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. Mike, TX

    How many homes does Obama own? Or better yet, how many homes did he actually pay for?

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. JB, Nashville, TN

    No wonder he doesn't know. His rich wife is the one who owns them.

    August 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. JDM

    I didn't know Mcain had more than one house?


    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. ChicagoJosh

    You lost your home to foreclosure?? Well just move into one of your beachside condos you big whinner. Oh don't get testy with me, just let them eat cake if thier groceries get to high.

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Hello!!!

    Deb, Allentown.
    I see, as an Obama follower, that you fell for the sound bite of the "5 million" comment from McCain. He knew you would. It was a joke...

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. McCain lives like a RockStar

    McCain likes to portray Obama as a rockstar yet Obama owns 1 house, his wife doesn't own an airliner, and they both just recently paid off student loans! McCain divorced his first wife to marry an heiress to live like a true rockstar. Yet this vet doesn't support the new GI Bill for vets cause they are "too" generous?!! To all you in service find your own heiress!!!

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Michelle O.

    Barack since your throwing stones at the windows of McCain's houses, don't let them bring up the Rezco issue. The deal we got from his wife for campain money was sooooo sweet. Remember how we saved over 300k on our mansion in the upscale hood now we can afford another illegal to do our laundry and the cooking.
    By the way can you get us a free trip to Hawaii for us and the kids on the campain tab........

    ps. Is Oprah still going to let us use her mansion in Colo. for your corination, I just love her don't you agree, she just makes me soooo proud
    LOL yo Babykins

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. bill mullis

    mcain wants to be president of my country and dont even know how many homes he owns staf will get back to you GIVE ME A BREAK THIS MAN LIKE HIS PREDISSOR IS A FOOL wake up america and be scared no more it wont work this time if americans vote with their heads FOUR MORE YEARS OF BUSH GOD HELP US ALL VOTE OBAMA 08 VOTE VOTE VOTE

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. John B. From New Hampshire

    google, songbird McCain... scary facts folks... this information is actually what sunk his chances in 2000. this needs to get out there before america makes the biggest mistake in human history!!

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Proud to be American

    Of course McCain is out of touch with the average American.... first of all what average American comes from a family of Admirals... I mean Grandfather, Father and they had him geared to do the same thing but it appear military career was not what he wanted... he deiced to divorce first wife, get rich new wife and venture into politics by any means necessary EXSPECIALLY with Cindy fortune to back him... he has been in office 26 years and one can not say one thing he has done for my great country.... Yes he was a POW takes a strong person to get shot down and become a POW... however, his 1st wife stood by him and he came home and cheated on her and just did her wrong. He had baby out of wedlock (the African American baby/girl unfortunately resembles him). His wife spends 750K a month on stuff.... heck what Average American makes that a year.... yes McCain is out of touch and no way can he relate ... I do not hold his ambition against him I just no he will not get my vote to enhance his ambitions.... Question??? Why do we not hear/see his children from both marriages???

    Obama 08

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Shrill for Hill

    McCain is an elitist. He said that you need to make over $5 million to be considered rich in America?!?! Now he can't remember how many homes he owns? He is out of touch and will pander to anybody to get a vote. He only cares about power. McBush is an empty suit and has no substance. He's too shallow, you can tell by his snarky answers.

    I know who I want to answer the phone at 3 a.m....

    Obama '08 – because McCain is too risky

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. John McCain

    Oops, I crapped my pants !

    August 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Fight hard now , lots of people want a fighter.

    Don did rezko pay for Obama house? WHy don't you just shortup idiot.

    You can't connect any wrong doing and yet you kept yapy yapy ..NO. connection with Rezko corruption charges. that is quite different with Keat 5 charges against McCain. Mccain have been investigated many times in wrong doing and he is a suspect on corrupt practices.

    So. ask me to proof my point and you do the same Now or shortup.

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. mel

    paulie_nj: "The fact that McCain is wealthy can only bolster the fact that he can manage money and was able to build his wealth, something he can also do for our country."

    .....except that he can't. he married into it. so he's really good at living off of someone else, and he seems to think all of america is his next prize.

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Greg

    Jealousy is an interesting emotion, that's for sure. If you want as many houses as McCain owns, go out and GET A JOB, and work for it. That's the American Dream. If you put your mind to it, you can make it happen.

    But...DO NOT steal from those who work for themselves to provide for the poor who are "too good" to work or just too lazy to find a job for themselves. Socialism is NOT the answer and not to mention that socialism is as un-American as un-American gets.

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. David Armendale, SF, CA

    McCain not remembering how many houses he owns? Maybe his $520.00 Ferragamo Loafers are too tight?! He and Cindy are worth over $100 Million, they fly around in private jets, and yet – Obama is the elitist?

    Another load of right-wing hooey!

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Chris B

    This is John McCain's "Willie Horton"/windsurfing moment....Obama will pounce on this and destroy the guy

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. MikeH

    Two things.

    1. Show McCain some respect, stop with the McSenile, McLiar, etc. He may be those things, but minimize this childish innuendo.

    2. Hit him hard and hit him unrelenting with charges and facts. Send him reeling into the ropes and keep him there.

    MCCain's campaign has started the Rove tactic of accusing Obama of what McCain himself is guilty of. Obama can't effectively use those same charges once they're leveled at him. He has to strike first and he has to start now and not let up.

    This 'Number of Houses" thing has a lot of potential, use it!

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Kevin, NC

    Is Cindy going to divest in the Belgium own beer company she is now maintaining her wealth at?

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Michelle, PA

    Uh, paulie, McCain didn't build and manage wealth. He dumped the wife who waited 5 years for him to come back from Vietnam to marry it.

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. obamaforyourmama

    Uh yeah, Mccain. And you called Obama elitist?

    August 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. End the madness

    A home to remember McCain-

    This is some of the last word's of Cpl. Gunnar Zwilling to his dad! "'It's gonna be a bloodbath" as he new they where unprepared to defend the area they had because of a failed Gov. back at home. Lets not forget the issues and whats at stake!

    Obama 08

    Bring them home and give them the tools they need until you do!!!!!!
    Big money only cares about money, stay focused, don't be fooled.

    August 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. R Wolf

    I wish someone would ask McCain what a loaf of bread or a gallon of bread costs. He has no more idea what regular Americans go through on a day to day basis then the Bush family did. Some people didn't vote for Al Gore because they thought he was too 'smart' so we got an idiot instead. Obama represents intelligence and an
    understanding of how everyday life is for so many Americans today.
    Please, don't let us have another four years of the current policies that have served to help destroy all the good things America stands for.

    August 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. don montgomery

    does john mccain have althiemers, are the doctors going to tell the public just imagine a president with althiemers disease

    August 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    72 years old... Who want's a grandpa to run the country? Who wants a another cowboy who shoots first and then think? Another war anyone? Don't let this man use religion and fear to get our country into more debt.

    August 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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