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. energy

    Obama Campaign is CHILDISH.

    According to Bill Clinton, Please "GIVE ME A BREAK'!!

    Why did Obama give Muslim names to his Children? The Press does NOT want to report that?

    How come Obama is ashamed of his roots, his Kenyan family? How come none of them was featured in the convention?

    SHAME ON YOU BARACK OSAMA? Africa is therefore ashamed of you!!

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Chris

    As a Democrat, I think this line of attack is both juvenile and idiotic. Firstly, so what if McCain has that many cars? If he can afford them, and he can afford to pay for the insurance for all of them and the registration money which goes to state government by the way, that's his right. Secondly, if several of his cars are foreign, so what? A good percentage of Americans own foreign cars, including Hondas. Seriously, that is being hypocritical because I am sure that a good percentage of people in the Democratic party own foreign cars, including Hondas. Thirdly, the article says only two of the 13 are foreign made; what about the other 11? Those must be American made if they aren't foreign cars, so what does that say? McCain has paid 11 times the money to buy American made cars as a person who has only bought one American car. This nitpicking and hairsplitting is part of the reason why McCain is not only still in the running, but has a decent chance of winning when he shouldn't . Obama and the DNC don't know how to win or run an effective campaign so they nitpick, hair split, and attack their opponent on things that don't even matter. Who really cares if McCain has that many cars or a bunch of houses? It is no more out of touch with Americans as Obama's multimillion dollar book deal. All that this says is both candidates have been lucky enough to have realized their American dreams.

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Liar!

    Liar! Liar! His depends on fire!

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Hillary Supporter


    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Kathy in Portland, Oregon

    This is laughable!

    How PETTY of the democrats. WHO CARES if McCain owns a dozen vehicles, and that a couple of them are not "American" made.

    To be HONEST, the DNC should commend McCain for supporting the American auto industry by owning 10 or 11 vehicles made in the USA .
    He's showing A LOT of support for their what are those union folks WHINING about?

    GOOD for McCain!!

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Malcolm Fulcher

    I am a Democrat and I know which way I am voting; but, for goodness sake, with all the problems facing us today including a domestic, economic melt-down; and a still ongoing war abroad, we are now going to inject how many cars somebody owns into this political campaign? No wonder we have an economic crisis. The regulators are out counting how many cars people own. Just when I thought nothing could get any worse, I read this. We need help, quickly.

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Ricky P.

    Haha yes...mccain being exposed for the liar he is...this just another layer on what is becoming a thick cake off lies. I love it...meanwhile it makes obama look like a real good american. YES the truth always comes out.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!

    ...i wonder what excuses mccain will come up with this time.

    September 21, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Ohio for Obama

    About time McShame is caught in another lie. BTW! why every time sarah speaks, it seem as if she is trying to convince herself what she is talking about is the truth. Oh! When will Liar sarah take some real question., and whats up with this VP debate the repub asked the Dems to agree on about having a short Q & A debate?

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. Joe From Ohio

    Oh WOW! This just keeps getting more ridiculous as the days progress on (chuckle,chuckle, snikker, snikker). Hay, and some people REALLY believe in John Mccain. He can't even comprhend the struggles us REGULAR AMERICANS go through.

    THIS JUST SOLIDIFIED MY VOTE FOR OBAMA... Lets see what lies he will try to create to debunk this fact.

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Bill

    Hey, some of us collect beer cans, seashells or post cards, John McCain happens to collect house, cars and wives. What's the big deal?

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I have no problem with the Prius as it is a fuel-efficient car.
    I hae no problem with the Lexus as it is a luxury car and many rich people buy high end luxury cars. Heck, even a lot of middle income folks who want to be seen as in the mix, buy high end cars.
    What I don't understand is how he owns 13 cars, unless you're saying that he has cars (which would make some sense) at each of his 8 houses. That is, at least 8.

    Now for the average charachter like me, I own a vehicle and so does my spouse. That's it. I don't know personally know anyone who, as a family, owns more than 3 vehicles.

    So, I can't see how Senator McCain can relate to people like me. Which is problably why he doesn't want to give me as big a tax cut as those folks who do, on avg, own more than three cars and more than two homes (which would be like McCain).

    Not wanting him to be an average guy in income like Biden and his wife Jill, just saying that his tax policies (and deregulation stances for the last umpteen years) seem to fit his lifestyle. Nothing wrong with that, at least for him and his cronies. Just that more than 70% of us don't fit that.

    In the end, the people who are towards the bottom will spend the money if you give it to them, and those who own the businesses will get it back.

    Lastly, does anyone realize that at the peak of the gas prices in July was also the same time that the rebate checks were showing up in the mail? Shouldn't take you long to figure out where much of that rebate money from the Feds went to.

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. indy chris

    does he even know how many cars he owns? I doubt it.

    I'm curious as to how many mistresses he has.

    there's just something unamericn about marrying your wealthy mistress and using her weaqlth and connections to get power...not to mention being from an elite family, the son of a tycoon or a president or an admiral. we fought a revolution to get away from that sort of decadent, aristocratic europeanism.

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. alvino

    John, John, John. Is there anything you won't lie about to get votes? You cannot tell autoworkers you drive American when you have a couple of foreign cars. 13 is a lot of cars.

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. Balgobin

    Nice going John, I hope Sarah shoots a Smith & Western too.

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Kevin in Ancorage AK

    McCain is really out of touch... and lost his marbles. Man, we just went thru 8 years of Lies... Is there anything else that John or Sarah do besides Lie??? She has been caught in several, and only been in this thing a few weeks... But 7 houses, 13 cars... how can McCain even know what I go thru on a daily basis earning a minimum wage which he keeps voting against to raise??

    September 21, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |


    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. John

    Who the heck cares? Is that the best you Democrats can come up with? Jeez, get a life! What's wrong with being successful and having as many cars and houses as you want? You people are a bunch of communists.

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Mike

    And he talks about Obama being elitist. What a hypocrat. I am move afraid of Sarah Palin. I think it McCain/Palin wins, she will make Chenney look like an angel.

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. barbara

    Another lie.

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. john

    The money and business Cindy has really is not the question that was all family owned like they been saying forget the cheap shots worry about the security of the United States ..... Really best of luck to her at least she didn"t take 80 million from the people of this country

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Dennis

    McCain's purchase of 13 cars is very good for US autoworkers and the US auto industry. Democrat plans to raise taxes are bad for the auto industry and the whole economy. In case the Democrats haven't heard, may brands of "foreign" cars such as Toyota, Mercedes and Honda are in fact made in the US. The fact that McCain has 13 cars is a non issue. It's also irrelevant that O'Bama owns only one car. I'm more worried about O'Bama's ties to anti-Americans Ayers and Wright and felonious slumlord Rezko. O'Bama's Socialist agenda which will destroy the economy is also a major concern.

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Heath

    Is this a surprise? Here is a man that said that "he would only raise taxes on those making more than $5 million." Out of touch is an understatement. We're fighting two wars, we are on the verge of a financial meltdown and this man still wants to lower taxes for the wealthy and wage wars, potentially with Iran. How is he going to pay. Americans will be paying for this folly long after McCain is dead and gone. I hope America is not asleep at the wheel. We are at a turning point in history. America's standing in the world is at stake.

    September 21, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. abc

    So what!

    September 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Ron Weiss

    The last time I checked both Honda and Volkswagen have plants in the US that obviously create US jobs, Every traditional so-called American auto manufacturer likewise has plants in Canada, Mexico, Europe etc. Big Deal! This is globalization and has been happening over the last 40 years. Anyone with a brain knows that there no longer is an 'American Car'. This is another case of media trying to spread their political smear. Wake up America! We are not sheepish idiots and we must no longer tolerate these kind of spin stories.

    September 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Eleanor

    nothing about this elitist multi millionaire would shock me
    How in Gods name can this man ever relate to the average American and their problems
    Sorry its beyond the realm of possibility
    Obama has been down the road of food stamps, health care insurance problems etc when he was a kid
    You have to walk a mile in a person shoes to know what they go thru

    September 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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