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. Bushper

    Don't blame John, blame Joe and Jan.

    December 4, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Liberals support the killing of unborn children in the name of convenience, choice, etc. These children have committed no crimes; however, if that child survives abortion and grows up to commit murder later in life, a Liberal will scream “injustice” if that person is sentenced to death.

    December 4, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    This is precisely why the Democrats WANT illegal immigration.

    They want to grow their party, to the level where no other party can possibly win.........and establish a de facto dictatorship in America.

    December 4, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Arizona has the most corrupt privately-owned (read that as kick-back $ to GOP) prison system in the nation. Brewer is only the Gov. on TV. Arpaio and his goons run that state.

    December 4, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Go

    Why does every news outlet have a political agenda? CNN is liberal FOX is conservative. Where are the real, professional and free thinking journalists? Of course the majority of comments here are going to be pro-liberal. Just like comments on FOX are pro-conservative. Where are the independents? Quietly paying attention I hope.

    December 4, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. asdd

    John Mcfail needs to check his polls. From azcentral today. > President Barack Obama and his Democratic advisers have long viewed Arizona as a possible pick-up in the 2012 election, but a new poll suggests that it might be tough for Obama to win the state even without U.S. Sen. John McCain on the ballot.

    December 4, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Marley

    Well is there any surprise that the party that only protects Billionaires, Gun manufacturers, False prophets and considers pizza as a vegetable will not win in Arizona? Arizona doesn't have enough illiterate bozoids to vote for them.

    December 4, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. xxlv

    How many mexicans can America afford???

    December 4, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Debbie

    GOP only "talks" about immigration, being a big tent, and jobs at election time. Other than that the issues are not discussed. Talk/Rhetoric is cheap. This year in particular the GOP has only offered old views from repeat candidates that have been vetted in previous years and not elected. Gingrich, Paul, and Romney are all old repeats. Paul hasn't changed his views like Romney the new GW Bush puppet. And Gingrich still has ethics issues. Arizona has an old population and Hispanics often don't go to the polls. I see out of the 3 that Gingrich will be their guy. He's white, not Mormon, not drastic as in Paul, and can BS the older population and they will buy it.

    December 4, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Dee

    well if old man Gingrich is running against him, President Obama will rip him a new one! HAHAHA OBAMA 2012!

    December 4, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. He GetsIt

    McCain is Right-On concerning the fact that Latinos Are Strongly FOR Obama!! Yes, of course we are! The Republicans have shown us that they are not just our adversaries but our bitter Enemies! That much we know For Sure! Just look at Arizona's governor and their sheriff as one example! They would just as soon throw us under the bus as they have always done and continue to do, and in Congress they would rather vote against the Dream Act than give us a chance at legality. They are so afraid we are growing rapidly in numbers thus, we will have a very Powerful Voice in politics, and We Have and We Do! That is why we are All UNITED in 2012 and it will be OBAMA/BIDEN We Will Throw Our Support Behind!! President Obama is compassionate towards the Middle-Class and the Poor. Republicans, what's your lame excuse?!

    December 4, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Hammerer

    Is McCain going to front for obama like he did in '08?

    December 4, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Bushper

    The Hispanics can't be fooled by the Republican party, it is all about getting our votes and getting shafted afterwards.

    December 4, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. L. D. in Denver

    Diridi, would you mind re-posting your comment in comprehensible English with real sentences? Thanks.
    Obama/Biden 2012!

    December 4, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Ron

    It’s all about printing and spreading more dough and you will be praised, no one wants to work for money anymore, they just want to have it, but this will weaken our homeland. It is simple, more you print less valuable what you print becomes. The future USA is what the past USSR was.

    December 4, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Jim

    John McCain lost all credibility when he allowed Sarah Palin to potentially be "a heartbeat away from the presidency." He couldn't possibly have had the best interest of his country as his priority.

    December 4, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. truthserum48

    I can see the Prez winning in 2012 by a large majority. Perhaps, that is why the "heavyweights" of the TGOP, like Christie (yes, some pun intended), are sitting this one out. Otherwise, they would be seen as "losers", right, Mitt? I think Americans are quite fed up with the Tea Party as well. The ppl who voted for them have seen that it was a knee-jerk reaction to their feeling about all politicians that has come back to bite them.

    December 4, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Edd

    Is Sen. John McCain relevant anymore? GrandPa Simpson has more sense then this guy does!

    December 4, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Dave Harris

    McCain must be getting ready to retire, talking like this. In the modern Republican party, anyone who's not a ranting Mexican-hater is the enemy. And their hatred is not limited to the ones without papers. The point has not been lost on Hispanic voters. This is how the Republicans lost California.

    December 4, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. billy

    What ,you mean to tell me the hispanics didn't leave Arizona once all those tough immigration laws kicked in-UNBELIEVEABLE !

    December 4, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. works4me

    Yea McCain... That's the way to play it. Just tell them what they want to hear, not what you really mean. Typical damage control from the GOP. I don't believe the Hispanics are dumb enough to buy this Republican horse and pony show. They can see through the water right to the bottom of the barrel where all of the GOP candidates are lying...

    December 4, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. bullock w

    No no no no no thanks vote for presdient obama cause he have too much problems for 3 year that is true

    December 4, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Jasie

    Who in their right mind would want 4 more years of this disaster, especially Arizona, when they can hardly get help to secure the border from the drug traffic.

    December 4, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Jaz

    When we finally deport the illegals back to their country and tell them to come back thru the right process, apply for a visa, then you are welcomed back with open arms.
    Note to the idiots who keep thinking it's ok to allow the illegals stay, they are costing us MONEY! We can't afford it, especially with 49% of the ppl not paying taxes at all! If you want to go to another country you need a passport and a work visa, what is so hard about that?

    December 4, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Nobama 2012

    I have little time for what RINOs like Sen. McCain have to say.

    We need to find the illegals, and we need to deport them. Plain and simple.

    December 4, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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