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Obama Hammers McCain on Homes « The Washington Independent

The Obama campaign wasted no time in jumping all over Sen. John McCain’s admission in an interview with Politico that the doesn’t know how many homes he and his wife own. In one of its sharpest attacks to date on the presumed Republican nominee, the Obama rapid response team quickly put together a video that portrays McCain as out of touch on the housing crisis — and reminds him that he owns seven homes, worth $13 million.

At a town hall today in Chester, Va., Obama linked McCain’s homes to his recent statements that a rich person makes more than $5 million annually and that "the fundamentals of our economy are very strong," to illustrate how McCain is out of touch with the economic hardships faced by many Americans.

"[T]here was another interview – this is yesterday, same day – where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses do you have? And he said, ‘I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff.’ True quote. ‘I’m not sure. I’ll have to check with my staff.’ So they asked his staff, and he said, at least four. At least four.

Now, think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you’ve got to make $5 million and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if you’re like me, and you’ve got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don’t lose their home, you might have a different perspective. And, by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes. So there’s just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain’s world and what people are going through every single day here in America."

The McCain camp immediately hit back, releasing a statement painting Obama as a hypocritical elitist for pursuing this line of attack:

“Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people ‘cling’ to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?”

Politifact, the St. Petersburg [Fla.] Times’ fact-checking operation, released a report confirming that, including investment properties, the McCains do in fact own seven homes — most of which are in Cindy McCain’s name.

So basically, we have two wealthy candidates — one being relatively "new money" who was still paying off student loans until his books became bestsellers, and the other married into such an incredible fortune that he can’t even say with certainty how many houses he has — hammering away at each other on who is more out of touch with the American people. This is obviously a favorable issue for Obama, but it could easily turn into one of those inter-campaign spats that leaves the winner bruised as well.

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