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. Mary

    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 didn’t even support his own bill? …..but when he talk to Hispanics he changes his mind again?

    You call that straight talk? John McCain needs a major realignment as his straight talk has derailed way too often!

    July 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Cortez

    Brian, you are a racist. learn your Arizona history and the History of the Southwest. This land was settled by my ancestors and will continue to be occupied by them, whether you like it or not. We the Hispanic voters are not from Mexico or Central America and have no intention of taking over as you Gringos Racists suggest.
    Arizonan's that care about Americans of Mexican descent (that is what we really are.) and have seen the sacrifices we have made in every war this country has been engaged. Will vote for McCain.
    Take a vacation, go to DC look at the Wall and you will see. Garcia, Torres, Gonzales, Martinez,,,,, and every other Spanish name on that wall. My own grandfather served in WWI and my father in WWII.

    Hispanos will not surrender our country to Socialists whether by force or by election.

    July 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Big Mac (elitists)
    Filet-“OLD”-Fish (fishy politics)
    Quarter Pounder (not even a whole pound)
    French Fries (flip flop)
    Icy "COLD" (ice cold heart)
    "Mc"Shake (very shaky)
    Sunday's "OLD" Apple Pie (yesterday's message for America)
    You deserve a "better" today (America lets get better than this)
    Than MCCAIN (vote Obama 08)

    July 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Sean John

    All of you that say Obama has no record on anything are idiots. I'm not a senator, but I think it was a mistake to go into Iraq (even though I went into Iraq as a Marine). Is my opinion somehow wrong or invalid just because I couldn't vote on it in the Senate???? That's your argument and it's ridiculous. I think that Earth is round too, do I have to vote on record in order for my opinion to be valid and factual??

    July 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Frank Lee

    "After you vote for me, get your bags packed and get out."

    July 14, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Ricky

    McCain is a hero. Don't ever forget it.
    He is a patriot and loves our country.
    This man has over 30 years of fighting for what's right.
    Obama is a three year senator, never even served in the military and now thinks he should be president?
    What's wrong with this picture?

    Oh yeah, his best friends and mentors are anti American?
    Reverend Wright, Willaim Ayers and Father Plaeger are just a few of his racist, anti American, anti Semitic friends.

    Everyone should read about these people and run from Obama.

    July 14, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Sue CA


    Obama is in it to win it !!!!

    Obama is in it to win it !!!!

    toObama is in it to win it !!!!

    July 14, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. Zorro

    Why, it is so obvious that even el Commandante could understand, amigos.
    Senor McCain is for each and every Latin immigrant voter who will vote for Senor McCain.
    No confusion por favor, senors y senoritas.

    July 14, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Dwight

    Dont make the wall a political bandara Cortez. its neither party to own.
    talk about the issues. anyone can talk anyone else down.
    i have lived in DC and i am of Hispanice descent . i wont vote for someone who sold his family out after they stood behind him in hard times. Family is core.
    i wont vote for Mcsame we cant have another 8 yrs of the same no less.
    Hispanos para Obama

    July 14, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. people say No to McCain


    July 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Janet WV for Obama

    In recent polls, Obama leads 2 to1 over McCain with Latino voters.Welcome aboard the Obama train!

    July 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Janet WV for Obama

    Bayou Joe who is so proud of McCain's "100 years of accomplishments", I knew he was old, but not that old. Thanks for the update.

    July 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Debby, NJ

    And Another Flip Flop
    If this was Obama the media would be going Crazy

    July 14, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. John G

    So Obama is accusing McCain of backing down from supporting a bill that Obama (in true democratic fashion) actually helped kill?

    Theres double talk if I ever saw it

    July 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. Brian

    McCain is selling the USA just like his wife help sells the "King of Beers" soon to be owned by Belgians!

    July 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Slider

    Mr. McCain, if you speak for La Raza, you do not speak for me.

    Nor will you get my vote.

    There are many Latinos in anti-illegal immigration groups in your state, Senator, such as the one (American Citizens United) working right now to have the mayor of Phoenix recalled over his failure to deal with by accomadating illegal immigration.

    Though I am not Hispanic, I am proud to support and stand with them.

    One day, they may turn their eye on your office, Senator Lettuce.

    July 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. YES WE WILL!

    McCain was not even born in the US!!

    He'll also need diapers in his 1st term!!!

    Time for grampa to take a nap! No McLies

    July 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. YES WE WILL!

    McCain was not even born in the US!!

    He'll also need diapers in his 1st term!!!

    Time for grampa to take a nap!

    No McLies!!

    July 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. LatinosforMcCain

    I agree with you, RB TX this is true trust is something latinos and latinas understand and to say things which cvan not become reality should not even be said !!

    July 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Jesse

    As an hispanic male I am sick of obama's cool-aid. McCain all the way don't care what it cost.

    July 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. Patrick

    This is just one more reason why McCain has a courageous voting record. For independents like myself that want true bi-partisanship in Washington we are voting for McCain. I'm not critcizing Obama for being a liberal and voting that way, but unless you also lean solidly to the left you don't want a President who only supports one side or the other. We need a centrist as a President and McCain is that.

    July 14, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. mare

    McCain was for the fence now what he isn't? Oh yah he needs the Latino votes yah right!!

    McCain voted for this unjust war, McCain voted YES! Now after thousands and thousands of lives KILLED AND MAMED McCain wants to take credit for the surge to glorify himself? I do not think so. Obama voted NO on the war period. If there was no unjust war that killed thousands there would be no no no need for a surge period! Our troops would not be in Iraq in the first place period! The terrorist would not have regrouped and made stronger.

    McCain this is disgusting do not even brag that you suggested a surge to late thousands were killed and thousands mamed for life. You want Americans to give you credit –I DO NOT THINK SO!!

    July 14, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    John McCain don't start picking out the curtains for the white house just yet and figuring where youre going to put your "napalm" trophies.
    You will not win the presidency. You are a war monging old goat.

    July 14, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. mare

    Hillary's 18 million votes were "not all pure Dem. Voters– many crossed over from Rep. and voted for her! Because they did not want to run against Obama and because of Rush L.! Think about that! Obama was only a 200, 000 short and that is not counting all cacuses! So I believe Hillary did not really win only because of Republicans crossing over to vote for her then back to Republicans. Not pure Dem. Voters

    July 14, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. PaulC

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

    July 14, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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