September 21st, 2008
08:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Dems seize on McCain's 13 cars

Democrats are seizing on a report the McCains own at least 13 cars.

Democrats are seizing on a report the McCains own at least 13 cars.

(CNN) - Democrats eager to portray John McCain as out of touch with average Americans and as a flip-flopper seized on a report Sunday the Arizona senator and his wife, Cindy, own more than a dozen cars - including several foreign-made automobiles.

A Newsweek article published on the magazine's Web Site Sunday said registration records show the McCains currently own 13 cars - two of which are foreign-made: a Honda and a Volkswagen. That appears to contradict the Republican presidential nominee's past statements he only buys cars made in America. (Cindy McCain also drives a Lexus and daughter Meghan owns a Toyota Prius, but neither are registered to the McCains.)

Newsweek also reported Barack Obama owns one car: a Ford Escape Hybrid.

In a quickly-arranged conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee, United Auto Worker Union President Ron Gettelfinger - an Obama supporter - said the registration records show McCain is not being truthful with Americans and undermining autoworkers.

Listen: Gettelfinger blasts McCain on conference call with reporters

"The last thing we need is a presidential candidate who undermines autoworkers, and these days it seems that John McCain is doing just exactly that," he said. "When he's in the Midwest, he tells voters he supports the industry, when he is in other states he brags about buying a foreign car, as he did with the Prius." (It is not clear if McCain or his daughter bought the Prius)

Gettelfinger also pointed to comments McCain made in an interview with Detroit TV station WXYZ, saying, "I've bought American literally all my life and I'm proud."

"That's really a nice campaign line," Gettelfinger said of the comments. "But it turns out that John McCain wasn't being straight with the people of Detroit, or the state of Michigan, or our country as a matter of effect," adding later, "The American auto industry and the American voters deserve a president who will be straight with them.”

For the record, Honda has four major automobile and engine plants in the United States employing more than 25,000 Americans, according to its Web site. Volkswagen is scheduled to open a plant in Tennessee in 2011 that is expected to employ 2,000 people, the AP reported in July.

Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain, said "Barack Obama is more interested in childish political attacks than confronting the reality that his plans to raise taxes and close off trade will kill our American auto industry and the jobs of hardworking folks in Michigan and all around our nation."

Rogers also said McCain was referring to his own car in the WXYZ interview:  "He drives a Cadillac today and has always driven American cars," Rogers said.

Newsweek's report comes a month after McCain now-infamously could not name how many houses he owned in an interview with Politico. The publication later reported he owns at least eight properties.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Seriously, the guy’s wife is rich. They have 13 cars…do we care? Not so much. I think the real story here is that Obama is taking on a republican candidate with a terrible economy and unpopular war in progress, and can’t seem to get his numbers up past 50%. Obama should be obliterating McCain. What’s the deal?

    September 21, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |

    I just don't understand that after this republican ran administration how so many Americans still appears to have their heads in the sand.

    WAKE UP AMERICANS WAKE UP. Don't vote for the wrong reasons. Just stay home!!!!

    September 21, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. tothestars2

    This race and the crap they spew about each other has now crossed to the comical. SNL now has a couple of seasons of skits they can dredge from this campaign!

    September 21, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. J-M

    13 cars, including foreign made. 7 houses, including California. Sounds like McCain is hardly the candidate for Middle America.

    September 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Amy

    Must be rough not to have to know how many homes and cars you have! Most of us don't have that problem. In fact, record numbers are losing there homes. This is just one more thing the makes me feel like Sen McCain doesn't know how the majority of us feel.

    September 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Todd in SC

    This is getting to be sad for Grandpa McSame. Every thing he says turns out to be either a flat out lie or he says he was misquoted. Maybe when he said he has always bought American cars, he was meaning to say he buys his cars IN America.

    September 21, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Jack

    Ah, nothing like some substantial criticism of a candidate....oh...oh, wait. Never mind. Just more useless crap that tells us absolutely nothing about the candidates. Maybe we can infer something from Obama driving a hybrid, but honestly, McCains wife is the heiress to hundreds of millions of dollars. Do we really expect them to drive like one or two cars? Lets focus on the issues.

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. julian

    13 cars, that being REALLY elitists. I understand why they are in car race business...

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Cindy, NYC

    What a stupid report. So what if he has 13 cars? And he didn't lie. If 11 of his cars are American, he certainly has regularly bought American all his life. His family has more money. So what?? It's nothing to be ashamed of. This is not a socialistic country – as much as the Democrats would like to change it. I supposed if Bloomberg were running, there would be stupid reports about his vast wealth. At the end of the day, we need the best person for the job and how many cars he owns says nothing about experience and potential.

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. john mcpalin

    8 houses

    13 cars

    Lady Rothchilds endorsement after calling Barack elitist

    And he is only up by 3 points in this economy!!!!

    wow wow wow

    says quite a bit about our country

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Alissa in Kansas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hmmm… It's 7 houses and 13 cars? No wonder he thinks the fundamentals of our economy are strong. How could he say otherwise? =P

    Obama/Biden '08

    They never post my comments!!! T_T

    Oh wells... it looks like he owns at least 8 not 7 anyways. =P

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. NoMccain

    The only support Mccain is going to get in Arizona, is all of Scottsdale, and parts of Phoenix. That's it. It would be very funny if he were to lose his own state. Illinois has the largest point spread for Obama, so the choice is clear. Home states matter.

    September 21, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Democrat in California

    I would rather have someone in the White house that knows how to be financially successful, than one who takes back door corruptive real estate deals with a known felon.

    Sounds like McCain knows how it is possible to be financially successful, that is the guy we need to reform our economy.

    Democrat for McCain

    September 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Tamara, VA

    As usual, McCain is lying and out of touch! Come on America! We deserve better than this!

    September 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Bill Charlotte,NC

    13 cars and don't forget, Barbie Doll Cindy has a plane! Dang elitist! I take that back, you have to be smart to qualify for elitist!

    September 21, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Mike From Dallas

    Wow! 13 cars, don't know how many houses he owns. This old dude is so out of touch with the everyday normal citizens, no wonder he believe our national econamy is fundamentally strong. Unbelievable.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. Retired Republican Iraqi Vet For Obama

    So whats the big deal? I own a Suzuki...oh yeah I didn't lie and say it was a Ford.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. susan

    And the lies keep coming. Remember that lovely $3,000 dress Cindy was wearing at the convention: Made in France, Palins suits? Made in Germany.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. bob in LA

    Here again, there is nothing wrong with having multiple cars IF you don't try and play the guy on the strret, humble roots guy.
    And are all the cars his, or just in his nanme? He does have a large family!

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Jazzi

    Poor old John... He doesn't remember what he owns! He 's got too much of everything.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. JP

    McCain voted against the secret service & police needing to buy American made vehicles??? Wow! I didn't know that. The more I know, the less I like McCain. I'm starting to believe that he is really just out of touch.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. GEORGE


    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. Joseph

    "I'll say anything for power and the Presidency." – John McCain

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. CindyN--PA

    McCain seesm to have to problem lying to any degree to get elected.
    Seems like McCain isnt accountable for his own words to any degree.
    This country is going to be in very bad financial shape in the coming year and even into the next year. He is out of his leauge when it comes to the economics of this country. People better vote in a Democrat, because we need a Democrat in office to help with our fiscal problems that we face. People are just not getting this crisis.
    It's so very bad. It's really going to get a lot worse and jobs are going to be effected.

    September 21, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Maria Mc Donald

    That just shows you what a LIAR McCain is. He just married Cindy because her family is rich. Left his sick wife, cheated on her for years. Said in 1998 that Chelsea Clinton is ugly. He comes up with lies about Obama left and right, and Obama constantly has to defend himself. McCain lies to American people, plants the seed in her head, as you might say, and they believe it. That just shows his character!!!!! Now he parades the annoying Palin all over the place, like she is a prized Pig (with lipstick). I can't stand that voice of hers and her unintelligent bulls@, she keeps repeating the same thing on the campaign, the same she babbled on at the convention. People are talking about Palin so much, because, she is literally a breath away from being president. McCain doesn't look so healthy to me, I don't think he will live 4 more years (which is reality, I hope he will) but we have to be realistic here. Then we end up with a douchbag like Palin. Her husband Todd might be called "First Dude" he is more likely "First Dull" he doesn't seems so bright either, like his wife. If you saw Greta Van Susteren Interview with him, it speaks for itself.
    Whe she was asked about the SNL with Tina Fey playing her, she (Palin) responded, she had the volume down on the TV, so she only seen the visual, but that she dressed up as Tina Fey on Halloween. PLEASE, I bet she never even heard of Tina Fey before, and I doubt she had the volume turned down. The woman lies about EVERYTHING, even something small.
    If McCain/Palin win the election, American are more stupid then I thought. The same reason they elected Bush Again in 2004.

    September 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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