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. Dave

    How is it again that McCain isn't the elitist in this campaign? He appears in movies, wears $500 shoes, married a beer heiress, is the son of a Navy Admiral, went to a tony prep school and owns, at a minimum, four places of residence. But the guy who owns one home in Chicago and was raised by a single mom and her parents...THAT'S the elitist.

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Michelle, PA

    Must be nice to have so many houses you can't remember how many off the top of your head. Many Americans can't even afford one, many more who used to be able to afford their own home are losing them due to the BUSH/McCAIN economic policies (with props for the mortgage fiasco to Phil Gramm, that "whiner" blast from the past who keeps popping up in McCain's entourage). It never ceased to amaze me that a candidate who flew around in his wife's private jet had the moxie to call anybody else an "elitist". McCain has sure proven his hypocrite credentials this time around!

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    Its amazing how the McCain-attack-machine has done all it can to make us believe that Sen. Obama is an elitist! When in fact McCain NEVER in his ENTIRE life had to struggle financially!

    Sen. Obama went to school on scholarships, is the son of a single mom. Was raised by his grandparents. Worked to help the poor and working-poor in Chicago.......... as a young 24 year old. But he's the elitist??????

    McCain wears $500 shoes, owns NINE homes, he and his wife do not have to budget.......... nor worry for a single day where the payment for the next trip to the gas station will come from!




    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. russell

    This is exactly the right kind of stuff the Dems need to get out to win. Don't let the Rep's win by labelling and painting our candidate as unamerican, elitist, etc. Beat them at their own game.

    All the Dem's have to do is state fact, like the fact that McCain can't count his houses, or he wears 500 dollar shoes, or that he started having extramarital sex with Cindi while still married to someone else, or that he narrowly escaped jail in the S&L disaster, or that he didn't show up for any energy votes, etc., etc. You can't, and don't have to, make this stuff up.

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. John in Binghamton NY

    Its funny how filthy rich playboy call anyone an else an elitist. The guy wears $600 shoes while walking through the FL swamp land and has more houses than he can count.

    He said during the debate that Americans are better off over the last 8 years. What? I don't know about you, but I am losing wages to inflation and had to cut back.

    Out of touch??? You think???

    This guy cheated on his wife after she waited 6 years for him to come back from the war. How many people do you think would of waited while not even knowing if he ever would of come back?

    How does he reward his loyal wife? By cheating on her and then leaving her for fluzy beer heiress. All while his wife is limping around on TV from injures sustained in a car accident.

    WHAT A MAN!!!

    Time to expose Mc Fraud. Stop making this guy a hero CNN!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    I'm sure that's something every American can relate to, not being able to remember how MANY homes you own! Are you kidding me, I mean seriously come on!!! Is this guy serious???

    OBAMA '08

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Terry, Butte, Mt

    Your video don't work. Also, why haven't we heard anything from CNN about McCain yesterday at a town hall in New Mexico where he agreed with a questioner that said "If you want to follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell then you will have to open up the Draft." McCain's response, "I don't disagree with you."

    It seems to me that would be a bigger gaff, unless he really does want to bring back the Draft and it is not a gaff. That would just make him Scary.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Black Person that is not for Obama or Racist

    Democrats have become stupid and emotional. To take down Bill Clinton, the most hardworking and significant democrat in the last 50 years of American Presidents (and his wife) for a junior senator because he is popular and ethnic is stupid.

    The party is getting what it deserves, and many people are wise to leave. Obama supporters do not have any idea what Obama is capable of because he hasn't done anything. It is such a dumb emotional, juvenile party, it needs to break up.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Dude needs a haircut!

    Oh my..Mr. Kaine needs to see John Edward's barber fast!
    I hope Colin Powell will be the one or Joe Biden.. Barack needs some good substantial wisdom to HELP guide him through and we ALL need some of that. Thank God above Barack doesn't have the self important ego that he can run the show by himself.. a party should be a team effort.
    I think Americans are so blessed to have this wonderful man running for President..I pray they use some judgment instead of fear , fear and more fear.. that John McCain is selling.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Foreign observer

    Only Italy is better. There the richest man governs the country !!!

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Eric

    they own "at least" which means they still don't actually know? they could own more? I no exactly how many properties I own, zero. If you can't keep track of your own holdings how can you be expected to keep track of a country's holdings? Not that the US actually owns any of the US anymore.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Fight hard now , lots of people want a fighter.

    Here goes a man who want to become future president do not know how many houses he own. wow….that is not a shocker, most people failed to realize that Mccain is just another rich man who do not care about your suffering.

    " America people should go get second job to pay their mortgage, there will be no money for them"
    That meant their housing forclosure issues is not cause by mortgage lender, it is cause by ordinary people who were deceived into getting houses.
    Obama campaign are not doing a good job pointing out McCaflip flipper mispeak or wrong tactice.
    There are lots of tools for the Obama campaigns to use but they have failed to utilize them.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. john williams san diego, ca.

    and osama can't remember hearing any sermon by Rev. Wright..The messiah is over his pay grade–

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. s

    people can barely hold on to their condos- yet McCain doesn't even know how many homes he owns.

    god help us, if he's elected. people would barely be able to hold on to their cardbox sheet.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Gregg

    These political hacks have no clue. Who cares if he does not know how many houses he owns. I don't want someone in office who is "in touch" with the "common American." The common American has proved themselves to be incapable of handling their finances and mortgages. We need someone in office who understands these things and how to help fix them.

    I am sure Obama is really in touch with the average American, he is probably the biggest phony......ever.

    August 21, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. U.S. Common Sense

    I think the $5Million comment is probably fair game, but when it comes to his wife's investment property, I don't think the general public will hold that against him.

    And what's with this "new economy" thing? That is twice now I've heard an Obama spokesperson use that phrase. Note, they aren't talking abou the "current economy," but the "new economy." It definitely sounds like that Obama has more than just capital gains and payroll tax hikes in mind. Sounds like some serious government intervention.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Caryn

    Must be nice to not know how many homes you have. Wouldn't know though, I'm struggling just to keep the one I have.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    McCain later responded that he has AT LEAST 4 houses.


    C'mon McCain. How about the EXACT NUMBER?

    I heard it was SEVEN!

    Can you spare me one? I need a second home.

    McCain is out of touch!

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Wretched excess is the hallmark of the last eight years. If you are rich, good for you! If your wrong-headed vote for the Clown Prince in 2000, and 2004 has adversely affected you financially, you have to have a death wish to vote for McSame...THINK!

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |

    Everything is a joke to McCain. The joke is McCain.

    The late Governor Ann Richards said of Geoge Bush, "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth". Now we have McCain who doesn't know how many homes they own, says that if you make over $5 million a year then you are considered rich. How can he possible identify with the people we have lost their jobs, homes, reitirement, and are paying the price of gas. It's easy McCain says, I want to give you a "tax holiday". That will give you an extra $28 to spend. WOW!!!

    McCain makes fun of the American People everytime he opens his mouth.

    McCain laughs everytime he is caught in a lie. McCain laughs a lot.
    McCain is an adultrer. With no character – why would anyone want McCain as President? Everyone just attacked John Edwards for committing adultrey and running for President. McCain has done the samething then threw his wife away. I can't believe Christian's can support and vote for McCain.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Cheryl

    baby mama: did you even READ this article you commented on? "Just another sad"? The article is about mccain, honey. Last time I checked, he is a Republican. A presidential candidate who doesn't know how many homes he THAT is sad.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. NY Girl Ready for Change

    This is just the latest absurd example of John McCain's inability to connect with real people, let alone Americans. What marginal percentage of our general population makes at least $5 million a year? The answer to that should even MORE easily define for McCain just how impoverished our country is becoming thanks to the Bush economy, if that's the new barometer to define "rich." Yet he'd like to keep spending billions to sustain the military occupation of a nation who we may not really like very much, but still fundamentally don't have the right to continue trying to run on behalf of the native people. Anyway... McCain can't remember how many houses he owns why? because senility is setting in? Because he and Cindy have too many to count? Either way you slice it: a terrible choice to lead the country. Maybe next time his staff sits him down for a lesson on which countries currently exist, they can throw in a reminder about how many houses he owns, before tucking him in for his afternoon nap.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Tom NObama

    When asked how many States he's visited, NOBAMA said "57" and I think I have one more left!!!! DUH!!! OBambi is totally out of touch, does he want to take one of McCain's houses and redistribute it to someone poor.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. gl

    We are still waiting on McSame answer regarding voting against the government helping up with payment on Birth control pills. That is McSame favorited answer he get back to you when he doesn't no the answer.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. samuel walz

    wow. who doesnt know that 'mcsame', sorry 'mccain' is out of touch with the ordinary americans.
    if any of us wants universal healthcare, new altenative energy and a better economy, we should think really hard before we vote for mr 'mcbush'.

    August 21, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10