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. Lindsey Brutus

    Another "gotcha" moment for CNN. You guys hire a guy like Spitzer, push out Lou Dobbs and fire Rick Sanchez! Your judgement is terrible. Is this the best you can do CNN?

    March 6, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Oy Vey Az

    This old fart does not need an iPad ... he needs a maxiPad.

    March 6, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. CheapDrywall

    Sounds like it's time to outsource the US government to China. Seriously, they have no clue how much of our sweat equity and IP has been lock and stock uprooted and moved to China in the name of quarterly profits and bonuses. Apple is sick worried that Ipad and Iphone clones will start popping up all over the place. Free trade benefits everyone but us – unless you count the toasters and gadgets we buy for pennies on the real dollar. Real dollar meaning with all the externalities accounted for. No, if you included environmentally responsible manufacturing, non-slave labor wages and benefits, and reasonable taxation where the beneficiaries of profit paid their fair share back to the community, we couldn't buy those gadgets for the price they sell for.

    March 6, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. terry, va

    It is really important that we know where i-ipads/phones are built. Obummie would probably know as he knows all info that is trivia BS. As to running the country he knows NOTHING.

    March 6, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    We really need to establish a media-free zone around Sen. McCain. The only thing he's doing is re-enforcing the confidence that the Obama voters made the right decision.

    March 6, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. Quintus

    Oh, give him a break...he's still trying to figure out how to plug his computer into the series of tubes that makes up the internet...

    March 6, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Obvious

    Considering he didn't know how many houses he owned when asked by Letterman during the presidential campaign, it's no surprise Uncle Fester here doesn't know that Apple manufactures their products in China, with raw materials sourced from other parts of southeast Asia.

    Perhaps he should stop passing those "free trade" bills so things like the iPad and iPhone would be made in the US.

    March 6, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    What do you expect from the clown that gave us Sarah Palin and from the "hero" who has turned his back on actually helping former Vets time and time again.

    March 6, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. w l jones

    Give Mr. McCain a break ! we all do what he did by thinking one thing and saying another.Bless.

    March 6, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. notogop

    Oh sure he knew! This is the same genius that brought that idiot Palin out of the backwoods of Alaska and turned her loose on the lower 48 to divide and confuse. Yes, he knew. Just like he knew what ignorance could be contained in a single female brain. One would have to wonder how far behind Palin that McCain is on that evolutionary chart they don't believe exists.

    March 6, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. vdavis

    just goes to show that most politicians are out of touch with the people that put them in office... he probably doesn't know what is made in America since he is wealthy and doesn't do his own shopping anyway...

    March 6, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Siva

    People are obsessed with manufacturing. I don't understand it. China makes very little money from making the iPods and iPads. The bulk of the profit ends up in Apple's coffers. The design and development is all done in California. Just the contract manufacturing is done in China. Bringing the manufacturing to the US will do nothing but increase the cost for Apple. It will not provide anything value added. In fact, I would like to challenge anyone in the US to work for Fox Conn even for one week and see if you want those kinds of jobs to come back to America. What America needs is a bunch of smart people doing design and development and research and high tech labor value added manufacturing.

    March 6, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    Just more proof this small, bitter, angry, little man has an addled brain cell or two.

    March 6, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. 14All41

    I feel this is taken out of context. His train of thought could have been to support his earlier statement that manufacturing in China but based in America supports the President's statement about exporting innovation. Apple has created a product, established dominance, and continues to evolve with the growing needs of the communities it serves. I live in Japan, and walking down the street I saw a little boy with an iPod. The first thought that came to mind was what Japanese product was passed over. There are plenty of established multimedia technology companies in Japan. Yet the prevailing sentiment is Apple. If they were manufactured in America, I would have no problem paying the premium they charge for their revolutionary products. Don't get me wrong, I still pay, I just don't feel as patriotic in doing so.

    March 6, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. JCC

    This came from the SAME guy who thought Palin was qualified !!!

    March 6, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Debbie

    McCain's time has come and gone. With the abuse as a POW and his age he is too old to serve. He should retire to Sedona and enjoy the red rocks.

    March 6, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. PR

    Just shows that McCain is senile asnd needs to be put into a old folks home for the mentally unstable.

    March 6, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Equality 4 all

    He Is not aware were they are built. That is why he said they ate built in china.

    March 6, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Rick in AZ

    Of course he beleives they were made in America as China owns the US lock stock and barrell.

    March 6, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. EddyL

    McCain is an old fool... thank god he lost the presidency.... FOOL

    March 6, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. TomR - Ky

    Out of touch....:(

    March 6, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Peter

    McCain's office – yet again lying through its teeth for Grampa – says McCain knows they were "designed" not "made" in America. (Note to McCain apologists – he probably doesn't even know the difference.)

    March 6, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. sharon

    Blueberries aren't made in the States either. They are assembled in CANADA, with part from Japan and China.

    March 6, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Debbie from Arizona

    Well, when he back pedals, I'm sure he'll say he misspoke and meant to say they were designed in the USA.

    March 6, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Pete

    What do you expect? He's only a senator and is responsible for trade legislation as well. With friend idiots like him, who needs enemies?

    March 6, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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