KERRY: ... let me just say...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you another question right now...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... because, Senator, Howard Wolfson -- excuse me. Let me just ask you another question. Howard Wolfson, Senator Clintonâ€™s former communications director, said that this pick might just work to draw women to the Republican ticket. Are you worried about that?
KERRY: Well, with all due respect to Howard, you know, I have much more respect for the Clinton supporters than that sort of quick-blush take with -- I mean, how stupid do they think the Clinton supporters are, for Heaven sakes?
Do they think Clinton supporters supported Hillary only because she was a woman. For Heaven sakes, they supported Hillary because of all the things sheâ€™s fought for, because she fights for health care, which John McCain doesnâ€™t support; she fights for children and childrenâ€™s health care, which John McCain voted against; she fights for a windfall profits tax on the oil company, which John McCain opposes.
I mean, for Heaven sakes, the people who supported Hillary Clinton are not going to be seduced just because John McCain has picked a woman. Theyâ€™re going to look at what she supports.
The fact that she doesnâ€™t even support the notion that climate change is manmade -- sheâ€™s back there with the Flat Earth Caucus. And I donâ€™t see how those women are going to be fooled into believing -- I think itâ€™s almost insulting to the Hillary supporters that they believe they would support somebody who is against almost everything that they believe in.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. KERRY: What John McCain has proven with this choice -- this is very important, George. John McCain wanted to choose Tom Ridge. He wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. He wanted to choose another candidate, but you know what? Rush Limbaugh and the right wing vetoed it.
And John McCain was forced to come back and pick a sort of Cheney-esque social conservative whoâ€™s going to satisfy the base.
What John McCain has proven with this choice is that John McCain is the prisoner of the right wing, not a maverick.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Kerry, Iâ€™m afraid thatâ€™s all we have time for today. Thank you very much for your time.
KERRY: Thank you.
WASHINGTON -- Days after he cracked that being rich in the U.S. meant earning at least $5 million a year, Republican presidential candidate John McCain acknowledged that he wasn't sure how many houses he and his wealthy wife actually own.
"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain responded to a question posed by Politico, according to a story Thursday on the publication's Web site. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you."
Later, the McCain campaign told Politico that McCain and his wife, Cindy, have at least four in three states, Arizona, California and Virginia. Newsweek recently estimated the two owned at least seven properties.
-- Douglass K. Daniel, "How Many Houses Do the McCains Own? Republican Candidate for President Not Sure Himself," Minneapolis Star-Tribune, August 21, 2008.
Some of the richest people I've ever known in my life are the most unhappy. I think that rich is -- should be defined by a home, a good job and education and the ability to hand to our children a more prosperous and safer world than the one that we inherited. I donâ€™t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don't believe in class warfare or redistribution of the wealth. But I can tell you for example there are small businessmen and women who are working 16 hours a day, seven days a week that some people would classify as, quote, 'rich,' my friends, who want to raise their taxes and raise their payroll taxes. Let's have -- keep taxes low. Let's give every family in America a $7,000 tax credit for every child they have. Let's give them a $5,000 refundable tax credit to go out and get the health insurance of their choice. Let's not have the government take over the health care system in America.
So I think if you're just talking about income, how about $5 million. But seriously, I don't think you can -- I don't think, seriously that -- the point is that I'm trying to make here seriously -- and I'm sure that comment will be distorted, but the point is -- the point is -- the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues. And my friend, it was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending. Spending got completely out of control. We spent money in a way that mortgaged our kids' futures. My friends, we spent $3 million of your money to study the DNA of bears in Montana. Now I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but the point is -- but the point is it was $3 million of your money. It was your money.
And you know, we laugh about it, but we cry and we should cry because the Congress is supposed to be careful stewards of your tax dollars. so what did they just do in the middle of an energy crisis when in California we are paying $4 a gallon for gas, went on vacation for five weeks. I guarantee you, two things they never miss, a pay raise and a vacation. And we should stop that and call them back and not raise your taxes. We should not and cannot raise taxes in tough economic times. So it doesnâ€™t matter really what my definition of rich is because I donâ€™t want to raise anybodyâ€™s taxes.
-- John McCain at the Saddleback Church Civil Forum, Lake Forest, CA, August 16, 2008.
The most interesting exchange came at the very end, and it was about Iraq. The money quoteâ€”the bit that could come back to haunt McCainâ€”went like this:
Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for fifty years.
McCain: Make it a hundred.
Thatâ€™s the sound bite. Thatâ€™s the headline. Now letâ€™s look at the context, which I think is worth considering in full. . . .