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. William, from Cali!

    Is this really about who owns the most houses? They both and their "PR guys", really have "no clue", of what it means "to make, ends meet"...............Who are they trying to fool?

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    and “what people are going thru every single day here in America.”

    "thru"? Really? I know it's online reporting, but isn't there a spell check for these things?

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. DocReal

    Everyone who starts his post with "I am life long democrat voting for McCain" is lying. They are republicans hoping and praying that the election comes more quickly than John McSenile can lose it.

    It won't. Obama will win in a landslide. Should have locked him in a closet until the election.

    August 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Jorge

    Note to Ice:

    "You think democrats ever made our country good? I say no sir, amen"

    Check out James Carville's commentary on this same CNN web site.

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. smarter than you

    I don't care about their money...

    Obama started making real money only after his book started selling.
    Unlike McCain who married into it.

    Problem with McCain is he's always been a loose cannon, who's now an OLD loose cannon.
    Sword rattling, reckless, foolish old man. Lost ALL independent credibility when he supported Bush.

    Obama is nowhere NEAR as risky as McCain.

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Viet Vet

    Richard J.-Yes I can. Do you bother to balance yuour checkbook? Moron

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. JJ

    again, I say......Why is this race even close???

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Splurge

    Changing positions and tactics he opposed during primary to get elected is one thing. But with ads like this, Obama has degenerated into the very type of politician he claimed to be running against. Has he been lying to us all along?

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Only His Staff Knows For Sure

    Questions For John's Staff:

    How many houses does he own?
    How many pairs of $600 dollar shoes does he have?
    How many times has he lost his temper?
    Does he ever work on weekends?
    Does he read, ever?
    What does he do when he doesn't get his way?
    Does he have any minority friends?
    Why did he vote against the King Holiday Bill?
    Will you be able to vote for him?

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Matt from VA

    Joe Green please give me a break, her money was given to her, she earned none of it.
    You have the nerve to say you are disappointed in Obama for taking the low road but yet you support McBush!!!!!!!!!! The bus driver on the low road express. Hypocrite!
    Our only hope to pull this country back up is Obama in '08!!!

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Michelle

    Who cares?

    At least REZKO wasn't involved!

    HotAir is another good
    site to read.

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. wskee

    It's a shame that McCain has dragged Obama down in the mud with him – but necessary, as Americans are literally too stupid to respond to anything else.

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. steve

    I don't care if you are a democrat or republican, but how can anyone even think of voting for some who doesn't even really know how to use a computer? Seriously, how out of touch is that? He can't even do what we are doing now–posting comments. Do you think he could understand issue like cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism? I am not biased against elderly people who can't use computers, but that should be a given now for the most important job in the country. Heck, I bet the receptionist that takes the President's calls has to at least know office XP. =D

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. db

    Honestly, who gives a rip. The mendacity of hype, indeed!

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Herman in LA

    Oh it's getting good and heating up get his azz Barack...

    August 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Robert

    Where is that quick reply from McCain on such a straight forward question? DUH...He doesn't even know how many houses he owns??
    Many people were suspecious of his quick replies during the recent Faith Forum until we found out that he wasn't in a soundproof room and was actually late getting to the forum...probably because he was most likelly overhearing it on his way there. McCain is really the Elitist along with being a proven lair and at very least way to much of an Old slow witted dirty politician.

    August 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. carlo

    First of all, McCain and the Rethuglicans have been slinging mud at Obama for weeks now, so payback is a beautiful thing. Second of all, Rezko was convicted for campaign fraud, and Obama was not arrested, tried, or officially implicated in anything. He paid for his ONE house. That dog won't hunt.

    I am amazed at how many people are saying "big deal" while they are living from check to check. Everyone from Hawaii is not rich. Besides, according to the McCain standard of $5 million being rich, Obama came up about $1 million short.

    August 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Lisa

    No political official is in touch with 'real Americans' - Democrat, Republican or otherwise. The current field of candidates and the government itself is nothing but a rich person's club where officials and hopefuls do what's best for their own stock portfolios first. Even John Edwards showed that going from rags into riches doesn't mean he understands 'real Americans' now or make one immune to the effects of money, power and greed.

    A 'regular American' could never be elected because of the obscene amounts of money it takes to launch a campaign. Politicians don't care about their constituents who are living paycheck to paycheck - all they care about is winning the next election.

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

    But you know what? Is O.K. God is sending a message to Florida and California and to other states as well. If there's ANYONE who I want to get mad is God. God will take care of states if they don't take care of themselves...and by the way, I ain't playing around. Let them want off-shore drilling and see if God doesn't send a wave at their face...

    At least God is sending the message...

    August 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. tedious898

    vic nashville,Tn August 21st, 2008 11:50 am ET

    I am life long democrat voting for Mc Cain
    Because Democratic Party and their
    Just like your sir are liar. Try "closet republican" No reasonable person would make this country because of "sour grapes" Hillary lost. It was in the news...remember?

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. John G

    Democrats are trying to paint McCain as out of touch because he has some nice things. It's the "haves" vs the "have nots". Obama has nice things too. He has a mansion in Chicago which he could not have purchased without the help of the Rezko family. Because of Mrs. Tony Rezko Senator Obama was able to purchase his home for $300,000 less than the asking price. It was probably the only real estate deal either Rezko was involved in that didn't add to his slumlord credits.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Obama in NC

    Give em hell. That nice guy routine was starting to piss me off.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Slumming In Washington, D.C.

    The White House will be a step down for John. Mr. Straight Talk is accustomed to a finer life.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. The Other Ed

    In one brief gaffe, there goes millions of dollars worth of celebrity ads down the tubes.

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |

    JOE GREEN – correction – McCain was in the Senate for over 25 years do you think it was volunteer work. No it wasn't. He got paid. His grandfather and farther were admirals – they get top pay and pensions as well as full medical benefits and various discounts from mortgages to investment profile advise. McCain may not have inherited as much money as his wife but the rich don't marry the poor, especially in those days. McCain has his own money and combined with his wife makes his claims of being "one of the average boyz" a joke. His salary as a Senator is $169,000 a year what could you do with that money if you never really had to spend a dime. No transportation expense, no food expense and no mortgage (paid by the Mrs.). ONE OF THE AVERAGE BOYZ – YEAH RIGHT

    August 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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