Sen. McCain: Arizona could be 'up for grabs'
December 4th, 2011
10:33 AM ET
3 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. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thanks John, now go take your nap.

    December 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. bill

    republicans fisrt need a spritual transplant for a good and kind heart. then, if they are smart enough, devise a plan – but they can't erase their vial hatred for hisdpanica as a people that they have demonstrated over the last 5 years..

    December 4, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    McCain contradicted himself at least 3 times in his comments. He's a disgrace and a dishonor to anyone who has ever worn a uniform. I'm embarrassed he and I served in the same branch.

    December 4, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. Spike

    I don't necessarily think that Obama will win because of the hispanic vote. I think it will be a referendum against the Wicked Witch of the Southwest – Jan Brewer.

    December 4, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. hebgb

    The plan should be to get rid of this out of date person. He did more harm to the Repub party than anyone has in past history with his milquetoast campaign and his "My fellow Americans" language. He was always going to 'take the gloves off' and one ever saw that happening becuase he is a RINO and always has been -not the maverick he wanted to be portrayed as being. He goes with the direction of the wind and I for one, am hoping the wind blows him out of town

    December 4, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. GrandmaWI

    If Arizona Could go for Obama after the way he stood in their way to be rid of illegals, I guess they deserve him.

    December 4, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Somebody

    Give Obama another 4 more years

    December 4, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. DaveinSC

    When I first read the headline about Arizona being up for grabs, I thought he was referring to Herman Cain.

    December 4, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Toxic Zebra

    Joe Arpaio has driven people away from he GOP in droves. His policies even hurt McCain in 2008.

    December 4, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. diridi

    This dude is totally out of his mind, and senile...o.k, He does not know as to what he is saying....o.k, None of these GOP idiots are trustworthy. They are clowns. no wonder, Republicans are divided into GOP and Tea thugs...bad, bad and bad for this nation, they are all for Rich, Corporate, Oil thugs...Obama2012.

    December 4, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. John

    GOP is no longer the party of Reagan or Lincoln but the party of Limbaugh and Norquist. GOP want to deport all illegals. They call it amnesty. However they have a problem the Hispanic vote is not their friend so they are mow pretending to be reasonable. It is nothing but a political grab and ploy........

    December 4, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Ernie

    I wouldn't put to much stock in what Sen. McCain says. He's been in the senate too long and is to engrained in Washington politics to even know what is good for the country and what is good for Arizona. If he makes a statement that Arizona could go to Obama then he should get off his a$$ and make sure that Arizona doesn't go to Obama. That's what the tax payers from Arizona are paying McCain for not to make stupid statements.

    December 4, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. diridi

    Health Care Mandate is no wrong, Wall street Bail out, Economy runs on it...in free market society...no wrong..o.k, true, true, true...they are catching inside trading, and so Fin. Reg. Reform, passed, glad, glad, and glad...

    December 4, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. tacjam4

    McCain is a dinosaur that needs to retire. He sent a letter to the super committee to cut healthcare from Veterans so we can have money for our weapon systems. Nothing about cutting airshows, Thunderbird's, Red Flag, Airlift Rodeo, ATA Convention..you know, all those thing that JUST THE AIR FORCE wastes Billions of dollars on each year. Anyone that says the military can't be cut is on drugs! Airshows are nice during the good times when recruiting is low...but when your pushing people out the door left and right....you don't need waste this money. Retire dinosaur, retire!

    December 4, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Vin Dicated

    Well, if the GOP would quit saying "you're all illegal unless you're not so vote for me" they'd have a shot at the Hispanic demographic.

    December 4, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. GrandpaWI

    If Arizona Could go for the GOP after the way they tried to kill them portray them all as hostile people who behead innocent people and Brewer wants them all profiled and treated like animals; rounded up and slaughtered, along with the fact that the GOP wants to take advantage of Hispanics cheap labor without paying fair wages and benefits; republicans want to kill Hispanics and elderly people at every turn. I guess they deserve the GOP.

    December 4, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Name king

    Hey lesson when are sensible thinking is going to take over the sentiments of the american people. Lesson we've got millions of illegals in beaded in America. is taking a stand on deporting 11 million people a fiscal thing to do when most fiscal conservatives are bawling about government spending. Lesson I say give these people a status of workership which won't be a citizenship which won't be a reality until they've paid all the taxes they've owed and start paying taxes to the federal coffer. Hey this is the only humane thing possible because most of these people doesn't know any other life than American life, especially the ones that been here since they were kids. And with sure help the budget and the economy with all these tax money flowing into the government and the economy.

    December 4, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    “McCain admitted his party has some work to do” lot of work to do

    Last year when he faced primary challenge he took 180 turn on immigration

    December 4, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Jared Bradshaw

    No. No. No. Send all illegals home. If I wanted to live in Mexico, I'd move to Mexico.

    December 4, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Robert

    The death knell of America will be a coalition of minorities outvoting god fearing Christians.

    December 4, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. clark1g

    why do democrats believe that helping others must involve the federal government? why don't they believe that individuals voluntarily helping others will work? is it that they believe people are basically selfish and must be forced to help others? and if so, do they believe that basically selfish people once elected to federal office suddenly become empathetic?

    December 4, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. armando orozco

    Repubs< you lost me , none of my family will ever vote republican, first Im hispanic and then American,,As an American with hispanic roots I have a moral obligation to look for other less fortunate latinos......lets secure our borders and help people that have been in this country for more than 20 years,,,,,,,,lets give them a path to become legal in this country and become tax payers as well.....

    December 4, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  23. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The whole country is "Up for grabs" However with a 15 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt there is nothing to Grab onto. Some think there is a Free Lunch out there. Liberal's and Democrats are still "Selling it". Conservatives and Republician's are telling the truth. You want the moon? You are going to have to get it yourself. The Liberal's talk a good game. Are you buying it?

    December 4, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Bushper

    The truth is always bitter.Take that GOP for your heartlessness.

    December 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. asdd

    The fact Sheriff Joe will get reelected despite stealing 100 million for his cronies makes it hard to believe Arizona will go blue.

    December 4, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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