July 14th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
6 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. obama 08-12

    stop pandering mcbush.

    July 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Hans-Erik Iken

    After voting against a piece of legislation he worked on himself he lost all credibility on this subject.

    McCain is just not to be trusted. He just wants to be president before he retires or dies of old age andwill say anything to achieve that goal.

    I seriously doubt the legal immigrants will trust him to be on their side and the illegal immigrants are not voters. The whole debate should be about punishing the businesses that hire illegals and keep legal immigrants out of a job, thus condemning them to fulfill the image that is falsely being created about them: people that don't want to work.

    The ones that are benefitting from illegal labour are more likely to vote republican then democrat. Wo is McCain trying to fool here?

    July 14, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Kansas

    If you want to know if you can trust this man, on immigration or anything else for that matter, just go back and look at his involvement on the Keating 5 deal. This is a dishonest, unethical man who spins his hair trigger temper as "straight talking". I feel sorry for this country if we have 4 more years of the last 8 which has put the US in most vulnerable position.

    July 14, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. MDB

    Wow, all the libs think McCain voted against his own Bill, Hmmmmm. Funny no one has voted on the Bill because it has never made it to the floor. McCain even say's in the interview "it won't be voted upon" because like everything else the Democratic congress is more interested in steroids in baseball and fixing their 9% (that's right 9%) approval rating. And you Libs though GW's 29% was bad.

    July 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Really?

    WORSE than a flip flopper: saying one thing to one set (I'm all for immigration reform!), and another thing to the other set (no reform until we secure our borders!). Please. This is easier to see than a pig in a poke.

    July 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Alex, ATL

    McCain used to be self made independent – now he’s just a another puppet in the hands of neo-cons. Same as Bush he will do whatever it takes to please his bosses – even vote against his own bill…even take our country into new wars and bring just to the bankruptcy just to continue neo-cons hold on our nation by wars, hate and fear…

    July 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Hispanics4Obama

    I am for Obama. Older hispanics I think are rooting for Mcbush because they worship white british People!

    July 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Doris,Memphis,TN

    The Republicans don't want John McCain and neither does
    the rest of America! Continue to smear Barack and see
    where it gets you. Not this time Karl!

    July 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. LatinoforObama!

    I am educated Latino to Know the difference between Mccain and Obama.

    Obama all the way!

    08,12,16..................!

    July 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. RepublicansLieToLatinos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Not this time. Not this year. This time we want to talk about our schools, your troops and our world peace.

    Anybody who smells war and fear can not have my vote!

    July 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Xavier

    Hispanics for McCain,
    What Latinos?I look to the left, and I look to the right, I look all around and see only Latinos for Obama.

    July 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. PG

    McSame what about that viagra question??????

    Latinos for Obama!

    July 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Democrats08!

    Vote democrat or you die!

    July 14, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Vicky

    The media is hiding the world Republican becuase they know they have no place.

    CNN, it is Democrats Vs. Republicans! Stop being in Republicans pocket by hiding the party name which is damaged and can not even be eaten by dogs even if it is their food!

    Go Dems!

    July 14, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Bomb,Bomb Iran

    If you talk of war should be 3500ft from me!

    If you talk of Hope and my aspirations you definately have my vote!

    July 14, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Mai

    Instead of pandering to Illegals by both candidate, I would like both say–ENFORCE THE LAWS THAT ARE ON OUR BOOKS NOW. Such a simple solutuion.

    July 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Democrat for Life

    All americans know what you are about McSame. You will not get my vote.

    Obama '08

    July 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. shannon

    In Obama's under 200 day spend in Washington, what has he tried to do for Latinos???

    NOTHING! That is what.

    Obama is all talk and no substance.

    July 14, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. latino4Obama

    I am donating to Obama. He will bring my brother home from Iraq!

    July 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Susan

    Oreo – question mark on your forehead – whatever you want to call it, people are comfortable when they can place you in a box or label you so that they "understand” or in most cases place certain prejudices on your behavior, positions, actions etc. or even give themselves permission to act or behave in a certain way. We as a public just haven't evolved to getting outside of boxes – apparently we are like cats and children, we find them more exciting then the gift – or in this case the person.

    July 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. 1paperclip

    Regarding the last article regarding the use of the word oreo to describe Obama. Unfortunately there will always be some people, both black and white who choose to use words they know will illicit a negative response. The mistake would be react to those coimments other than to condemn them and those that use them. Considering the back lash this person is likely to receive- from both blacks and whites-I wouldn't want to be him.

    July 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. jimmy velman

    HILLARY CLINTON IS THE DECIDING FACTOR.
    IT WOULD BE WELL FOR BILL CLINTON TO EITHER STAY HOME OR GO TO EUROPE FROM NOW TILL THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS ELECTED.. BILL CLINTON CAN BE A FUND RAISER BUT HIS EGO GETS IN THE WAY TOO MUCH.. HILLARY DID JUST FINE ON HER OWN AND WILL DO JUST FINE WITHOUT BILL CLINTON ON THE SCENE. HOWEVER, AFTER OBAMA MAKES HIS CHOIC FOR VP AND IT IS NOT HILLARY C;INTON ON OBAMA'S TICKET. THEN BILL CLINTON CAN GO ABOUT HIS BUSINESS RAISING FUNDS FOR HILLARY AND HIS LIBRARY. BECAUSE OBAMA WILL NOT GET ELECTED WITHOUT HILLARY'S 18 MILLION SUPPORTERS AND THEIR $$$$$$CONTRIBUTIONS.

    July 14, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Cracka lova

    bitter Hillary supporters I don't care who you votre for......just quit ruining others debates on here.......you guys have lost ....the subbject should be Obama or McCain not pantsuit or boy haircuts

    July 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Paul

    More straight talk from "The Straight Talk Express"

    July 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Danel

    To: Brandon Hillary PUMA for Mc Cain-Pa, Mike from Syracuse NY, and Marie in California,

    If you love Hillary so much why don't you help retire her debt? No one is begging for your votes. Vote for McCain. As for the enlightened ones we are voting for Obama.

    July 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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