Sen. McCain: Arizona could be 'up for grabs'
December 4th, 2011
10:33 AM ET
2 years ago

Sen. McCain: Arizona could be 'up for grabs'

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday that his home state of Arizona could be won by President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Arizona and other southwest states “can be up for grabs” due to the growing Hispanic vote.

McCain won Arizona in 2008 by taking 54% of the vote to 45% for Obama. Next year, he said, the state’s voters could lean the other way.

“The demographics are clear,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The Hispanic vote will be a major factor in national elections.”

Addressing the major issue of immigration, McCain admitted his party has some work to do, but added that Obama also faces challenges.

The Republican presidential candidates are divided over how to deal with more than 10 million immigrants who came to the country illegally and now are entrenched in U.S. society, many with families, jobs and roles in their communities.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called for a system of review boards to determine whether individuals could remain in the country or be forced to leave, a position characterized by conservative competitors such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann as offering amnesty for lawbreakers.

“I think that the Republican Party has to discuss this issue in as humane a way as possible,” McCain said. At the same time, he noted that “the enthusiasm of Hispanics for President Obama is dramatically less than it was in 2008 because he has not fulfilled his campaign promises either, so I view the Hispanic vote is up for grabs.”

McCain argued most Hispanic voters agree that “we need so secure our borders, if for drugs alone,” but added that “we need to treat people humanely…people who are here, who have been here a long time.”

But, he said, “The fact is, we don’t need to trigger another flood of illegal aliens by believing if they can get across our border they would therefore be home free.”

“We have to have empathy, we have to have concern, we have to have a plan,” McCain stated.

Also see:

Gingrich carefully navigates Cain exit

Iowa newspaper backs Romney


Candidates react to Cain campaign suspension

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • Content Partner • Immigration • John McCain • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    @Coach Lew: "These three states could fall to illegals and be taken over before you can say your name and then what? REVOLUTION!!!!"

    If American individuals and companies weren't willing to break the law by hiring people illegally, the illegal immigration problem would be drastically reduced. If Americans weren't such huge consumers of illegal drugs, there wouldn't be the demand for them.

    Take a look in the mirror, bud.

    December 5, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. ThinkAgain

    @BeverlyNC: "The more Democrats we have, the faster the jobs, the people programs, and recovery will happen."

    You forgot to mention that our country has historically done better under Democratic administrations than Republican. Dems are better at handling the economy; Repubs always create massive deficits and widen the income gap. Dems grow the Middle Class; Repubs favor the wealthy who don't reinvest in our country.

    And a preemptive response to those Fox echo chambers who will say the deficit has jumped under President Obama: Bush kept the cost of two wars off the books, passed unfunded Medicare Part D and cut taxes during wartime (never done before in our nation's history). As the Clinton surplus evaporated, Cheney went on the Sunday morning talk shows and said, "Deficits don't matter." They did this to run up the debt and then use that as an excuse to cut social spending, because they'd rather the rich have extra money to invest overseas while Americans suffer and we inhibit our ability to retain our lead in technology, education and infrastructure.

    In 2012, vote for you future – vote for the party that knows how to make our country prosper – vote Democratic!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    December 5, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. ReallY!!?

    This coming fr the guy that wanted to give them all AMNESTY!!!! Duh!!! Dems want more and more poor people in this country to buy their votes with handouts!!! DEMS could care less about the damage of these entitlements to the country as long as they are in power. What's more astounding that the idiot in Chief goes around accusing Repubs of putting party b/4 politics.

    Hey Obama when u point finger at someone, just remember 4 of them are pointing right back at YOU!

    December 5, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. enough of lies

    I regret ever voting for this stooge, I actually regret thinking that this person is a true patriot, American and a leader. McCain needs to go away and let real Patriots and Americans put this country back together. Vote this bum out.

    December 5, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. john doe

    “The demographics are clear,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The Hispanic vote will be a major factor in national elections.” Is this the reason the Rupublicans are doing all they can to contain the Hispanic vote???!!

    December 5, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Why do you think Democrats are pushing to allow Hispanics to vote without proper I.D.? Let's promise entitlements to everyone in return for Democrat votes! LBJ's Great Society will soon be a destitute 3rd world country under Liberal tax and spend insanity but Democrats will keep their power which is the single-most important thing to them!

    December 5, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Pa mom

    The democrats have successfully divided this country both racially and economically. Obama won the cities before due to the minorities...no surprise and it won't surprise me in 2012. As long as you have a social welfare program in place that rewards lack of initiative, lack of responsibility, supports illegals and allows people to play the vicitm, we will not see this country move froward. HOw can these individuals expect those who work hard, save and live within a budget to support the other 50%???? Necessary cuts to save this country financially will not be pretty.

    December 5, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. AlaskaPalin

    Is it possible that through illegal aliens; our political democracy and with a president who finds amnesty politically expedient; a foreign nation may gain a foothold in one of our states (country)?

    December 5, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Wired

    Who cares. You know what is more important than this?
    The fact that Senator McCain has proposed a bill which will declare America a Battlezone so that our troops can be mobilized within it's borders.

    Get ready to be tanked for not having republican view points.

    December 5, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. sequoia

    I think Obama will flip Arizona and win in an even BIGGER LANDSLIDE than he won in 2008. His leadership has undeniably improved the economy and the Republican cast of clowns is a joke.

    December 5, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. rosaadriana

    I wish that were true but I doubt it. Ive been to Arizona and those people are hateful mean and crazy (and I live in Alabama so that is saying something).

    December 5, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Andrew Botwin

    I think it depends upon which circus clown emerges from the tiny GOP car as the nominee as to whether or not Obama wins the southwest. No wait, it doesn't matter which clown is the nominee. The GOP has been hijacked by Tea Party obstructionists and right wing whack jobs. America cannot afford another 8 years of a George Bush Jr. GOP presidency right now. We'll be paying for the last 8 years for decades. The Rich can have the White House back in 2016.

    December 5, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. john doe

    Of 300,000,000 votes cast in the last several election there have been only 0.00003% documented cases of illegal voting. Still you racist claim that illegal alien and minorities are rigging elections. I will bet most of your parents were poll tax enforces and voter violence against minorities in years past. A nut doesn fall too far for its family tree. BY the way, where were you during the years of lies by Bush that got us into a war that wasn't paid for, illegal, and uncalled for, relaxed regulation that is continuing to harm our enviorment, and nation debt because he did not include either wars, prescription durgs, etc? When he had the entire nation behind him, he and Karl Rove, instead started this stupid if you question us, you are against America.

    December 5, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Larry L

    @Coach Lew

    "Obama wants the Mexican and or Illegal vote whether they are legal or illegal"
    --------------------------------------------
    President Obama has deported illegals at a higher rate than Bush ever did – and fewer illegals cross the border now than anytime during the last ten years. President Obama's war of terrorists has been far, far more successful than Bush's with the list of dead terrorist growing each day. He is the terrorist's worst nightmare. Don't allow your own bigotry or the propaganda from Fox News to cloud your judgement. This is not a game Coach where we line up on sides and scream at each other... this about America.

    December 5, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. BBB

    Thanks sir John!! You are the best

    December 5, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. AlaskaPalin

    Are liberals adapted at spewing hate, personal insults and demagoguery? Are they so elitist and narrow minded that they lack the intelligence to fathom the fact that there are other scientific and reasonable world views than theirs. In politics the only constant is that facts are evolving. Fact: with the killing of osama most say inexperience barrack (experienced robert and hillary) has been successful on national security and foreign policy. let's say that in the next hour, iran explodes a nuclear device will his national security and foreign policy success remain a fact?

    December 5, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. lineman

    Amost all states are up for grabs due to the economy. No one forgets that it was the policies of George Bush that got us into this and all the GOP candidiates are pushing the same trickle down policies. The GOP is trying to deflect the blame for all this to Obama but are having very limited success. Almost everyone is affected and when it impacts their personal situation people do not make the same mistake twice. As much as they might want to vote Republican and even claim they will in a poll when they get in the voting booth they will think of their families first.

    December 5, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. chumbkt

    Didn't McCain predict "McCain/Palin" in 2008?

    How'd that work out anyway?

    December 5, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Buster Bloodvessel

    Go back to sleep, Grampaw. Can you believe he was once considered alert enough to be president?

    December 5, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Larry L

    @Pa mom

    "The democrats have successfully divided this country both racially and economically."
    -----------------------------------
    Really7? You really believe the Democrats have done these things? Do you recall the Tea Party rallies where racist signs were sprinkled throughout the white crowd? Have you seen the comments where conservatives refer to the President as "Obammy"? Tom DeLay is in prison yet his divisive gerrymandering really worked – rendering minorities ineffective due to fragmented districts. How about the "birthers"?

    Democrats divided the country economically? Really? Republicans have only defended the wealthy, attacking organized labor and even offering up the federal work force as bill-payers rather than making the wealthy pay a fair share. They've been in bed with the financial district and turned a blind eye when they raped America. Bush issued the first bailout package. Every single deficit reduction idea that comes from the Republicans requires the poor and middle class to pay the bill. Think – don't just spew out crap from Fox News!

    December 5, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. longtooth

    McCain is a rational man, and a decent one. How he ever made it in the Republican Party is anyone's guess.

    December 5, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. John

    The GOP candidates appears to resemble the weakness of the Democratic party when it was Kerry who won the democratic parties ballot candidate. The GOP has re-treads as their candidates, their politics are embedded in yesterdays GOP ideologies, it's a dusty party of yesterday's ideas. No visionaries...just re-treads.

    December 5, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Republican who supports President Obama

    He might be correct. Now let's see the GOP spin cycle where they say they are friends of the Hispanic community. I would simple post their record in each state so the truth is known. They frankly do not care about most of the common citizens. This country is a mosaic of many different cultures and backgrounds you simply cannot favor one over the others – MESSAGE. It's is way too late for the GOP to change course. Maybe in a few years when they prove they are genuine then they may be considered viable leaders – right now they are better suited to ride the pine and learn from their mistakes.

    December 5, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. K3Citizen

    The Hispanic vote will go to the republicans because they like being singled out and picked on. The GOP has done their best to make them feel unwelcome. After all, it is the republican owned companies that hire them well below minimum wage.

    December 5, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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