McCain flunks Made in America 101
March 6th, 2011
05:13 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain flunks Made in America 101

Washington (CNN)-GOP Sen. John McCain is in need of a tech lesson. In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," the senator from Arizona said that iPads and iPhones are "built in the United States of America." But every techie knows that they are, in fact, built in China.

McCain touted free trade agreements during the interview and voiced his agreement with President Obama that "innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy." And though the designs for the iPad and iPhone are home grown in California, the actual manufacturing takes place overseas, in China.

"I think it's obviously a recognition of the reality and the trends, that cheaper, lower-cost labor products will usually prevail over products made in higher wage and income countries," he said, while commenting the abundance of foreign-made products in the American marketplace.

But when he moved into the territory of goods that are made in America, he ran into trouble. "I would also point out that…an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the president said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy."

"And that's got to be exports," he continued. "We've got to have free trade agreements."

Three exports that cannot be factored into McCain's argument are the iPad, iPhone, and iTouch. All are products that are "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China," as is printed on the back of each device.

McCain's office tells CNN that "Senator McCain is aware they were designed but not assembled in the U.S."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Tea Party hangover

    Just another NEO-CON that wants "managed trade" and trick you into thinking it's frre trade

    March 6, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. willie floyd

    He may not be ready to retire but I am certainly ready for him to do just that. And to think I voted for him in 2000!!

    March 6, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Senator McCain lacks awareness. But then, so do those who elected him.

    March 6, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. bobster26

    Mccain is a bumbbling Idiot that shouldn't be in office ( embarrassed ). Technology will catch-up too everybody someday and we shall all be on an equal playing field!

    March 6, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Rick in Phx

    Maybe that's because McCain wasn't born in America

    March 6, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. kyle

    Greed and free trade is what destroyed America, that the very reason every state is running on a defecit, GREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. David

    come on... you should even consider talking about IPad.... may be you heard the word

    March 6, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. TheDaver

    McCain is senile. He really needs to step down from whatever offices he still holds and just retire.

    March 6, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. steven harnack

    He is very aware of that fact! He just chose to say the exact opposite.

    March 6, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. gary

    Another example of why a two term limit should be inposed on all government officials. McCain is out of touch with the real world and needs to go home. I'm sure that a staff member could give him the address and directions to one of his many houses, that in previous statements he said he didn't know how many houses he ( or rather his wife ) owns.

    March 6, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. pProf

    McCain is part of the problem. He's the old guard, the neocon fake conservative. The sooner he and his ilk are retired the better for this country.

    March 6, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Christopher

    McCain didn't flunk. He passed. He was completely wrong but that is what the Conservative base wants and respects. If he had his facts right they would crucify him as an "intellectual elitist." Keep those incorrect, misinformed statements coming Senator McCain. You will only endear yourself to the right even more.

    March 6, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. EffortPA

    What else can you expect from the guy who though Sarah Palin would be a good VP candidate?

    March 6, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    People should not harp on Senator McCain for his mistake. He always states facts that are above his "Pay Grade". This man fails to understand that about the only thing we still produce in this country are babies. Just give him some time to catch up. By this time next year he will be up to speed with the 80's.

    March 6, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    Non issue, this fully plays into what he was saying. Things cheaply done outside of the US will be done there, while the high value innovation will occur in the US.

    March 6, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Ric

    It seems like a simple enough mistake, but is an indicator of the man's age and intellect. He just doesn't seem to keep current. I'm glad every day that this old hawk didn't get elected along with his magpie gamble of a running mate.

    March 6, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. mdn

    It doesn't sound like he is "well aware" of much these days.

    March 6, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. juan enrique

    I'm guessing everyone in the U.S. under the age of 40 knows where the iPad, the iPhone and the iPod is manufactured. And most of those people know which Chinese firm manufactures each of them. I'm also guessing at least 30 – 40% of the people in the U.S. over the age of 40 knows the same.

    Why is it that this person that ran for the Presidnecy in 2008 doesn't know, realize or understand this? Shudder to think of our condition, the U.S., if he were elected! Being an Arizona resident, I voted for John McCain, once. That was over 20 years ago. I learned and moved away from the man.

    The one person who benefited most from McCain's presence? Sarah Palin (financially).

    March 6, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Limbaugh is an IDIOT

    Senator McSame IDIOT!

    this dufus is senile...retire him and all GOP-Tea Party nut cases who still thinks America manufacture anything these days...GOP policies of free trade agreements, tax breaks to Corporations and de-regulations have led the outsourcing and shipping of American jobs overseas!

    All of these policies were ramped up during the GW Bush era....and it has lead to the death of America as a manucturing country. We all siit on our butt and getting fat while eating all those cheap goodS being imported from CHINA & INDIA!!!

    there goes the USA...........follow the money to CHINA!!!!!!

    March 6, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. normajean

    Senator Mccain actually seems to be lot nicer person , one with some integrity and decency, much more than a lot of his Republican buddies. It's too bad they aren't on their way out and McCain as a younger man and on his way in.

    March 6, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Robert

    Free trade aggreements and shipping American jobs over seas is what's killing our economy. Our economy will continue to decline as long as this fact is ignored.

    March 6, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Dan the Man

    So does John have green slim in his brain or Roquefort Dressing?

    March 6, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Tom from the Gulf

    HAHAHAHA...Of COURSE he knows they are built in China. Just more proof that America's voice should come from younger, more EDUCATED people...not the old "white hairs" we have hanging out in congress today. It's time for a new voice.

    March 6, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. TruthAndBeauty

    Does this guy know anything about America after 1980?

    March 6, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Big_D

    My guess is the entire problem is that the GOP has no idea they are serving China when they worry about the wealthy paying 3% more in taxes.

    March 6, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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