July 14th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain reassures Latinos on immigration

McCain will defend his immigration record, attack Obama’s later Monday.

McCain will defend his immigration record, attack Obama’s later Monday.

PHOENIX (CNN) – John McCain told the National Council of La Raza on Monday that he is and always has been committed to comprehensive immigration reform.

McCain is defending his record amidst criticism from Barack Obama, who has asserted in recent speeches to Hispanic groups that the presumptive Republican nominee backed away from his support for immigration reform when it became a political liability in the Republican primaries.

Election Center: Where the candidates stand on immigration

Obama told the NCLR on Sunday that McCain “abandoned his courageous stance” on immigration during his presidential run, a charge McCain plans to push back against today in San Diego.

“I feel I must, as they say, correct the record,” said McCain. “At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform, and fought for its passage.

“I took my lumps for it without complaint. My campaign was written off as a lost cause. I did so not just because I believed it was the right thing to do for Hispanic Americans. It was the right thing to do for all Americans.”

Conservatives blasted the McCain-Kennedy bill. McCain later decided he would not support the legislation, which failed to become law, until the country's southern border is secured.

McCain argued that Obama, in fact, helped defeat the McCain-Kennedy immigration by voting for “amendments that were intended to kill the legislation.”

“I remain committed to fair, practical and comprehensive immigration reform, I mean it,” he said. “I think I have earned that trust.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. JIM...TX

    Comprehensive immigration reform...double talk for open the gates to ILLEGAL immigration.

    July 14, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Vig

    I wish these candidate would stop pandering. We have a serious problem in this country will illegal immigrants – it needs to be dealt with one way or the other. Hillary Clinton has the most measured approach and she did not have to pander to have Latino loyalty. DUMP OBAMA and BRING BACK HILLARY.

    July 14, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Lesley

    Let me get this straight. He helped draft a bill and then voted against his own bill? Can you say flip flop? He doesn't even support his own legislation. He failed to mention that little detail in his own speech.

    July 14, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. ANGIE

    remember folks john mccain senator 25 years the last 7 years supporting bush 95 percent of the time you know what they say YOU CANT TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    Mc Cain has a record not just pander talk....Latino's voted for Hillary because they knew where sge stood and had a record to back up "talk" Obama does not realize that an image is being created by the republicans even as we speak...its gradual but its building....
    New Mexico and Nevada will be in Mc Cain winning column this fall–

    July 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. DJ, LA, CA

    There's no difference between the candidates on immigration or building a wall. Quit trying to spin it McCain.

    July 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. McLiar !!!!

    Stop Lying McCain !!!YOU backed away from support for immigration reform when it became a political liability in the Republican primaries.

    July 14, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. GoObama!

    As an immigrant and first time voter, I have experience all kinds of shenanigans from Republicans, and CNN (Lou Dobbs) when it comes to immigration issue. I am voting Obama no matter what McCain says. No immigrant in his/her right mind can vote for Republican party. If in doubt on anti-immigrant sentiments, watch Lou Dobbs tonight, and listen trash from from republicans such as Tancredo. Go Obama

    July 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa

    Latinos will be back to support HRC in 2012....

    July 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Michael

    John McCain is a great American hero and, God willing, will be the next President of the United States instead of the Con. law instructor. But he's dead wrong about this.

    July 14, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    McCain is an old fool. He flip-flops on everything and panders to everyone. I don't think we can consider him an American because he wasn't even born in this country.

    July 14, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. This says it all

    McCain vs. Obama: The hero vs. the zero.

    July 14, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    There's only so much that you can dismiss as senility. After that it's just stupidity and pandering...

    July 14, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. SHAME


    July 14, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    “I feel I must, as they say, correct the record,” McCain will say.

    But he can't do much about his voting record on the piece of immigrationi legislation he worked on but voted against when the conservatives screamed. He also needs to refresh hinself on other portions of his voting record such as viagra/birth control and portions of his 'joking' record such as 'bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,' and we must be exporting cigarettes to Iran to kill them comments. Why isn't this stuff repeated for weeks on end like the Rev. Wright comments? Why are we still talking about Jesse Jackson but not Phil Gramm?

    What is wrong with the media? Why are we not talking about more important issues? The McCain comments about Iran really scare me. We all know what happened when Bush Jr. was obsessed with killing Sadam Hussein – he found a way to go to war even though it was not justified. I feel the same thing will happen under McCain with regard to Iran.

    I know it seems the general public seems disinterested in the news and more interested in those idiodic reality shows, but please do not 'dumb down' the news and flood the internet with tabloid headlines to attract readers. I look at the top ten most read stories on cnn.com every day and am apalled at how many tabloid stories rank in the top ten. The only way to get unfiltered news seems to be the new blogs such as Huffington, Talking Points Memo, Politico. At least they are not owned by major corps who insist on huge revenues at any cost, to include editing the news to 'sound' more interesting.

    I am truly worried about the country's ability to pick good leaders when they are voting based on tabloid journalis and 527 political ads.

    July 14, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Leon

    McCain has voted with Bush. He is only trying to woo Latino voters. Republicans do not want immigrants, they are anti-immigration. People please let's not have another 4 years of Bush / Republican policies for our country. We need some new in office. Vote for OBAMA...

    July 14, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Debbie

    McCain is a liar.

    McCain's bill? Based on McCain's reaction in the debate prior to Super Tuesday of 2008, it clearly wasn't his bill.

    Watch the debate just prior to Super Tuesday. This is just a small clip, it's even worse when you watch it.

    Q: So I just want to confirm that you would not vote for your bill as it originally was?
    McCain: My bill will not be voted on; it will not be voted on.

    No wonder the Reagan's called McCain the most insincere man they have ever met. McCain repeatedly lied to the Reagans in the 70's and that was before he became a politician.

    July 14, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Ryan from New Mexico

    good, BECAUSE BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA doesnt have a RECORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Morningstar

    McCain, please retire!

    July 14, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Peter of Oregon

    I want to hear more from him and CNN about Keating 5.

    July 14, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Jay

    where are the new Newsweek poll numbers? Obama is down. 🙂

    July 14, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. aware

    Right Senator McCain!

    Obama prevaricates and obfuscates with ease. The slippery senator is not credible. He is running out of cash and has no moral center or core principles. So, he is grasping at straws! 😦

    July 14, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Nikole

    Exactly what is there to clear up? He drafted legislation and then said that if it came to a vote, he would vote against his own legislation. How has he been mischaracterized?

    July 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. H-ROD


    July 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    Would this be the same immigration policy that he is now against that he voted for and "authored" with Senator Kennedy? Nice try, McFlip-Flop, McStickin', McRottin', McFish.

    July 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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