Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said yesterday in an interview with Politico that he did not know how many houses he and his wife Cindy own. “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain said. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.” His staff has since said “the correct answer is at least four,” but the McCains actually own 7 houses.
Some in the media are leaping to defend McCain, either by justifying or downplaying his comment. The Washington Post’s Paul Kane called it a “manufactured flap,” and not “a huge deal” because “at this point in his national political career McCain is not going to be transformed into a super rich elitist. He’s just not, the voters won’t buy it.” Others downplayed McCain’s gaffe:
— Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic: “[T]he word ‘John McCain’ means a lot of different things, but rich isn’t one of them.”
— Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: The “assumption” that “McCain’s personal wealth makes him insensitive to the struggling economy…is highly debatable.”
And today on Fox News, host Martha MacCallum justified McCain’s comments, saying the reason he couldn’t answer was simply because the McCains “have real estate investments and he wanted to make sure he got that right.” Watch it:
Unfortunately, these reporters are ignoring an obvious and glaring reality that McCain is running a campaign of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. He recently defined rich as earning $5 million or more and doesn’t know how many houses he owns, and at the same time, McCain is proposing a tax policy that primarily benefits the rich. In fact, under his proposal, McCain himself would receive a $300,000 tax cut, while middle class Americans would receive only a few hundred.
Moreover, while ordinary Americans are struggling to keep the one house they own, McCain has a record of denying assistance to homeowners, having voted against mortgage protections and other steps to help consumers fight unfair credit terms.
But by now, we should all be used to the media’s favorable treatment of McCain. Indeed, just yesterday, McCain agreed that the U.S. should reconstitute the military draft. Yet some in the media argued that McCain hadn’t actually agreed to this policy change (he did) and instead chose to give McCain “the benefit of the doubt.”