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. sarah

    dont worry about it Mac, the hot air vendor lies about everything and the truly intelligent people know this is just another attempt to prevent people from noticing " the man behind the curtain" is just a figment of their imagination.

    July 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Kansas

    Our problem with immigration issues is not the individuals who come here and work hard for low wages. It is the business model that exploits workers, in the US or by taking the jobs out of the US, so CEO can be paid millions. All the major aircraft companies currently in Wichita are setting up plants in the same region in Mexico so they can move production to Mexicd. Mc Bush was more sane in his views on immigration 1 year ago than he is doday. Who moderates these, I stay on topic and use no offensive languale, yet I get moderated out about 1/2 the time.

    July 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Saad from NJ

    I wish I could somehow make Senator Obama follow Senator McCain's approach towards Immigration reforms and follow his strategy.....

    Or, I wish I could somehow make Senator McCain acquire all the traits and charisma of Senator Obama that collectively gives us a glimmer of hope about his damage-control abilities in both National and International state of affairs.

    I really wish I could do one or another.

    July 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Mike Brooks, Eugene, Oregon

    John McCain is a big supporter of the H1-B visa. That visa, which is used by Amercian hi-tech companies to lay off older Amercian engineers, computer programmers, and scientistis, and replace them with cheap foreign guest workers from India and China, is a security nightmare. Every single Chinese worker is vetted by the Chinese government. Most are spies in the most literal sense of the word. The Indian workers, if anything, are worse. They will, and have, stolen eveything that isn't tied down. Indian workers stole the plans for the B1 and B2 bombers, our stealth fighter and steal technology, plans for guidance systems for cruise missiles, nuclear secrets, and much much more. John McCain's support for this isn't just anti-worker and anti-American, it amounts to treason. If he is allowed to follow Bush into the White House, this country has no chance whatsoever. The maverick John McCain is a fiction. John McCain is nothing mroe than a stalking horse for Bush-Cheney and all of the evil they and their corporate and Wall Street cronies have brought down upon this country.

    July 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Change

    well come to real world Hillary supporters stop dreaming it is a while now since it has been over ask Hillary herself she will tell you, that is a fact on the ground unless you are living in dreamland. I will ask Obama or Mc Cain to work you up when one of them is in office.

    July 14, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Didn't Carly Fiorini run Hewlett Packard to the ground and Lucent to the ground before that? Yet McCain has her running his campaign!

    July 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    I was for immigration


    I'm against immigration

    Flip Flop McCain just be quiet and let Liebrman ttell you what to do

    old crazy man

    July 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    when you are old, you are just old, all of this old men, mccain, mcclaughin, black, phill ????? and the rest of them, need to come into the 21st century. I hope the hispanics in america, do not believe mccain and vote for Obama.

    but sad hillary supporters should vote for mccain and then he can have their children and grand children building the wall.

    Guess old Dr Phill was right those who vote for mccain have 'mental recession' which causes them to whine!

    July 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Peter E

    Wow. A political ticker actually mentioning relevant political issues. That's new!

    July 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Cynthia - Arkansas

    McSame just says whatever he can remember to say. It's pitiful to watch! McSame is being bought right now by big business, big oil and all the rest of the hacks that have ruined this country. He can stand there and say anything. Look at who a person owes favors to and you'll know how they will vote on issues. He doesn't give a rats behind about anyone but rich white guys. I'm white, so I can say that.

    July 14, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Oregon calling

    Let me see, someone that rarely gets called on anything that his campaign states that is out of line vs someone who is called on and raked over the coals on everything....... which is the real underdog? I have voted for Republicans as well as Democrats, I am a voter for a person and NOT a party, I have lived all over this country and know people from various countries. I (with much shame now) voted for GW in 2000, I voted for Kerry in 2004. Heck, to be honest I voted for Perot twice. It does appear that people are applauding him now when they wouldn't even consider him then. The real underdog is the AMERICAN PEOPLE. I would rather vote for someone that really knows and cares about the constitution than someone that can't "remember" who's names he gave when a POW. Let's get real America, we need a strong leader but noone would elect me because I don't have enough "time" in Washington. Isn't that what is wrong with this country, the average person here has no voice. I would hope that this election will change this. Having said all of this, I will be voting for Senator Obama in November and feel comforted that he will fill his cabinet with members that will have the people of this country at heart and not Corporate business where it's the bottom line and not the individual that really matter.

    Caucasian 40ish women with Native American Blood running through my veins.....

    July 14, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Election watcher

    At least he proposing something, and Arizona is among the most affected by immigration problem's.
    Funny thing, and this came out in uncertain terms during the Dem campaigns, is that Obama's immigration policies are nothing but a contiuation of the failed Bush immigration policies!!!
    Change? Hah!
    Just say Nobama!

    July 14, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Surafel

    I think we should have a web site where it compare the candidates on the issues that matters. Economy, Energy, Immigration, and such. I'm confused and i don't know who to believe any more. Both candidates say their approach is the best and effective, and for me its hard to know who has the right solution. Please, build a web site and compare this two politician, I'm dem. but i'm open for Rep. too. It depends on how it goes from here to november.

    July 14, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Marc PDX

    Comparing McCain's record against Obama's is a good idea and way overdue. Obama has no record to fall back on. Just some hazy speech he made about not supporting the Iraq war (allegedly... I didn't actually hear whatever he really said or under what context). McCain has decades of experience and a record to go with it. Obama has 144 days in the senate, half of which have been used for campaigning for president. There is no record to show.


    July 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    McCain today talked about Czech., a country which no longer exists.

    With all the gaffes he makes, voters need to be concerned about his mental facilities and the MSM needs to do a better job of reporting them.

    July 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. webster208

    Obama, who has the gall to criticize McCain's record on mmigration needs to be asked: "And how about you, sir. What have you done?" Of course, in the real world of Obama politics, it would be racist to ask hard questions of Obama. His motives cannot be questioned, and when he changes positions, he should not be seen as flip-flopping, but only as "refining" his position. This whole thing is indeed a fairy tale!

    July 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    McCain is the only candidate that is not a girlie man. I just can't understand how Obama and Barr got the nomination. McCain is well qualified and Barr may be, but Obama is pure green.

    I am sorry if I offended a few bloggers in a previous blog. I know the truth hurts and I am sorry that it appears that the truth got to you and got you upset.

    But you must wake up. No one wants this war any more but we just can't up and get out like Obama wishes. Wishes just don't make things go away.

    Doesn't Obama know that if we pull out our ground troops, then the Iranians will go in and help out the Iraquis? I'd be careful. We can't let that happen, no matter who is president. Americans are victory oriented and Americans hate losing. So suck it up for a little while longer and reap the benefits of a good harvest of peace in the Mid East.

    July 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Xavier

    Republicans only remember Latinos around election time. They bring out their Latinos nephews and nieces and show them off so as to get us to think that they are hip with the Latino communitty. McCain wants us to trust him, but yet votes against his own bill. How are we to know he wont change his mind if he were to get into office?

    July 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. E.C.Coleman

    Better make it Clear to ALL, McCain: Americans will NOT tolerate Amnesty OR a Path to Citizenship. We will not stand for any favors or gifts to Illegal Immigrants, whether it is YOU or a Democrat in the White House. Comprehensive Immigration can mean many things and it does NOT mean Path to Citizenship and allowing Illegal Aliens to reside in this country. Period.

    July 14, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Ms. RDS

    How can you go on the defensive about something that you said. YOU said you would not even support the bill that was headlined with your name. But then again that was one of the 61 flip flops that the MSM didn't report on!

    July 14, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. rachel

    Hmm John is good on immigration, on the other hand Obama used Hillary's health care plan that he trashed during the primaries to woo the latinos when he spoke to them. Obama get more original he likes a kid copying off everyone elses papers.

    July 14, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Ms. RDS

    Article didn't note McCain voted to kill the legislation too...

    July 14, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Bendo

    Attention alll repubs: last month ya'all were saying the polls dont matter, now your %issing yourselves over Obama up by only 3-4 points....polls dont mateer uh! Well look at the Electoral College and look at the polls in each the states and add the totals....its not the poular vote that counts in the EC votes that add up...add em up and you will see a map that points to a Obama victory in November!

    July 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. not important

    What does senator Phil Gramm think about immigration? Oh yeah maybe he thinks that those people are not whiners like americans are?

    July 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Rick

    Hey McSame. Didn't your campaign just call them whiners and say that they are in a mental recession? Don't try to pander to us now!!! Won't work. Obama has our support!!!

    Obama 08/12

    July 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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