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

Obama takes swipe at McCain over houses

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.obama.ad.seven.jpg 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. Mckee

    The real John McSame you don't know.

    August 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Pam

    LOL, and McCain says Obama is elitist!! This needs to be played continuously on all the news stations because you know darn well it would be on 24 hours a day if Obama had said that.

    August 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Laidetea

    The spokesperson for McCain is a lot younger than McCain himself so it is obviously true that McCain has to surround himself with people who know more about him (McCain) than he knows of himself. That's pathetic. WE NEED A PRESIDENT THAT CAN MAKE HIS OWN SOUND DECISIONS NOT SOME YOUNGER PERSON WITH THOUGHTS OF CONQUERING AMERICA. OBVIOUSLY JOHN MCCAIN IS NOT WORTHY OF THE JOB BECAUSE HE CAN'T EVEN ANSWER ANY QUESTION WITHOUT PAYING YOUNGER PEOPLE TO STAND UP FOR HIM.

    MCCSHAMES IS NOT PRESIDENT MATERIAL. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM.....PERIOD

    August 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Shana

    If Obama is so worried about McCain being "out of touch" why doesn't he donate the sales from his books to charity? Oh that's right. He's trying to get to where McCain has already been. Now who's "hating"?

    August 21, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. banderson

    I hope the media asks John McCain about his comments about the reinstating the draft.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. john

    read the transcript of McCains answer.
    he starts to say that they are "condos where... I will have my staff check"
    clearly he is not sure cause its a condo building. perhaps through cindy's holding s they own it and he doesnt know the # of units.!
    the scandal.

    this is the dumbest BS so far in this REALLy long and dumb campaign.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Spencer

    Hit him where it hurts Barack. John McCain is so out of touch with the average American. I bet he owns way more than 4 houses too.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. CT voter

    YES!! HAHA that's awsome! How does it feel to have a taste of your own medicine!! Keep it up Obama camp this is great, they wanna play rough teach them that these republican liar's better be careful what they wish for! THEY ASKED FOR IT!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. mama4obama

    Obama is right. Im from Arizona and quite frankly McCain has done nothing for me. He is part of the reason that Arizona is on the verge of bankruptcy...the other part being the fact that Arizona is overran by illegal alians.

    John McCain couldnt survive a day in my shoes...struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table. I dont want another nutjob in the White house. I want someone that is calm and collected and makes good decisions on behalf of the people. The only elitest running for president wears diapers at night.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Barack will win if he gets as tough as Hillary

    Thank goodness Obama is finally getting tough with McBush!

    The reason Obama hasn't been winning is because he had been too nice to McBush.

    Not anymore!

    No more free ride for the man who dumped his car-wreck victim wife and wears 500 dollar shoes!

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. jason

    Ah Democrats and Republicans...Of all the serious issues in this country that need to be addressed this is what we get. What a bunch of crap.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Just wondering..............does anyone know if Cindy McCain won the Buffalo Chip contest?

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Tony

    This is a good line of attack for Obama. The fact is, McCain hasn't been in touch with everyday Americans, well, ever. He's been a politician since he got out of the military, and has been married to a mega-heiress for most of that time. Rich people have been doing great in this economy, so they may not see that everyone else is suffering!

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Charlie

    Sen Obama and Gov Kaine might want to look in there own back yards.
    First off who did Sen McCain"s wife get the loans from to buy their
    houses? Does the name Rezko come to mind? Doubt it but that is okay. Since when does it matter how many homes you have as to whether you are an elitist? I know personally 5 people who own more than one home and I don't think they are rich since the families in question both work and provide funding to pay for them. This kind of stuff is silly and I thought Sen Obama was against this type of stuff and just wanted to talk about issues. YEA RIGHT

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. deedee michigan

    oh really nobama!!! you are really opening up a can of worms with your connection to housing fraud felon. Fight like a man, not like the school boy that you are.

    You shouldnt play in someon elses sandbox unless yours if free of cat poop.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Joe Green

    Bear in mind that most of McCain's money is from his wife, who is a successful businessperson in her own right.

    The Republicans tried to pin the same label on Kerry, remember? He married a multi-millionaire (Theresa Heinz) and that is a bad thing?

    I am disappointed in Obama for taking this low road.

    And yea, being a millionaire in this country ain't no big thing anymore. There are more than a million of us and counting. Of course, that says more about the value of the dollar than anything else.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. McKAY

    Now it seems to me that Barack's camp has wake up from slumber; fighting back as soon as you can, negative or issues ad work very very well especially those who watch tv for few minutes or hear sound bites for few seconds. Republicans 're good in doing it and they will not give it up. Nobody is talking about Dumb Bush and his misery he puts in every Americans– is all about Obama, he is this and that. Americans have short memories and 're politically dumb; they wouldn't mind voting for another idiot in office just to fulfill their ego and status quo. Obama has raised a lot money use those money wisely...don't be like Hillary who paid thousands of thousands of dollars to incompetent advisers and still lose.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. John in Ohio

    "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?"

    Made $4 million last year thanks to books he wrote, not thanks to inherited beer money.

    There are no private beaches in Hawaii.

    Rezko raised money for Republican governors and co-chaired a multimillion dollar fundraiser for George W Bush.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. McWar Turn Into McRove

    Dear Joe,
    Barack has to defend himself. You think he's going to sit around and let the Karl Rove onslaught attack him. You're a bigger fool than John is.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Just the Issues Please

    I supported Obama in the primaries and may end up voting for him depending on his position on offshore drilling, but I gotta tell you....THIS IS SILLY SEASON.

    I'm sick of the school yard name calling by BOTH of them. This country has some major issues and Russia is waltzing across Georgia as we speak...who the heck cares about how many houses he owns? Ask Chris Dodd if he helped finance any of them.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. David

    Well, must be nice not to know how many houses you own. maybe he can donate a few to the people who make less than $50,000 a year who have lost their home because of his and Bush's policies that obviously and conveniently allow the rich a very nice tax break. And also, if McCain calls me his "friend"' one more time,, I'm gonna vomit. Take to the rocking chair McCain and let a man run the country.

    August 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. average joe

    vote for the green party

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Bill From Florida

    Is Obama going crazy, is this all he has on McCain?? Who cares how many houses McCain has.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. CM

    Joe Kiloz seems to have found the caps and dash keys on his keyboard. Saying it louder doesn't make it true Joe.

    Obama's house in Chicago had a low market price even before Rezko got involved. Obama has repeatedly said it was a stupid move on his part and has been investiagted and found innocent of any wrongdoings.

    Contrast that to McCain who runs his camp with remnants of Rove's campaign management, former lobbyists (who are not going to curry favors from their former employers righ?) and a GOP smear machine that blatently misrepresents the facts (check factcheck on most of their ads).

    McCain is the one out of touch. Why would he be in touch with hundreds of millions in the bank? When last did he face issues related to the common man? Besides almost faling out of school that is.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Christy

    Notice how he cheated on his wife after she became disfigured. No loyalty at home, to the ones you "love", translates to no loyalty to strangers- us, Americans. Excellent show lastnight CNN.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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