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. James

    McCain's hardly alone. Lots of people believe they're made in the US.

    The ancillary myth is that the iPads that are laser engraved are made in the US, while the non-engraved ones are made in China. Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing, including the documentation that comes with the iPad, or the shipping tracking record, will change the minds of people who believe this myth.

    March 6, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. B

    McCain is, as everyone knows is,OUT OF TOUCH with reality along with most of his buddies in congress his age.

    Vote them out and vote in Term Limits !

    March 6, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. gate

    Why are they made in China? Those "free trade" agreements make it possible.

    March 6, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. rashinal

    and this is the guy who would be president.
    that is SCARY

    March 6, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. vincent

    I could become a Republican if they started getting their facts right. Until then I guess I will have to stay stupid liberal college graduate. Darn you teachers!!!

    March 6, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. The Unsub

    McCain looks awful in this pic. Does he have a pulse?

    March 6, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Gary White

    "I would also point out that…an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America."

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

    Does anyone else detect a slight disconnect between those two statements? Just asking.

    March 6, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. DonBeal

    I wonder if Senator McCain knows what an iPad or an iPhone actually is. I don't and I'm younger than he is but not much.

    March 6, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Daiv

    no doubt he uses an iPad when he is surfing the intrawebs.

    March 6, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Robert in Oregon

    And once again a politician makes a simple, human error which could be quickly disposed with a simple acknowledgment that he was incorrect; .... but instead has his office issue an entirely implausible explanation for why the politician was not in fact in error (most often blaming the misunderstanding on the press).

    When I find a person in politics who is willing to admit to being less than perfect, I will give that person consideration for public office. Until then my stomach will continue to turn and I will consider these imposters only with the scorn they deserve.

    March 6, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. RG

    With the prices Apple charges, they could very well be made in the US. But Apple, is not even good to their Chinese employees. Workers at the Iphone factory in China were recently given a 20% raise, to stave off a rash of suicides amoung the oppressed employees.
    Nobody should support this gross abuse off profit before people. Anyone understand why unions are gaining strength in China?

    March 6, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  12. Jay, Florida

    More proof that McCain is worthless garbage.

    March 6, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. nellpost

    I saw johnpalinmccain the other day in a restaurant and I thought he ws with newt's wife.... turns out it was cindymccain! In my opinion, calista and cindy do look alike, those two not-first wives of these repub "leaders." anyway john looked thin and very grumpy. The food was good so I wonder what is wrong.

    March 6, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Jerry C

    What a tragic caricature of a once principled maverick and hero. Now he is just a guy who is bitter that his time has passed and his party deserted him when it was "his turn".He gets facts wrong, builds darned fences and tarnishes his image. How very sad.

    March 6, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Geez. He is sooooooo, not aware.

    Perhaps someone should clue him in, that indeed it is nearly impossible to find products for the home, or personal use, that are indeed "Made in America". Even worse......even Japanese products are being made in China!

    March 6, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Roscoe

    He was thinking of the Ford Model T

    March 6, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. RMoyes

    I love the irony of calling out McCain for being less than smart while misspelling "Obama" at the same time... Proof reading, it's good for everyone.

    March 6, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. jim

    guess i'm not surprised. i mean, he was "smart" enough to choose sarah palin as his running mate. that, by itself, was too dumb.

    March 6, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Gasman

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

    Then how come he said they were made in the U.S.? Is it really that difficult to admit that he got it wrong?

    March 6, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Seattle Sue

    Another senile statement make by a senile old man. This man should be the government his wages back as he sure is not earning them.

    March 6, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Indy

    You have to excuse McCain as his mind was probably occupied with how he can talk everyone into starting another war. This mistake is minor compared to big one he made picking his VP running mate.

    March 6, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. John

    How this career politician continues to be re-elected is a mystery, or the USA really is made up of mindless pods. South Dakota couldn't even find one person to run against a representative who has always voted the way he is told to vote by his GOP leader. Arizona is no better.

    March 6, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Sam Spade jr

    John should know that there isn't much of anything made in the U.S. these days thanks to "out sourcing" of all the jobs and goods at one time done in this country. Big business needs all the profit they can get to pay the politicians off.

    March 6, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. lebowski1776

    I'm gonna give Mr. McCain the benefit of the doubt here. By "Built" I'm going to go out out on a limb and assume he was referring to American Ingenuity and where new products and technological breakthroughs are made. That's something America's still got in spades. Other countries will work cheaper, improve on, or straight up pirate existing products but they still to a very large degree count on American industries to lead the way. In the end though – everything's a team effort. The sooner everyone embraces that the sooner we get out of the dark ages.

    March 6, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. Datou

    This guy has no clue. He cannot even use a computer to send e-mail.
    What a joke. Imagine he become the president of the US! I think he should retire quietly to a ranch somewhere in Arizona.

    March 6, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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