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Barack Obama, John McCain take aim at glass houses

Now THIS is what we like to see -- the campaigns focusing on the issues that matter (and yes, we know, sarcasm doesn't translate well in print, but trust us, it's there). If we worked for Comedy Central, we'd be offering up a little logo here: "It's Gaffe-orific!"

A Glass House at which people should not throw stones if they live in one too

John McCain -- who, as they say, married well -- couldn't answer a question Wednesday that most people have no trouble answering: How many houses do you own?

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you." The staff response: Four homes. The reality: Seven homes.

Not a good flub for the candidate who the other day defined (in a joke, the campaign said later) being rich as making $5 million a year (what's so bad about $4 million?), and whose economic surrogate thinks most voters concerned about their own deteriorating financial well-being are just a bunch of whiners.

In baseball terms, that's known as hanging a curveball. And this morning you can't find a Democrat who's not holding a baseball bat, swinging away. Barack Obama's campaign may have set a record getting an ad up about it.

Even Obama -- who usually leaves this stuff to the surrogates and staffers -- got into it, weaving a jab into a comment earlier today in Chester, Va. (Transcript is from the campaign; video is below):

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. ... 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."

Of course, McCain's people couldn't leave Obama's reference to his own house dangling out there. That's the house, you'll recall, next to the lot Obama got a deal on through his friendship with now-convicted Chicago wheeler-dealer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers:

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? The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes, and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.

Ah, democracy!

-- Scott Martelle

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

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McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers:

Why don't we see these mouthpiece faces? If their quotes can be mass distributed nationally, so can their mug shot!

This clown is so wrong it's laughable!

>Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year,

McCain pegged $5 Million as rich, Obama isn't in McCain's own recent definition.


>just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii

I read this from another source, no private beaches in Hawaii. Obama was on a public beach while on vacation. He simply went home where he was born.

>bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?

Was there land fraud in the Obama house deal? No!

> 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?

McCain is in touch with the NRA, yes. Is that lobby pushing more guns sales and manufacturing good for Americans suffering the most gun deaths in the world?

People do cling to their bent religious beliefs, there is no doubt about it!

>The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes, and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.

McCain was impressed standing recently on a Chevron Oil Platform, the noise and profits of oil companies impressing him a lot.

McCain says more drilling off shore!

Our American pump jockeys are shorting production of gasoline while oil prices are sky high! There is less refining for profits sake!

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF OIL!

He didn't believe that prior to this Presidential Campaign, a major flip by McCain. More drilling is harmful to the environment!

Our pump jockeys need to stop helping the manipulation of sky high oil prices because consumers are being ripped off and taxes on gasoline make it financially worse.

Obama 08!

what 's wrong having many homes or not even remembering it? The guy is rich and john Kerry had more homes and Obama still was a big supporter. So I don't get the attack line.

Both candidate should do their best to make every American family rich and make it easier for any family to have more homes. What's wrong with that?

Mccain is out of touch and so is his staff, actually i really don't think they care at all about domestic issues. never have like it is part of their platform. See a guy with 7 houses would not have had to stay in new orleans or alabama, during katrina he could go to his summer home.
this foreign policy expert, think that pakastain and Iraq share a border..NOT... or is that all part of his master plan...also, his foreign policy advisor was beign paid by the country of Georgia thru the primaries all the way up until May 15 2008....he has 70 lobbyist in his camp....he is already bought and paid for by them can't you see.....

The ticket for the Democrats is stop playing into McCain’s hands about discussing foreign affairs, as difficult as this may be for those of us who opposed the war. They need to pound away at economic issues, including how out of touch McCain is.

“It’s the Economy Stupid: TAKE TWO”
http://msa4.wordpress.com/

I get your sarcasm and I agree. WV bloggers are focusing on this as well sadly.

Who cares how many homes McCain has? Is Obama jealous? Besides, Cindy is the rich one, and SHE probably owns them.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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