August 21st, 2008
12:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama takes swipe at McCain over houses

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Obama's campaign released a new ad, 'Seven'."]
(CNN) - Barack Obama’s campaign continued to hit John McCain on his failure to answer a question on the number of homes he owns with a new ad Thursday, as the presumptive Democratic nominee hammered the same point on the campaign trail in Virginia and the McCain camp battled back.

Watch: Obama hits McCain on homes

“Somebody asked John McCain, 'how many houses do you have?' and he said, 'I'm not sure, I’ll have to check with my staff,'” said Obama at a Thursday morning campaign stop. “True quote! 'I'm not sure, I'll have to check with my staff.' So they asked his staff and he said, 'at least four.' 'At least four.'

“Now think about that - I guess if you think that being rich means you gotta make five million dollars, and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong,” he continued. “But if you're like me and you've got one house - or you were like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so that they don't lose their home - you might have a different perspective. …

He also said that there was a “fundamental gap of understanding” between McCain’s world and “what people are going thru every single day here in America.”

The Republican’s campaign continued to press their long-time charge that Obama himself is an elitist. “Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?” said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?

“The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”

The Obama campaign’s new ad, released hours after McCain’s comment was published, also paints the portrait of John McCain as privileged and insulated from current economic woes. “Maybe you’re struggling just to pay the mortgage on your home. But recently, John McCain said ‘The fundamentals of our economy are strong,’” says the announcer in the 30-second spot, “Seven.”

“Hm,” he continues skeptically, as the ad flashes a picture of a house with a foreclosure sign in the front yard.

“Then again, that same day, when asked how many houses he owns, McCain lost track. He couldn’t remember. Well, it’s seven. Seven houses,” he continues. On-screen, the legend flashes: “it’s seven. worth 13 million dollars.”

The White House appears on-screen, as he concludes: “And here’s one house America can’t afford to let John McCain move into.”

The ad is Obama’s fifth negative spot in the past two days.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Republicans Hate America

    why is it that ads showing McCains own words is negative but paris hilton and britney spears ads are viewed as meaningful and with thought. Oh thats right because America is filled with proud ignorant rednecks.

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    So John McCain has lots of money, and lots of what. Good for him! Thats whats great about this can be successful, and stll be president. This sounds like the Dems are in panic mode. Lets face it...Barack Obama is not what you thought he was, and he's going to loose.

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Tyler in Raleigh

    American's complain that they hate negative ads, but boy do they work.

    Sorry, its back to politics as usual and we have no one to blame but ourselves. It plays to the worst of us and that is what we love, to roll around in our own filth with "gotcha" moments.

    Oh well, out with the new and back with the old. GO POLITICS!

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Doug R.

    We need positive change not McSame. I wonder if this Mr. McCain know how many oil rigs are currently out in the Gulf of Mexico.

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Woops, heheh.. 🙂

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. tedious898

    Biffington, Biff August 21st, 2008 12:02 pm ET


    let's all hit Obama on the fact that he is hitting back…

    Remember,,, the strategy is … NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS OR DOES…. "HIT" HIM ON IT!!

    ************'re my hero! Glad to have Obama supporters like you

    August 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. tom

    Please people let's not elect another dopey President!

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Read My McLips

    A Message From John:

    Stop whining you morons. So what I can't remember how many homes I have, with my fortune, you wouldn't remember either. Just keep sucking up the party line and get in line to vote for me. I can't wait forever to send your sons and daughters to Iraq, I mean Afghanistan...ur Georgia. Oh you know what I mean, just vote for me in November, the AMERICAN President.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. WB, PSL

    Where were all these dumby REPUBLICANS? You're now coming out of the grave. You lying piece of ****!!

    McSane, is an elitist and that's why all the big corporations are backing him, so that they can send all the jobs to China and India.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. carolflowery

    after watching the cnn specials on both candidates, we know now that obama can down and dirty with the rest of them, and let me as this, why was JFK's wealth never a problem with the citizens of the United States, what the hell has this got to do with a dang thing

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. hillybilly

    mccain's world
    mccain's world
    party down

    [sing to the theme of wayne's world]

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. john

    There are NO PRIVATE BEACHES in Hawaii! Look it up. That's a fact. –So there's yet another Republican lie to smear Obama. How disgusting. Republicans are pure evil.

    I'll bet McCain & his twinkie actually own a private beach somewhere though!

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. mississippi teacher

    Being rich...very rich is not a bad thing. Its a sign of sucess. By the time Obama is 72 I bet he will be a multi millionaire too. He is very intelligent and gifted writer. So why slam McCain on being rich? Obama is still more wealthy than most Americans anyway!!

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Silence Dogood

    Why does Obama resort to negative attacks? I thought he was about Change. I guess the polls must be tightening enough to stop his elite swagger.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. A. Gra

    That gaffee reminds me of someone who has that common problem! President Bush!

    If you really want to destroy America, go ahead and vote for McBush and live in another 4 years of H E L L! Guaranteed. McBush will be a replicate of the incompetent Bush.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. EDW

    Obama went to Hawaii to visit extended family with his immediate family. His half sister and grandmother still live there. That is no different than my visit to Nebraska and Maryland to visit family. Get a grip people. If you don't like him just be honest with yourself. Say it out, say it proud : I WON'T HAVE NO BLACK MAN AS PRESIDENT. You racist pricks.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    It's about time Obama gets with the program...he needs to defend himself.

    August 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Chesapeake, Va

    Everything in my being screams McCain is a fake. The only reason he is even being considered for presidency is because he fits the following criteria:

    1. White
    2. Male
    3. Old as dirt
    4. Military experience
    5. Again white

    If Obama was everything he is smart, intelligent, intellectual, gifted, even-minded, and the list goes on; plus white. The conversations being held about him wouldn't even exsist. I wish I didn't know how many houses I own!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Ct Repub

    Ohhhhh Congresssss, come out and Playyyyay........
    I guess we will have to wait for Pelosi to finish her book tour. This is what you will get from Obama.....absolutely nothing.

    People, please wake whats right for this country and vote for McCain.

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. 52 yr. old white Houston oil man

    For some reason Obama is seen as the flip-flopper when "mavric McCain" has flipped on just about every issue. During the Republicna primairy debates at RR Library, Anderson Cooper asked if America was better off than they were 8 years ago and McCain said we were. Only Huckabee said we were worse off. Now McCain has an add out saying were worse off than we were 4 years ago. Which is it? Obama needs to highlight all of the about turns McCain has made.

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    McLoser and McMistress

    No, I don't want any beer bimbo in my White House. She had an affair with a married man, and we're supposed to have her as our first lady. She's more like our first mistress.

    John and Cindy Lou, the losers of the century.

    Are you casting the first stone???

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Who Cares?

    Two millionaires doing the school yard rumble over the number of homes they own? Please. Obama is on his way to the same wealth as McCain. McCain just has a 25 year head start. Michelle Obama said that this would be the only time Barack could run for president because after this election they will be too wealthy and out of touch with the population. None of these candidates are in touch with what we everyday folks go through. They have forgotten their pasts (especially Obama).

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Mygeographyisconfused

    The last time I checked Hawaii was a U.S. state and Hawaiians are U.S. citizens. Also Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii.
    Tell all the Hawaiians that you think they are "out of touch" with America!

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Bob

    Wise up.............. Or is it Grow UP............... Obama!

    You want to be president, Act like a man, not a school Child.

    Or is acting like a man, not in your Pay Grade?


    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Tom

    Docreal: That would be a reasonable conclusion, if it weren't for the fact alot of democrats are doing just that.

    August 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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