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. FedUpDem

    Who cares and why??

    He's probably never been to them, never knew his wife owned them.
    Such a non-issue. ONN has to make something out of nothing-
    And my Governor--rofl--do you think Timmy lad, maybe there is more going on in the world that is important to the Senator from AZ than how many homes his wife / family own?? Lets ask the Kennedys how many homes they own!! Let's ask the Pelosi's!!
    Let's ask obama how many other shady house deals he has in his history!!


    August 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. O P, WI

    That is pathetic. How can you not know how many houses you own? Good grief. Putting John Mcsame in the white house will only confuse him further.

    August 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. JP

    I'm sure they're paying property tax on all their houses, then where is the problem?

    August 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    And THIS is America's answer to the Economic recession? A President who doesn't get it? We've had one of those for 8 LONG years-

    August 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. Kim

    Well we know how many homes Obama owns and we know how he got that home, right? Isn't the person that helped Obama in jail now? Just checking.

    August 21, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. don montgomery

    one of john mccains doctors has said mr mccain has althiemers disease. why do you think he wont tell the public

    August 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. DAN

    So what after the saddleback debate the elitist are puffing hot air on anything because they know Obama proved he is not fit to be president especially after lying about his abortion vote. So McCain like Kerry has a rich wife who cares?

    August 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. SHL

    Are you serious? How low and desperate can be Dems get? Just because McCain is rich, it does not mean that he is out of touch. The person who is out of touch is Obama. Claiming he is for change and he will lead a different type of government, yet he is not difference from the rest. At least the rest do not claim that they are different. Go McCain '08.

    August 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Bob Texas

    For Mike,
    If you believe Hannity you are really dumb! That guy turns all truth into a lie just for his own GOP agenda!

    August 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    CNN interviewed McCain giving insight into his personal life and failed marriage to Carol whom he agreed he cheated only many times with several women and lied publically many times. McCain said "I didn't know why I cheated on my wife". Records in Arizona also show that he was still married and living with Carol when he applied for a marriage license to marry Cindy, McCain didn't deny that. Carol was a victim of lies and deceit by McCain and America doesn't have to also be a victim of McCain's lies.

    August 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. elm

    Maybe John McCain can't remember because he was brainwashed by the North Vietnamese while he was a prisoner. Doesn't anyone remember the movie Manchurain Candidate?

    Has he ever released any psychological tests?

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Cheryl Wilson

    Please print my message. This is really important. I just called the McCain campaign headquarters asking about the 10 homes that McCain owns. I also asked, "what about the millions of Americans that are losing their 1 home in foreclosures?" The McCain campaign replied, "What can I tell you? John married a very, very wealthy wife." No lie. You can look up the telephone number on John McCain's campaign website and call there yourself. This is outrageous.

    I hope the Obama people send photogs to take pics of all 10 estates and put that up on the big screen for all of America to see. Run that ad over and over and over and over again, especially in states where foreclosures are at an all time high.


    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. tom

    bush is far much better than this guy, believe me

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Mister Anderson

    I don't blame McCain. He's old and can't count that high!

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Ian

    John McCain knew the answer, but you could tell he was fighting back the incontenance and was having a hard time keeping focus.

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. sam

    McCain say he owns atleast four homes. What does that means. Please CNN press him to give specific answer. He wants us to believe that he gives straight answer but I afraid this answer is not straight. Is he owning 5, 6, 7 or 8 houses? He critizes other as elitist but here we have him owing so many housing to a point that he can't even remember them or count them.

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Women Decide

    McCain also wears 500 dollar shoes!

    And they think Barack Obama, a former organizer of poor neighborhoods in Chicago, is elitist?

    The New York Times also reported today that one elderly white man in small-town Pennsylvania said "Obama was actually right, we are bitter." The man went on to tell about the tough economic times they have had under 8 years of Republican rule.

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Teddy

    Hey...I dont know how many houses I have either...My accountants take care of that for me. So what. Dont be jealous of me...try to be like me. If you get wealthy, you can travel a lot, quit your boring job, give a lot of time, talent, and treasure to charity, whatever you want. We should all aspire to be filthy rich, and generous happy people.

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. David

    Nice try Kaine, but most of you in politics have money are are not in touch with us. You can say and act like you are but when out of the public eye it's another story.

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Jim

    Really? Like Barack Obama is not rich himself? Any politician running for president with a major party is out of touch. And why would a reporter waste time asking a question like this?

    August 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Mohammad, LA CA

    You need to capitalize "Senator McCain". Not that I like him, but, you know, it's proper english!

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Foreign observer

    McCain has no public events today. He counts his houses.

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Octogenarian

    Forget about being nice! Hit hard Obama! McCain and all the others took advantage of the fact that you won't role up your sleeves and get as dirty as they are. You can't bring a knife to a gunfight! McCain thinks he can say what he wants and you won't strike back. What happened to the kind of dirty politics he promised not to play? Foget about it! Now is the time to come out swinging ! We got your back!

    Go Obama!

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. don montgomery

    does john mccain have althiemers, are the doctors going to tell the public

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. James

    We have yet another election where the rich elite are running against the rich elite.

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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