Social Security, by all accounts, is going broke! How many more governmet sponsored checks does he need to take care of his 4+ homes!!!!!!!! Give me a big fat break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |

    Mc Cain is out of touch ...he does not speak for us the ordinary people.
    He has so many houses ,he cannot keep count of them,while we are struggling to keep the one we have.

    Obama identifies with us.
    McCain says in he is in agreement with the draft.

    Obama 08.

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Don

    The real question is did Rezko Barack's corrupt friend help him buyt his house with money he got illegally?

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. mel

    McCain, do not care voter he have money,homesand jet.Poor
    people are struggle

    August 21, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. John

    And McShame has the nerve to call Obama an Elitist? MCcain in no way is in touch with the common American person. Just say whatever will get him elected.

    August 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. anonymous

    Baloney – its none of Kaine's business, or anyone else for that matter, how many homes McCain owns. Has anyone ever checked out the global warming award winning big mouth's house? Look in your own kitchen before choking!

    August 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Keep hitting him.

    McCain can't or won't answer even the simplest question without someone telling him the acceptable answer.

    Do you McCain supporters really understand what you're doing to this country by supporting this person?

    You may not like Obama or support his policies, but do you really think John McCain is fit to hold the office?

    August 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Ki-Jana Carter

    Somone PLEASE crush him for this. Here is a guy trying to paint his opponent as an elitist, and he doesn't even know how many houses he has? That is the very definition of elitism. Either that or he is just plain senile, either way he is unfit to lead this nation.

    August 21, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Scott L

    Virginians cannot afford them because Kaine raised taxes on us...duh...

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Janice

    Actually, I was more wowed by McCain's agreement with a questioner at a town meeting yesterday that the draft needs to be started in order to get Bin Laden.

    Hope the youth of the country and their parents and grandparents are paying attention to the media who reported this, because CNN doesn't seem to be on board yet with reporting this.

    McCain in his head really is living still in Vietnam – he never left. God help the youth of this country if he becomes President.

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. New York voter

    The pot calling the kettle black. Who are the Dems kidding? Look at the personal wealth of their top politicians. The Republicans get rich before they get into politics- the Democrats get rich through politics.

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Real Change

    I know this is just politics...but. do you not know how many houses you own. I, for instance, know that I own exactly ONE.

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. A CANUCK

    It's not that he didn't know how many houses he has............he just didn't want the voters to know ! He's a freaking millionaire and has the nerve to say Obama doesn't understand the ordinary man. McCain is a man with two faces.....not a good thing !!!!

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. James

    I wish I had the problem of forgetting how many houses I owned. Yeah I'd trust this guy with the economy.

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Lacy

    And he wants to paint Obama as an out of touch elitest. Good move John, brilliant!

    August 21, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Tracy---Indianapolis, IN


    OBAMA 08

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    <<<this guy is working to pay for gas, and McCain is wearing $500 shoes. Yet he says he feels my pain. How? When?

    Senator, your grandfather married into money, as did your father. You were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. It was made of pure gold. Senator, I guess you married for love the first time and like your fore-fathers before you, you married into money as well. Senator, do you know what's it like to have college loans? Senator, do you know what's it like to study harder than your peers to be competitive? Senator, I don't have a dad who can pull strings to get me anywhere....YOU DID!

    Senator, how do you feel my pain? You and I are nothing alike. So please stop telling me you how you feel my pain because YOU DON'T, CAN'T, WON'T....EVER.

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Octavio Lima

    Not knowing how many houses one has is a crime? Or is it any indication of how well one can perform as president? I am sure that will disqualify many democrats that have their money managed by a financial advisor while they concentrate on politics. Particularly the wealthy ones...

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. CL OT

    OMG!! He has investment properties!!!
    How dare he!!!
    Get my pitchfork!!!

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Pat Blankenship

    I don't know where Kaine has any room to talk. Foreclosures in Va are just as bad as elsewhere. He may not have many houses but apparently he lives rent free as Governor. He is no better thehn McCain. And I hope that he is not the choice for VP because he has not done anything for Virginia! And yese McCain can count that high!.
    Also what McCain went thru as a POW gives him the right to own as many houses as he wants and can afford. What has Obama or Kaine done in that regard? I can't get over how stupid our leaders are – especially Obama and Kaine.

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Mike

    Who cares how many house he owns, how many politicians are "intouch" with the common/ordinary person? I would venture to say none of them. They act as if they are, they act as if they are concerned, but the majority are only concerned with getting elected. It takes more than one person (president) to change anything–look at congress as well when pointing fingers (close to 600 additional faces) who have a hand in ANY decision made on Capitol Hill. We have politicians in congress who have received beneficial loans from Countrywide that any ordinary person would not be able to get, it is just how the world works. If you have power, you have benefits, look at our overpaid sport icons who are paid millions upon millions to play golf or basketball and who have dozens of homes and cars while our teachers and police officers are barely able to make ends meet? We just need to question the US lifestyle completely and make all ends right.

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Credit Card Republicans

    Cindy already outsourced Bud beer,whats next, Nascar?

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Carlos, Los Angeles

    Is this the best the Democrats can do? Why would they bring up houses, when thet know there are still questions regarding the Obamas shady real estate deal. If the Democrats are going to go negative, they need to hit McCain where it is going to hurt, like the Keating scandal.

    August 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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