Connecting The Dots
by Todd Beeton, Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 09:26:58 AM EDT
More good rapid response. At a townhall in Chester, Virginia earlier today, Barack Obama laid out the narrative that John McCain cemented with his admission yesterday that he doesn't recall how many houses he owns. Jake Tapper covers it HERE. Barack's comments are below:
But the fact of the matter is that John McCain is offering more of the same. He said a while back that he thought that we had made great progress economically during the years that George Bush has been in office. Now, that raised some eyebrows. Great progress economically. Who is he talking to? And it turns out that you get a sense of who he's talking to because some of you saw the Saddleback Forum with Rick Warren. He was asked, well, who do you consider rich? And he thought about it for a second, I don't know. Maybe if you make $5 million. $5 million, then you're rich. Which means, I guess, if you're only making $3 million a year then you're middle class. I guess that's what he meant. His top economic adviser said the other day that Americans should stop complaining; they've become a nation of whiners. That all these economic problems everybody is talking about is just a mental recession. And if you would just change your mind, everything would be okay. Somebody's been laid off, their plant's closed and gone to Mexico or China, change your mind. It's all good. Then, yesterday, he was asked again, what do you think about the economy? He says, Well, I think the economy is fundamentally strong; said the economy is fundamentally strong. Now, this puzzled me. I was confused as to what he meant. But then there was another interview - this is yesterday, same day - where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses do you have? And he said, I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff. True quote. I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff. So they asked his staff, and he said, at least four. At least four. Now, think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you've got to make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong. But if you're like me, and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective. And by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes. So there's just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCain's world and what people are going through every single day here in America. And you don't have to be - you don't have to be a Nobel Prize Laureate economist. You just have to have a little bit of a sense of what ordinary people are going through to understand that we can't afford eight more years or four more years or one more year of the same failed economic policies that George Bush has put in place.
The McCain campaign's response is pretty funny, the way it clumsily -- but predictably -- wraps Rezko and "bitter gate" all into one.
"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? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans? The reality is that Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he's completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans."
Actually, it looks like Barack is perfectly happy to get into a debate about houses, although it should be noted that while the Obama campaign is citing 7 McCain homes, Progressive Accountability counts 10. Great list is HERE.
Update [2008-8-21 14:39:42 by Todd Beeton]:Note that by citing Obama's having made "more than $4 million last year," the McCain campaign puts him firmly within McCain's own standard for the middle class (ie under $5 million.)