McCain unsure how many houses he owns
Jonathan Martin, Mike AllenThu Aug 21, 7:34 AM ET
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.
"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 correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.
In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Pro-Obama labor groups have sent out mailers highlighting McCains wealth, and prominent Democrats have included references to it in comments to reporters.
Twice in the past two weeks, those Democrats have focused on McCains houses.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Politicos Ben Smith that it was McCain who wears $500 shoes, has six houses and comes from one of the richest families in his state."
And David Axelrod, Obamas chief strategist, referred in an interview with Adam Nagourney of The New York Times to an imagined meeting of McCain strategists on the portico of the McCain estate in Sedona or maybe in one of his six other houses.
McCains comments came four days after he initially told Pastor Rick Warren during a faith forum on Sunday his threshold for considering someone rich is $5 million a careless comment he quickly corrected.
In the interview, McCain did not offer an alternate number, but had a new answer ready.
I define rich in other ways besides income, he said. Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if theyre billionaires.
McCain, by anyone's measure, is well-off, if you account for his wife's fortune. Cindy McCain inherited control of her fathers beer distributorship, the largest in Arizona, and has an estimated worth of more than $100 million.