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

Dems seize on McCain's 13 cars

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Mccain Lied? Shocker!

    Isn't there anything the McCain campaign isn't lying about?

    September 21, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Eric

    I hope this backfires on the Democrats big time. I am not going to vote for Obama because McCain has 13 cars. This is a family of 9. What do you expect?

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Pete, St. Augustine, FL

    So the Straight Talk Express is not giving straight talk...SHOCKER!

    It's amazing how he tries to paint Obama as saying one thing and doing another. Well, you know what they say...when you point the finger at someone, there are three pointing back at yourself.

    Obama '08

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Chris

    13 cars...isn't that a bit...what's the word...elitist?

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. Really now?

    So much for the "Straight Talk Express,"

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. Dee, Kansas

    Geez.....give me a break....anyone who believes that this guy really understands what "average" Americans are going through must have been born this morning. He's a fraud and phoney and I'm so sick and tired of him and his running mate of whom I've labeled "MOUTH". She's worse than he is when is comes to speeches filled with lies and empty rhetoric. I can't wait until November 5 after the American people finally get their say and send both John and Mouth back to where they came from. BTW John, think you could spare one of those cars? I'm sure there are millions of "average" Americans who could really use one. And while you're at it, can you throw in one of your houses too?

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. larry

    Although I haven't heard this report before, it is not surprising to me at all. It fits right in with his campaign of distraction. He is betting that a good portion of the voting public won't bother to check the facts.

    September 21, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. mav64

    The public needs more details! Do they all have rims? What about sound systems? McSame rolls on dubs!

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. twiddly

    So, at least 8 homes, at least 13 cars.

    Who's the elitist here? LMAO

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Ray from CA

    im sorry 8 houses, 13 cars?! he doesnt have to deal with what my parents and every other american has to day by day. Must feel good to be rich.

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. T

    And the lies keep on coming. . .

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Becky in Texas

    Every time I hear McCain or Palin speak I feel the need to send money to the Obama/Biden campaign.

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. sandra zielinski

    oh yeah- this is really important- another reason not to vote for ..... give me a break!!!!! This kind of garbage is nonsense, is not news- unbelievable..

    September 21, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Barney

    Here we go again – lies lies and more lies – deceit.

    Add to that the INSULT that his VP pick and her family members are dodging subpoema's – a republican initiated investigation in ALASKA before she was picked as his VP running mate.

    We don't need this AGAIN.

    We need to take our country back for US. We need someone that believes the constitution means everyone. The republicans just continue dodging, lying, and deceiving. NO MORE. We've had that crap for 8 years. NO MORE.

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

    Did the McCains buy them overseas, or did they buy them from a dealer in the USA? I have a Toyota, I bought it from our local guy, Bingham Toyota. We have a VW dealer here and a Honda dealer as well. They hire Americans as mechanics, they hire salespeople who are Americans, they advertise in local papers and on local TV stations. Does this mean we should not buy a new car unless it is American? Wouldn't that put a lot of people out of work? Toyota has a factory here in the States don't they? Mine was made here.

    September 21, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Pat from Florida

    I came to this blessed country many years ago from Argentina, one of the only countries that print money to solve its problems, have no justice, and greed in the government is the biggest.
    I thought that USA was a country of law, fair game and a country of opportunities and like the ones we (with my husband) lived under the Clinton administration (and I still think so).
    Yesterday I saw several youtube clips from the first Presidential Debate between Bill Clinton and Bush father in '92 and I think we are watching now the same movie again! See it for yourself!
    Forget the experience, race, gender, judgement, and everything else. What the republicans do not understand is that this is a philosophy and policies issue. They don't know how to govern (except for Reagan). We see this time and time again!
    WE CANNOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!! We gave the opportunity to them for 8 years! What did they do? They let our country go to the drain!!
    We need a democrat to heal our country again, put some sanity and fiscal responsibility and change the view that other countries around the world have about USA ...
    Do you really (in your hearts) think that Mc Cain will change or make something different from Bush? Do you really believe it??
    That is why I will proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama!!


    September 21, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. wanbligi

    Did they say the McCains' own thirteen cars? Talk about being elitists. John McCain couldn't remember how many houses he and his wife owned and now it is reported that the McCains' own at least thirteen cars.

    And McCain tells the reporters that overall the American economy is pretty solid.

    People please wise up about John McCain and realize that he is just another George W. Bush who wants the rich to get richer and the poor poorer.

    I know how I am voting in November and I am casting my vote for BarackObama/Joe Biden. I certainly hope the rest of you get it and do the same.


    Obama/Biden 08

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

    I can't help but laugh at McCain

    September 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. solomon


    September 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. christine

    He probably did buy American most of his life. In addition, he also bought imports. So what? When Detroit can produce something as attractive and useful as a Prius they can stop complaining. How many American cars are partially built in Mexico or Canada? The US automakers have far bigger worries than what the President or Presidential candidates are driving; this is such a non-issue.

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

    Who really gives a flip how many cars the man has – does it make a difference on how he would run the country?? For the love of God, can we focus on the issues instead of this useless crap?!?!?

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

    I might consider voting McCain if he gives me one of his cars...

    September 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Tanya

    Hahaha... how many LIES is John McCain going to tell? Does he have no shame?!

    September 21, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. high school student making a difference

    LIES LIES LIES! This is ridiculous!

    And really, I don't care so much that this guy owns eight homes and 13 cars. It's the fact that this guy owns eight homes and 13 cars, and he's trying to label Obama as the elitist. Really McCain?

    Not gonna work this time around. Americans aren't all stupid and don't forget being lied to and deceived very easily.

    BOJO '08

    September 21, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Go Obama GO

    Liar, liar pants on fire......The more I hear about McCain/Palin, I want to throw up....

    "Sarah palin took the stage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday and said "it's good to be here in Grand Rapids." (Michigan) ...If their enthusiastic response was any indication, the Cedar Rapids faithful didn't mind the mix up."

    She has much bigger her lack of geography skills people don' mind the mix up!! Wise up PEOPLE!

    September 21, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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