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. Kurt in PA

    Tell me John McCain, how does it feel?

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. ree

    The only one who can make mistakes is Obama and get away with it.

    Stop this about his first wife, we don't know the whole story because we weren't there. Remember he was not home for alot of years and she could have made another life for herself. Also, if you talk about him, what about the people Obama threw under the bus?

    Some of McCains houses could be his wife's, or maybe he bought one for his mother or his children. Give me a break with all this.

    I know you Obama supporters are getting scared. The polls are not what you like them to be. He is not a landslide and you are picking on everything you can.

    Now that the troops will be home soon, you don't have that anymore. You are running out of things to blame Sen. McCain for. So, now lets count houses.

    Also, I would rather Cindy has first lady then someone who is just now proud to be American and who is very racist.

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. MJE WPG

    DUMB & DUMBER take your pick

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Need answers

    How come CNN is not covering Obama's opposition to "the born alive infant protection act of Illinois??"

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Beverly

    So many houses that he can't count them.

    Didn't know that he was still married when he applied for a marriage license with Cindi.

    Lied about cheating on his wife with Cindi.

    Had AFFAIRS while married to his wife who had been seriously injured.

    Does not admit to Cindi having a poor half sister.

    Definitely not someone that has my vote. He reminds me of the Chinese who pick the more physically attractive girl over the less attractive girl to make them look better.

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Pat MO

    Hey Guys, It's not about the houses – it's about memory loss and the inability to construct a sensible response.

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Chris

    So the guy is rich...? Big deal, when did being rich mean you were a scumbag? I seem to re-call a 2004 election in which a certain John Kerry had around 2 billion in the bank... but oh ya, hes a Democrat so its different.... Please, just be quiet Obamabots, if your guy is now resorting to calling McCain out on his homes, he is done.

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Wes

    As long as George Bush & John McBush throw a few morsels to their sheep the Good Bushies keep posting away like Nero & Company are doing a great job with this country.

    It starts at the top people and just how bad does it have to get before you use your God given common sense and vote these incompetent criminals out of office?

    August 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Greg

    If you Democrats spent as much time improving your situation instead of complaining about others who have done better than you, you too wouldn't know how many houses you own. Jealous? Of course you are, it's obvious!

    Instead of congratulating him for being successful (which is the only reasonable response) you complain that he has more than you do. So what? Life isn't with it. If you want to improve your life, go to school, get a better job. Whatever you do, DO NOT rely on the government...that won't get you anywhere.

    The government is here to protect our borders and manage our currency. The government has no business being involved in anything else. It certainly shouldn't be stealing from those who work to give it to those too lazy to get a job!! Those of you who are complaining are jealous losers.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Jerry

    I guess hypocrisy REALLY knows no bounds. How much money did the NObamas make last year? The NObama's income last year: over five million $dollars$. How can Senator NObama understand how most of us feel with that kind of money in the piggy bank? So what if Senator McCain has one, five, ten houses. He should be applauded instead of crucified. I am starting to be ashamed of my party. The Democratic Party wasn't this bad before Senator NObama declared his candidacy.

    Of course, Senator NObama is trying to win the presidency no matter what. Can this man and his misguided supporters be trusted with our future? Seriously, all voters should give it deep, deep thought!

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. HA

    Obama's housing dealings are matter of public record if anyone will bother to look. John McCains dealings are not. Ask John McCain what he had to do to purchase his last house. Follow the money on that one and see were it leads. Hint: After his failed 2000 bid for the White House; what did John McCain do with all the money he recieved from donors?

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. 57 territories

    by the way , all you fools who incessantly mention the Obama 57 states gaffe....

    There are 57 territories that hold democratic primaries. So the only slip was to say state and not territory. He got the number of contests right. Cut the guy some slack, he sleeps 4 hours a night and is running around all day.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Randy in Pennsylvania

    This campaign totally sucks!!!!!!!

    McCain's camp can't come up with anything positive so all they ever does is lie/rip on Obama and all Obama can do is defend himself. He doesn't want to go negative because that is what a REAL CHRISTIAN is supposed to do. BUT that is all McCain does.

    What really sucks is that America seems to want the negativity (per the polls). McCain wins, we deserve to go down in flames.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. Nathan, Texas

    Bill from Florida, check it out. Obama pointed out that McCain not only has seven houses, but also said that the economy was good, that he doesn't know much about the economy, that one is rich once they get 5 million a year and that McCain wants to give companies like Exon 1.2 million dollar tax breaks. Just letting you know there is more to the story. If you haven't noticed already the republicans are in bed with big businesses while the democrats are working for the people. I am independent and can easily see the difference.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Tennisguypitt

    You Obama haters are hypocritical again!

    Obama '08

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. chris (hartford, ct)

    What on earth is wrong with arugula? In a nation that is becoming more and more over-weight (which in turn causes healthcare to become exponentially more expensive) should it really be okay to paint eating healthy as elitist?

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Julie

    According to McCain's definition of being rich, Obama is not there yet....if he only made 4 million dollars, he will need one more million to qualify as rich!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Dee

    McCain is a McMess! This guy has issues...serious issues. It seems as if he doesn't really know too much about anything. He always has to check with someone else about his personal things. I think he just tries to get his lies right....or he really just doesn't know. That's what happens when you are up in age. It won't surprise me if McSame doesn't even know his own name in a year. I don't trust him. He is just Bush's mini-me anyway. Whatever Bush wants...McCain will do. He also wants to bring back the draft. He is against abortion. about a blast from the past! If you leave it up to will not have a say in anything.

    Obama in "O8" (Because I care about my family's well-being. Do you care about your family???)

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Elly

    I hope they know how absurd McSame looks when he tries to paint
    Obama as an elitist...the owner of 10 homes..Obama owns 1
    Obama would have to go many years to catch up to the wealth the MCCains have
    watch the great revealing show on MCSame and Obama by John King and suzanne Melville you will learn alot!!! excellent shows by both!!!
    Senator Obama worked hard to get what he has in life so he can relate to the average american and their hardships
    McCain has had wealth for years
    I ask you in all fairness WHO is the elitist here…Certainly NOT Obama

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Daniel So Cal

    I think McCain's problem is that if you are going to campaign as an average American, you should at least know how many homes you own. I think most people could see someone owning two homes, but four is alot. Given that his wife is worth $100 million, pretty much trumps Obama and his home and the Republican claim that Obama is an elitist.

    Perhaps McCain forgot about the "surge" in homes he purchased.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Patrick, Takoma Park MD

    My guess is if you asked McCain about Arugula, he'd say it was an island in the Caribbean.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. Martha

    McShame needs to stop the b.s. about the vacation in Hawaii. Obama has relatives, i.e. Grandmother, and friends in that State. And so what if he takes vacation at Granny's house. Maybe he could ask McShame to rent one of the 10 houses he doesn't know about.

    August 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Since when does being successful disqualify someone from being President? Obama isn't eating PB&J sandwiches. This is a nonissue. Try again Obama, your polls are dropping faster than a cheap hookers panties.

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Doug D

    McCain's arguement that Obama is an elitist doesn't hold much water when you either can't remember or don't know how many houses you own. This is the kind of thing that gives campaign staffers an instant headache.

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Liberal4Obama

    Do we need any more confirmation that John McCain is an Elitist? I mean really, $520 Ferragamo loafers and 10 properties scattered around the country.

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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