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. John McCain

    I love to drive!

    September 21, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Slick

    unlucky for him. Do we really need this elitist talking down to us for 4 years?


    September 21, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Mr. C.

    Hrm...So McCain is undermining autoworkers in America because he and his family have bought a Lexus, a Toyota, a Honda, and a Volkswagon. In case they weren't aware, if they bought a Toyota or a Honda in the U.S. more than likely it came from a manufacturing facility in the United States which hires American workers. Lexus, a division of Toyota does not have a production facility in the U.S. but instead, it is in Ontario, Canada. Volkswagon, while it also does not currently have a production plant in the U.S. is actually trying to place one in Chattanooga if I am not mistaken. And how could someone who has paid more to the American auto industry with 13 cars produced in America be undermining it?

    While I may not support McCain, this is a non-story and somewhat misleading. Aside from that, who is going to be voting on how many cars people have anyway? I know not I, despite the fact I, even though I, like Obama, only has one car which I share with my wife.

    September 21, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Jeff In Ohio

    Back to this crap already. C'mon.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 21, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Christy

    This goes along with the other lies he regularly tells.

    September 21, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |


    September 21, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. bed

    straight talk express...saddle up, folks, it's the funniest gag around!

    September 21, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Not4MoreYears

    LIES. LIES. LIES. When are you people going to wise up? McSame will do WHATEVER it takes to get into the White House. He has lost all semblance of integrity during this campaign.

    September 21, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. sue calgary

    Who's elitist now? McCain must think Americans are completely ignoranty!! Puhlee...z

    September 21, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Allen

    How many times does it take for voters to realize that although McCain might be the one they want, but he is not the right one to be president of this country.
    There is no white knight in shining armor to come to your rescue, only a black knight in shining armor. Obama is the one to lead this country back to the right path.

    September 21, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Barney

    Here we go even AGAIN -

    McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument., a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were. Key findings:

    -23 were against proposed tax cuts
    -7 were "for measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals"
    -11 were to increase taxes on people making more than $1 million a year, to help fund programs such as Head Start, school nutrition, or veterans' health care
    -53 were votes on budget resolutions or amendments that "could not have resulted by themselves in raising taxes," though many "were clear statements of approval for increased taxes"
    – The total includes multiple votes on the same measures

    Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has "voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers."

    Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes.

    September 21, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. CM

    So McCain misrepresents what he owns again. This should come as a surprise how?

    Amazing people still follow this guy blindly.

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Chicago Politics at its best. Who cares how many cars they own? They probable furnish them for there help to drive. I'm sure they have full-time employees. How many employees do I have, Zero. I do own three cars, a motorhome and a boat. 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 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Rich

    Since when does buying American or Foreign cars matter when selecting the president of the country? The fact is, the American car industry has used government subsidies to continue a practice of producing poor cars and taking advantage of the US taxpayers. Since I own non-American cars does that make me unAmerican or intelligent? I vote "intelligent." Until American car companies can make a decent car and do it competitively, why should we support them? OPen markets allow people to decide based on price and quality. I respect McCain for buying high quality cars, speaks to his ability to understand performance. The Prius and Lexus are both top selling car brands in the US. The Ford Escape is crap. Based on this article, I would vote for McCain.

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Mark

    For Pete's sake, let's start talking issues and stop bickering about who has more toys or houses or whatever than I have. Has anyone ever thought about what the people want. If the party hacks ON BOTH SIDES would stop spinning everything and get back to the important issues, such as national security, the economy, education and healthcare, people would be better informed and able to make a choice for the best overall qualified individual. Neither one of these men running for president are the perfect candidate, but one is better in my opinion. And race had nothing to do with my decision!

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Charlie NJ

    Many foreign cars and trucks are made in America by Americans My wifes 2008 Camry and my 2008 Toyota Tacoma were both made in America by Americans. Nice try by the Obama camp but Americans arn't that Stupid. I guess when you get desperate you go to all new time lows to try to get a vote. Don't worry after the election you can crawl back to your home state where many trucks can't even afford to register there trucks in your state because registrations for commercial trucks have been raised so high nice job Obama.

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Dave

    imagine what would have been done to Obama by those Limbaugh,hannity & co, if obama had owned 13 cars...!!! republicans are really shameless...

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. Fraser

    McCain is seriously out of touch. Seven houses? Thirteen cars? No wonder he thinks the economy is fundamentally sound. The rest of us, on the other hand, are suffering.

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Stephen

    Does the UAW realize not all cars made by the Big 3 are made in the US? Actually very few are producded in the US anymore. My 2008 GMC Sierra was made in Canada. Honda does have some factories in the US that they build there cars at. So could the Dems actually complain about McCain not buying american, probably but most of those cars he owns are probably form the GM, Ford or Chrysler and not made in the US.And as far as the Suburbans that they all ride in are built in 3 locations Janesville, Wisconsin Arlington, Texas Silao, Mexico.

    September 21, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. SteveJJ

    So, let me get this right Dems, you cannot be successful in the United States? So what if McCain has 13 cars! So what if he has five houses! I could care less. You guys just spent $28,500 for a dinner with Mr. Obama and Babwa. So, don't be firing arrows when you can't aim. You Dems are getting desperate when you stoop this low. Weak.

    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Leisa

    Mc Same is a liar.....and CNN is bias!

    Post this!

    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. Scott

    mmm....same old same old.... Hoover Bush McSame

    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Joe Reed

    After the war, John McCain left his wife after she suffered injuries in a crippling car accident to marry his current his current wife Cindy who was loaded with cash. John McCain is all about money and could care less about the average wage earner. He's got Corporate lobbyists running his campaign and takes money from PACs and lobbyists to support his Campaing Obama does not. The choice is clear.

    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Jewell Hayes

    So what is the big deal!
    If this is all the Demos can dig up, they must be getting really scared..

    And worse, you media worms grovel for any bit of negative issues
    you can find regarding McCain/Palin.


    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. MM

    Fact Check: Misleading.

    McCain drives a Cadillac.

    September 21, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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