August 21st, 2008
06:15 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP highlights Obama-Rezko land deal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Obama purchased land from Chicago businessman Tony Rezko in order to enlarge the yard next to this house."]
(CNN) – It appears both presumptive presidential nominees have vulnerablilities when it comes to their homes.

Democrats and Sen. Barack Obama have pounced on Sen. John McCain’s inability in a recent interview to say definitely how many homes he owns with wife Cindy.

Now, Republicans are hitting back hard by highlighting a land deal between Obama and Tony Rezko, a Chicago businessman who was convicted in June on federal corruption charges.

The Republican National Committee launched a new Web site - – Thursday. The site focuses on Obama’s relationship with Rezko and collects information about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s ties to the disgraced businessman.

California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa also took the opportunity Friday to redirect attention away from McCain’s home ownership and onto Obama and his ties to Rezko. Suggesting that Obama had gotten a sweetheart deal in the transaction with Rezko, Issa said Obama received “a preferential Chicago-type deal.” Issa also told reporters on Capitol Hill that Obama had been the subject of “a near criminal investigation” and that there are doubts about whether the land deal with Rezko was legal.

Watch: Rep. Issa on Obama's land deal

In mid-2005, the Obamas and the Rezkos both closed transactions on adjoining pieces of property. The lot owned by the Rezkos was empty and the Obama land contained the Illinois senator’s newly purchased home. About six months later, Obama approached Rezko about buying a piece of the empty lot next to the Obamas’ property in order to enlarge the yard next to their home. The land deal occurred when it was widely known that Rezko was under investigation by federal authorities.

When news of the land deal surfaced in late 2006, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that he regretted not being more sensitive to how the land deal may have appeared. Obama has maintained that his conduct in the deal with legal and ethical and Rezko’s federal conviction was unrelated to the deal with Obama.

Raising questions about the nature and propriety of Obama’s relationship with Rezko was a strategy Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign employed during the primary battle against Obama.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. jason, tx

    Give me a break. He bought a house... OOOHHHHHH! give me a break.

    August 21, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Family man


    August 21, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Bob (NC)

    What an ugly house... I'm so suprised from Obama. No wonder why he wants to move to the White House.

    August 21, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. Delay man

    Why Didn’t McCain Call Ralph Reed To Testify During Abramoff Investigation?

    August 21, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Nikole-Independent Thinker

    This issue has already been investigated extensively by the Chicago press, and Obama did nothing wrong, or illegal. So why are we hearing about this again? Do we expect to hear about all of McCain's past investigations? It would only be fair.

    August 21, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. anonymous

    Let's get down to business. These 2 are just too much. I have never heard or seen so much bickering going on between 2 supposedly well educated men and thy both are trying to run our country. It is so shameful to our country , all this garbage. They both need to get down to business and look at the main issues of our country that need to be addressed. This is what the American Family would really like to hear. We do not care how many homes somone has and how many times someone has been married. This is totally irrelevant to the American people as long as they are a proven honest hard working man that can do something prosperous for THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    August 21, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. hillybilly

    debunked .try again repubs.

    August 21, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. WeBoDave

    What is Rep. Issa'a evidence of "a near crminal investigation"? I bet this will be a Republican talking point even with no evidence. This has been the Republicans strategy for at least the last nine years, if you say it often enough and loudly enough people will believe it, regardless of the actual facts.

    August 21, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  9. theo

    Shame on you ,desperate Republicans.He did nothing wrong. What else do you want to bring.? You have nothing more to offer.
    No wonder you do not know the number of houses you have.
    Such a pity ,and you are following this guy who has lost his memory.
    Oh! Griff did your mother teach you to have manners.?

    August 21, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. What a cutie!

    McCain is a cutie.

    August 21, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  11. Barbara - NC

    Cindy wasn't cleared – she was found GUILTY !!!!!!

    How about Cindy stealing drugs and WAS CONVICTED but kept out of PRISON because she was married to a senator that her mafia-related daddy helped get a start in AZ politics?

    Where's that CNN??????

    August 21, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  12. Russell

    7 Houses?

    And you call Obama an elitist? It wouldn't matter, but McCain can't havve it both ways. You can't say you fell the pain and live like that.

    You can't say you understand mortgage crisis, nor can you say you're a maverick when you're in bed with the bad guys.

    August 21, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. anonmouys

    i am so annoyed of hearing clinton and her supportter

    August 21, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  14. linda from South Dakota

    silly silly,, just stupid when one has to stoop this low,, mccains giulty of war -crimes,,,,,,, why srgue,,, its provin,,,,,check out his site,,,,americans,,,,,,

    August 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. I will never drink the Kool-aid

    You Obama zombies really crack me up. Your boy is so Chicago crooked it's pitiful and you just follow along chanting his name. I hope you all come to your senses and get out of the kool-aid line before he changes the formula to the one Jim Jones used.

    GOBama and take Aunt Ester back to Chicago with you!

    August 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Just Became a Former Obama Supporter


    I now support McCain, I don't want a crook running this great nation.

    August 21, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Typical bankrupt conservative GOP fare. When you have nothing to run on but failure and have nothing new or original to offer yourself, attack the other guy in such a way that people will question his character or ability to lead. The GOP is too stupid to realize the public is fed up with political fighting and negative Rove-style campaigning. That's why the conservative Republicans will get their butts deservedly blistered on election day!

    August 21, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. Jim in Orlando

    Obama ... Illegal ? No. Unethical ? Yes.

    McCain ... Illegal ? No. Unethical ? Hardly. Those men out there who don't envy a guy who marries a pretty blond beer heiress worth 100 million plus .. you can vote for Dobama. She isn't worth half what Kerry's wife was worth though, but I'd rather chug a brew than a bottle of catsup any day. This Bud's for you John !

    August 21, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. RJ, CA

    The Rezko Obama deal epitomizes Obama's sleazy Chicago politcs - and everything else going forward. Nothing more needs to be said - except that OBAMA IS NOT THE ONE!

    August 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. banderson

    The Republcans were planning to run this ad anyway and this is just a opportunity for them to try to change the subject. The fact of the matter is John McCain has at least seven homes and he doesn't even know or he knew it and didn't want to tell anyone. Either way the guy is out of touch. Senator Obama needs to attack back and attack hard and attack constantly because second place gets you nothing.

    August 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Is this the best that McRich can pull out of his hat? The supposed connection between Obama and Rezko? How pathetic! McStupid knows there were never any criminal charges filed against Obama. He just has to throw bull--and sees if it sticks! What a sad pathetic little man he is. He has no real issues he knows anything about, with the exception of going to war and his precious surge. He has been reduced to bringing out the POW card for sympathy everytime he makes a speech. We all know your record,John. You don't have to insert it into everyday conversation. Your record has nothing to do with our everyday life, and how we're going to feed our kids and pay our mortgages! Oh, I forgot! You don't have to worry about paying your MANY,MANY mortgages,do you John? You are up there in the rarified air of the super rich. Go look for a real job, John. I'm sure there's a Walmart store somewhere in Arizona that need a greeter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. Viva Obama

    After McCain's election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, three of which were to Keating's Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989.


    August 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. Joe Reg

    McCain owns 16 houses in 8 States. These are standing personal houses folks. That is why when asked, he did not want to tell how many.

    And the same people who run the presidential campaign of Bush is also running his campaign. The repubs are doomed this year.

    Go Obama go.

    OB 08/12.

    August 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. Shannon call McCain Exxon John, that's funny considering that Obama voted for the CHENEY ENERGY BILL that gave millions of tax payer dollars to big oil. Exxon John as you call him voted no. Obama gets more donations from oil than McCain, why don't you try for facts instead of catchy little jingles. You know jingles like hope and change, how about substance and character, two things sadly lacking in Obama.

    August 21, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. Arkansas Undertaker

    At least Obama knows how many homes he owns you dipstick!!!!


    August 21, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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