McCain's Homes Are Focus Of Latest Political Flap

Sen. John McCain told Politico he's not sure how many homes he and his wife own. Sen. Barack Obama seized on that remark, telling an audience there's a fundamental gap of understanding between McCain's world and what Americans are going through.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now, the question that has ignited house-to-house political fighting in the presidential campaign. The questioner was Mike Allen of Politico, interviewing John McCain yesterday in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Mr. MIKE ALLEN (Chief Political Correspondent, Politico): How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?

Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Presidential Candidate): I think -I'll get - I'll have my staff get to you and tell you about that.

SIEGEL: Senator McCain's staff did talk to Politico later. Their answer was at least four. Well, today, Barack Obama held a Q&A on the economy in Virginia, and he obviously delighted in recalling the question: How many homes do the McCains own?

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): And he said, I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff. True quote.

SIEGEL: Obama went on to say this showed McCain is out of touch with average Americans. Well, even before Obama had finished speaking, McCain's campaign launched a counterattack. Spokesman Brian Rogers posed this question.

Mr. BRIAN ROGERS (Spokesman, McCain Campaign): Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from a 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?

SIEGEL: Apparently, yes. This afternoon, Obama's campaign unveiled this television ad.

(Soundbite of political advertisement)

Unidentified Man #2: Maybe you're struggling just to pay the mortgage on your home, but recently, John McCain said the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Hmm. Then again, that same day, when asked how many houses he owns, McCain lost track. He couldn't remember. Well, it's seven.

SIEGEL: And now, this clarification from McCain spokesman Rogers.

Mr. ROGERS: The McCains have four residences in Virginia, Arizona and California.

SIEGEL: And Rogers adds they do also have some investment properties.

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