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Mr.Peabody

Houses Add Up to A Snag for McCain

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Houses Add Up to A Snag for McCain

Campaign Has Cast Obama as Elitis

By Jonathan Weisman and Robert Barnes

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, August 22, 2008; Page A01

Sen. John McCain's inability to recall the number of homes he owns during an interview yesterday jeopardized his campaign's carefully constructed strategy to frame Democratic rival Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and inspired a round of attacks that once again ratcheted up the negative tone of the race for the White House.

A week dominated by vice presidential speculation and the run-up to the Democratic National Convention was quickly overtaken by the McCain miscue. In an interview with Politico.com, the presumptive Republican nominee was asked how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, heir to a beer distributorship, owned.

"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain replied. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you."

Republicans have countered .....

103That provoked a furious response by McCain campaign and Republican National Committee aides, who charged hypocrisy and argued that the senator from Illinois had received help purchasing his South Side Chicago mansion from businessman Tony Rezko, a convicted felon.

"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?" asked McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

but for some facts

The facts are generally accurate, though some of the ad's insinuations are not. Tony Rezko was an Obama fundraiser, and when Obama and his wife bought their Chicago home in 2005 for $1.65 million, Rezko's wife bought an adjacent side lot for $625,000. Months later, the Obamas bought a small part of that lot for $104,000. Viewers of the ad may not realize, however, that Rezko was not under investigation at the time.

As a state senator, Obama did write letters to officials supporting a $14 million Rezko bid to build senior citizen housing, but he was not the decision-maker. While the ad features a Chicago Sun-Times headline --"Obama Surfaces in Rezko Case"-- he was tangential to the testimony and had no connection to the fraud and money-laundering charges on which Rezko was convicted in June.

The McCain spot, marked by ominous music, was released yesterday hours after an Obama commercial chided the senator from Arizona for failing to remember that he owns seven houses. The counterattack ad attempts to shift the focus from McCain's wealth to Obama's judgment by reviving a controversy that was fully aired during the primaries.

McCain unsure of how many houses he owns

backround on McCains ad on Obama

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"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?" asked McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

$4 million? By McCain's own admission that would place Obama squarely in the middle class (somehow). Out of touch much? Yes, he is.

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Johnny Boy needs to be careful throwing around the " Elitist " tag. Him and Obama both wear that badge as far as I'm concerned.

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