A housing issue: John McCain not sure how many he and wife Cindy own

A housing issue: John McCain not sure how many he and wife Cindy own
John McCain forgot how many houses his family owns, touching off a rich-slapping spree with Barack Obama as they portrayed each other as out of touch with ordinary Americans.

“By the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes,” Obama said with a grin at a rally in Chester, Va., Thursday.

Obama combined the houses gaffe with McCain’s recent remark that being rich starts at $5 million to paint the presumptive GOP nominee as clueless on the plight of voters coping with mortgage woes and a sinking economy.

“I guess if you think being rich is you have to make $5 million a year and you have to think about how many houses you have, then you might think the economy is fundamentally strong,” the Democrat said.

McCain handed the Obama campaign a mother lode of political ammunition when he stumbled over the question put to him by Politico.com : “How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?”

“I think, uh, I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain responded in the interview posted yesterday. “I can’t tell you — condominiums — I’ll have them get to you.”

His staff said there were four “residences” — a ranch in Sedona, Ariz., and three luxury condos in Phoenix, Arlington, Va., and La Jolla, Calif. — and three other condos that were “investments.”

But Politico and public records said there actually might be eight McCain properties bankrolled by his wife Cindy, head of Arizona’s largest beer distributorship and heiress to a fortune estimated at more than $100 million left by her father Jim Hensley. The McCain staff had overlooked yet another Phoenix condo bought last year.

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