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. sky

    ...how about the number of jets he's crashed.......incompetant boob

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. NoMcSame

    ABC and I stand by that. I don't care who Obama takes as Vice as long as it is not Billary. Billary is helping McSame and we will all see the kind of low life person she really is. By the way Scranton is one of Americas top DYING cities so I would like to send Billary back there. Maybe after Obama wins he can have the town build windmills so that the windbag Billary can provide the power for the city.
    McSame will draft your kids to send them off to DIE people. Check your vote. McSame is not one of us. He has not worked in 26yrs. He is making a fool out of some of you.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Unify

    McCain is disgusting! Many THOUSANDS

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    cnn, it's not negative if it's true. It could by some be considered a counter attack.

    cnn–stop covering for mcwar, it's becoming to obvious to anyone that is paying attention!

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. NotFallingInLine.org

    No matter how you look at it, John McCain and his wife are mega rich. Neither of them has ever wanted. Even while McCain was a POW he received special treatment while his fellow POWs suffered and died. Today John McCain wants you to believe that he is looking out for your best interests. Yet, all his record has shown is that he has supported the rich and wealthy his entire government career. Also, in his book, he wrote of his single goal of becoming President of USA. All this so that he can prove to his dead father and grandfather that he can achieve a level greater than four stars; and at the expense of us the American people. If we vote John McCain into the Presidency, we WILL get what we ask for: more wars and a very large bill for our children.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. John Starnes

    Let's see.....it seems McCain owns TEN houses.....must be nice to lose track of that! Then again, he can't remember Shia vs. Shiite, Al Qaida vs. Iran, Czech Republic, borders of crucial countries, chimes "support our troops, I was a POW" then votes against the GI Bill for our troops coming home.....since snide remarks about arugula is the best this campaign can muster after Brittany and Hilton, it looks like raw desperation has set in. Heaven help us if McCain ends up in Bush's still-warm seat in the White House!

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. susie

    Obama thinks there are 57 states. McCain needs to do an add on that one.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Steve

    I'm not sure why everyone has their underwear in a twist over what these two guys are worth. McCain married into a wealthy family.
    Obama wrote a couple of books and got royalties for doing so. It's the American Dream to hit the jackpot. Why are we acting like this is a bad thing? It's a bad thing if you're a communist who believes everyone should get the same benefits, no matter where they are in society.

    And by the way, a "million dollar mansion" is no big deal if you live around a big city. And believe me, it's definitely not a mansion.

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Biffington, Biff

    HEY.....

    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!!

    If he doesn't fight back.... call him weak... (and hit him harder)
    If he DOES fight back... degrade his campaign of "change"

    You know.... like with the troops... we were ready to go with attacks WHICHEVER way he went... (visit... attack for using as props.... DONT visit... attack for neglecting our heros).... ok.... READY.... "BREAK"

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. KenM

    Obama made plenty...millions...during this campaign (the book)....he will not have to worry 'bout the price of gas or the mortgage...it's typical chicago politics....there is no change with Obama as we have seen

    August 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. steve a, texas

    I just thought I would take time out from counting my house's to say "go Obama,Obama 08", Now back to counting my houses.

    August 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. John Doe

    And of course, McCain still doesn't know who's the president of Russia, can't remember how many houses he has, thinks car tires dont need to be inflated in order to get good mileage and STILL gives speeches as if he were teaching people as old as he is and stuck in a nursing home how to play Wii sports. LOL! I've said it before, I'll say it again: Obama will bury the non-native-born citizen so deep the history of the election will qualify as a dual-thesis subject on politics _and_ archaeology.

    August 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Cheri from VA, North and Southwest

    Why does the caption say that "Obama Takes a Swipe at McCain?" It should instead read, "John McCain: Another Republican Elitist Running for President?

    Get your heads out of your hindquarters and report fair and equitably, CNN!!! I am sure that you reporters do not have 13 houses nor do you make $5 million a year and your spouses or significant others, if you have them, are probably not worth $100+ million.

    Report the facts and stop sensationalizing and subliminally attacking and disparaging Barack Obama, that is not the media's job!!! Americans get enough of that from the Republican party and Fox Noise (yes Noise and NOT news!)

    August 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Jordan

    McCain supporters never cease to amaze me. How can you listen to Obama and say he is an elitist, negative and not ready to lead. Before he was running for office the man wouldn't even fly on a private because he wanted to sit with everyday folk and hear what they had to say. If the McCain gets voted in don't be suprised when America is considered the joke around world for another 4 more years.

    August 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Franky

    "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?"

    Don't worry, once he losses in the General election, he's gonna be the biggest elitist in the world! LOL!! And guess what? He won't have to cling to guns and religion!! LOL!!! Don't believe me, just ask your boy Senator McCain!

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. JC

    The worst part about these recent attacks by Obama against McCain is McCain could turn right around and throw the same attacks back, just changing the name. If Obama attacks McCain, it really should be on something that can't also be attributed to Obama. It makes Obama look like a hypocrite and I am not really sure what kind of benefit he thinks he is getting by doing it?

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. JTSpangler

    "Obama unsure how many positions he's taken" - which is worse?

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Chris

    Do none of you realize that all politicians are rich?
    The fact that they're successful is the reason you'd want them as president, so they can do for our country what they did for themselves.

    In either case I wouldn't elect a president who sees the fallen soldiers of past wars in his audience. Sounds a bit crazy to me.

    oops.. I forgot that I'm not supposed to mention real gaffes

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. tren

    THESE ADS ARE DEFINATELY NOT NEGATIVE BUT TRUTHFUL. THERE IS A DISTINCTION.

    GO BAMA!

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    John McShame: The Elitist, Shoot From the Hip, Two-Faced Lying Adulterer:

    McSame is worth over $100 million!
    He owns 10 houses
    He flies around on a $12.6 million corporate jet
    He walks around in $520 ITALIAN loafers

    And as SUPER RICH that John McSame is; he collects SOCIAL SECURITY check!
    John McShame definition of RICH IN AMERICA: Being rich in the U.S. meant earning at least $5 million a year!

    WOW! In John McSame america, ordinary americans DON NOT exist!!!

    John McSame is For the SUPER RICH, LOBBYISTS, BIG OIL CORPORATIONS...AND NOT FOR ORDINARY AMERICANS!!!!!

    OBAMA '08/'12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Montana is Obama Country

    Here John since you can't remember...I'll help you..

    The answer, according to the group Progressive Accountability, is an even 10 homes, ranches, condos, and lofts, together worth a combined estimated $13,823,269.

    Thats what you have... JSM...take note.. elitist..!

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Sally

    This is just ridiculous now; they're both multi-millionaires with expensive homes and private school kids. It's pretty disingenuous to try to compete for who is most in touch with average Americans, considering how little either of their lives is like that of regular people. So why don't they just shut up wth the stupid personal attacks and focus on proposing economic solutions?!!

    August 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Ice

    You all are idots, who cares how many houses he has? He's a republican, and that's all that matters. You think democrats ever made our country good? I say no sir, amen.

    August 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. lescroc

    What business is it of OBAMA, how many houses Mcain has, as long as Mcain is taking care of his property. Is it not part of the American way to own. Come Obama grow up, go back to where you came from. Where ever that is!.

    August 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. V Independent

    Senator Obama is the best you can do? How many houses McCain has or does not have...per your words: "if your like me and you've got one house" though did you forget your house is a mansion worth over a million dollars? How about those who can't even afford a small house? I like many voters have lost faith in Senator Obama. Now I know why I voted for the other candidate. I don't know who I'll vote for as president though I do know it won't be Obama and now I am stomping against him as he turns negative I turne negative. ...same old politics just different faces & names.

    August 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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