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. greenfun

    Gosh, I am so suprised. i thought Mr. Hope and Change was above this sort of politics as usual? I guess he really is just another politician–one with very little experience.

    August 21, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. proud army and navy mom

    mcidiot doesn't know how many houses he owns?????

    Here the problem, if you need a staff to gather that info for you, it's a lot or you are a senile old man that is not fit to be commander in chief of the US.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Jarred

    I have always known how many houses I own. ONE! All politicians are out of touch (including OBAMA). Mcain's just more out of touch becuase he's older. He's had more time to be in denial of his personal wealth!

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Brian

    first but foremost dang.. to hell with forty acres and a mule. wheres my five mill and unlimited number of condos.. if this is what "the average" American feels is the leader for them I am going to pray pray pray that the apocalypse comes soon..

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Sharon, Minnesota

    Elitist anyone? Not only that, he'll have his paid accountants go around and count how many houses/condos he owns and will report back.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Tyler in Raleigh

    Ah yes, but Obama is the elite one..... what a joke!

    McCain tries to pretend he is a beer drinking American just like Bush did. The country fell for it once and is doign so again. Who wants a President that drinks beer at the ranch anyways, we don't want to be their friend.... we want them to manage the country!

    Obama may not be an Average Joe, but that is because he is educated and made money off a few books. McCain is just rich from marriage and many years of political favors.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Andrew

    10 homes, $500 loafers, Tax breaks to the richest people and business in this country....and he and his cronies try to paint Obama as an elitist?

    The average American relates more to Obama than to McCain....but he GOP will paint him as inexepreiced.

    All that "expereince" that McCain touts may play well in board rooms and in mansions. But on Main Street, I'd rather follow a man that has made HIS OWN WAY in the world through hard work and self sacrifice. NOT the priveldged son of an Admiral who perhaps would have fluncked out of the Naval Academy, had his fater not been a Admiral.

    McCain served valiently and honorably during Vietnam, but that was a half a century ago. McCain isn't even the same man he was 8 years ago. He is a continuation of failed policies that have led to the common American losing faith in its Country. 75% of Americans feel the country his headed in the wrong direction with the current policies.

    The time is now to change.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Gerald in Georgia

    Why do Americans think that we need an old president? Hillary is 60 and MCain is 71. Could we please elect someone that might have some new ideas? Look my Fellow Americans, have you noticed that the death rate seems to be claiming a lot more well known people lately? it's time out for playing games. if you want to play political games then go to Russia and try it there, or better yet go to North Korea and try it there. How can you be a Hillary supporter voting for MCain? What kind of sick twisted drugs are you on?

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. JDC // Ohio

    Quesion didn't even deserve an answer!

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Mike - Texas

    Oh yes, and Obama got his house for over $300,000 off the asking price because of his convicted friend Tony Rezko. And it was because Rezko bought the adjoining lot.

    I wish that I could get a deal like that.

    There needs to be an investigation into how Obama was able to get such a good deal. Especially since Rezko is going to jail.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Lyle

    Democrats should be more concerned with Mr. Obama, who as many would like to forget, famously said that there are 57 states, in the United States. Of course, commensurate with his complete lack of experience and qualifications for the Presidency, I suppose this is about the best we can expect from Mr. Obama.

    Nitpicking will not win this election for Democrats.

    August 21, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    S W E E T I E--Y O U ' R E --N O T--G O I N G--T O --W I N---

    T H E --E L E C T I O N-–W I T H--T H I S

    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Jozee

    Come on, Dems.

    Everybody knows the McBeer Baron is rich, and it does no good to harp on silly stuff like how many houses they have.

    Dems need to be talking about McCains's willingness to reinstate the draft that will send more of our sons and daughters to die for oil or to look for Bin Laden. Oh, I forgot, John said he was going to the gates of hell to get Bin Laden. Get busy, John, time's a-wastin!


    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. paul oregon

    cant belive american people are going to vote for this joker.
    ah yes iguess ican they voted for bush twice. are the people so stupid that they cant think past there on noses? if you think not just listen to the commericals on t.v.

    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. DonnieJ

    Who's elitist now, McClown?

    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Obama 08

    What? He does not know how many homes he owns? This tells me he is irresponsible. How can you not know how many properties you have. How can such a person say he cares about the ordinary guy when he has all this money and does not know the homes he owns. Americans, wake up against McSame who want to jsut fulfill his ambition to become president as stated in his own memoir..

    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Elly

    Finally CNN adds a comment place
    I hope they know how absurd McSame looks when he tries to paint
    Obama as an elitist
    Obama would have to go many years to catch up to the wealth the MCCains have
    watch the great revealing show on MCSame and Obama by John King and suzanne Melville you will learn alot!!! excellent shows by both!!!
    Senator Obama worked hard to get what he has in life so he can relate to the average american and their hardships
    McCain has had wealth for years
    I ask you in all fairness WHO is the elitist here...Certainly NOT Obama

    August 21, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. American en canada



    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Jessie

    It's amazing to me that McCain paint Obama as an "elitist", and yet Obama only owns ONE house- the one he lives in with his family in Chicago. Obama also still owed student loan payments until only 5 years ago. How can McCain, who is so completely out of touch with the average American, still be even close to Obama in the polls???

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Ron

    Aren't we all sick and tired of being led in this country by millionaire egomaniacs who just want to be elected to some office?
    Would we ever miss them if they weren't even there?

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Beverly, NYC

    Maybe he didn't hear this question either. Doesn't bode well for the 3am phone call.

    America Deserves Better than John McCain.

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Steve

    People should go into you and search mccain:gaffes and you will find lots of them. I do not see how he functions anymore by himself. Do the same with temper. He has only showed up 5 times this year for Senate vote. His total score is 81.1% Not voting this year and for the entire 110th Congress the total is 63.8% Not Voting.
    Why is this man getting away with what he is doing?

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Foreign observer

    Born with a golden spoon in his mouth he never worked for his money.
    Except as a POW he always got more than 150 k per year. His statements to understand ordinary Americans are just a lie.

    August 21, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Bob

    The Dems need to use every opportunity to smear McBush whenever he makes a gaffe(tells the truth). As much as he does it they should make a lot of headway. Anyone with half a brain knows that if we are going to engage in more wars, the draft will have to be reinstated.

    August 21, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. alicia

    If he doesn’t know how many homes he has. This makes me think what else doesn’t John McCain know that wasn’t scripted to him. He is less a maverick and more of a product of entitlement. I guess Lieberman or Lindsey wasn’t there to bail him out this time. And Americans want to vote for this guy for President. That is scary. If Americans are dumb enough to vote for the old navy buddy who they rather have a beer with who speaks and thinks like a simpleton again rather than a self made guy who can solve problems, who is willing to listen to all sides and is actually smart than we deserve what we get.

    Btw, wasn’t the media just screaming saying Obama was out of touch. At least Obama could tell us about his one home and doesn’t wear $500

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