UAW, DNC Blast McCain on "Buying American"

September 22, 2008
Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain

John McCain's claim of "buying American all my life" was perhaps a partial truth, according to the Democratic National Committee. McCain made the comment during a WXYZ TV interview in Detroit recently and followed it up by saying, "and I'm proud."

The complete truth, as the DNC tells it, is a fleet of 13 automobiles in John McCain's personal stable, three of which are not American brands. In addition to the foreign-made Toyota Prius that McCain may or may not have purchased for his daughter, McCain himself owns a "foreign made Lexus Sedan, a Volkswagen, and a Honda sedan," according to UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. Gettelfinger blasted McCain in a Sunday conference call, saying he "wasn't being straight with the people of Detroit." Newsweek magazine also weighed in on McCain's livery, citing ownership of three foreign-branded automobiles.

Is it a lie to buy mostly American brands and some foreign brands while claiming you've "bought American all my life?" Is it mincing words to bicker about the content of a vehicle, when plenty of American-branded vehicles have been built entirely in, say, Canada (last-gen Chevy Camaro/Pontiac Firebird) and/or Mexico? And what of that 2001 Honda Accord in McCain's stable? Both Honda and Toyota have made significant contributions in recent years to the American workforce. Is it accurate to insinuate that purchasing a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry is an inherently anti-American act, or one that is not supportive of the American worker? And last but not least: Are these real issues, or just election-season obfuscation?

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The mud slinging has only just begun. Far from black and white, this stuff is a dizzying sea of gray that is sure to stimulate untold beer hall and coffeeshop arguments across the country.--Colin Mathews

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