[Updated below.] WHITE HOUSE '08 - GOP CITES RICHEST COUNTY IN AMERICA AS PROOF ECONOMY IS GREAT
When asked how many houses he owned, John McCain said, "I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
The answer from the staff: at least four. At least four? Is it five? Is it six?
Yet this is the man that claims Obama is the elitist. A man that thinks a $5 million annual salary would be considered rich and doesn't know how many homes he owns is supposed to be the candidate in touch with the common man.
Now obviously McCain was trying to avoid the question in an attempt to squirm out of the "rich, old man" mode, but only dug himself in deeper by "not being sure." And in my opinion, his staff didn't do him any favors by avoiding the question with a vague "at least four" answer. Isn't it easy enough to find out? Or did they just stop counting at four? By the way, the answer is seven. John and Cindy McCain own seven homes. Or should I say, "At least seven"? And you know what? Good for them! But don't try to weasel your way out of what you are.
It didn't take long for Barack Obama to let the public know how out of touch and disconnected John McCain really is.
And it looks like the national Republican Party isn't doing McCain any favors on the economy front either. Here's David Sirota:
The Roanoke Times reports that as Barack Obama convened a discussion about unfair trade policies in economically ravaged regions of Virginia, the national Republican Party countered by citing Fairfax County as proof the economy is doing just fine. "It doesn't take a lot of courage to go to Martinsville and talk about trade," said U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R) said in a Tuesday conference call arranged by McCain's campaign. "What would be courageous is to come to Fairfax County, where you have 362 foreign-owned companies and tens of thousands of employees with foreign-owned firms...and take the same stand up here."
Besides the tone deafness of holding up foreign-owned firms as proof of a solid domestic economy, Davis forgot to mention that according to Forbes magazine, Fairfax County has long been the wealthiest county in the United States - a place where the median (the median!) household income is over $100,000 a year. The county is home to many of the millionaire corporate lobbyists that have been instrumental in the passage of rigged trade deals. Davis citing Fairfax County today as proof that trade policies are working for the vast majority of the country would be like FDR citing the Rockefeller family during the Great Depression as proof that the economy was working for most Americans.
UPDATE I (10pm):
What the fuck? The McCainstream Media comes to the rescue of poor, befuddled ol' John "P.O.W" McCain and his "houses" gaffe.
– Marc Ambider, The Atlantic: “[T]he word ‘John McCain’ means a lot of different things, but rich isn’t one of them.”No, I suppose owning seven properties worth $13 million and being married to a beer distributor heiress worth at least $100 million (we'll never know because she won't release her tax returns) who owns a private jet isn't considered rich. At least compared to their REALLY rich friends.
– Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: The “assumption” that “McCain’s personal wealth makes him insensitive to the struggling economy…is highly debatable.”
Of course! Just because he believes a $5 million annual salary is what he would consider rich is no reason to believe that he's out of touch and insensitive to the personal struggles of others.
The best damage control quote had to come form the McCain campaign's Brian Rogers:
"The reality is they have some investment properties and stuff. It's not as if he lives in ten houses. That's just not the case," Rogers said. "The reality is they have four that actually could be considered houses they could use."
Those four include an apartment in Arlington, a ranch in Sedona, and two condos, in California and Phoenix, he said. The others include "some investment properties and things like that."
He also added: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.
Yeah, that's right. McCain's wealth is off limits because he was a P.O.W.! So what if he cheated on his first disabled wife to shack up with a sexy beer forune heiress that bankrolled his political career? He deserves it because he's a war hero!
UPDATE II (10:40pm):
Elvis Dingeldein: "So there you have it: Either Senator McCain is too senile to remember the number of physical buildings he owns and all the expensive things inside them, or he’s too rich to give a shit. Which should come as no surprise to those that watched him defy the Cone Of Silence at Pastor Rick’s Mega-Spiritual Bargain Warehouse Evangelicathon and Corn Feed, where McCain accidentally let it slip that you can’t join his country club if you make less than $5 million a year. “He’s down-to-earth, he’s funny, he’s just like me!” gushed a woman that attends one of Warren’s Fast-Jesus Franchises because she can’t have a personal relationship with The God™ without being in a room with 22,000 other hysterical nutcases. “And Lord he’s right, $5 million a year, that’s rich! He’s so smart!”
Also read: Sam Stein: McCain Camp Plays POW Card on House Gaffe
WHITE HOUSE '08 - GOP CITES RICHEST COUNTY IN AMERICA AS PROOF ECONOMY IS GREAT