June 10th, 2007
11:00 AM ET
9 years ago

McCain: Small wing of party defeated immigration bill

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN)– Senator John McCain says it was an organized and vocal opposition in his party that kept the immigration bill from going forward last week.

"I think that the Senate works in a way that relatively small numbers can block legislation," the Republican presidential candidate told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview aired Sunday. "But I also think that the - particularly the more conservative anti-immigrant, anti-legislation group were very well backed up by a very vocal group of people that were supporting them."

McCain also responded to criticism from former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich suggested last week that McCain's support for the immigration bill, and earlier support for campaign finance reform, would be an even higher hurdle to clear in primary battles than for Rudy Giuliani and his support for abortion rights. "But on the issue of immigration reform, he may be right, for all I know," he said in response to Gingrich. "But I went there to do the hard things. I went there to do something. The easiest thing for me to do is go there and say no to things," referencing his time in Washington. "And from time to time, it may not be agreeable, but it's what the people of Arizona sent me there to do , and I'm proud and happy to do it."

When asked by Stephanopoulos how he would like history to judge him, McCain said as, "A person who served his country."

McCain was scheduled to be in California on Sunday to attend fundraisers.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: John McCain • Newt Gingrich • Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. DJ, Los Angeles, CA

    First Bush Sr. and Clinton pushed NAFTA which cost 10's of thousands of American jobs.

    Now GW, McCain and company are desperately trying to shove the immigration bill upon us and won't take no for an answer.

    As in the case of NAFTA...another painful reminder of how big $ constituents want to continue to exploit low cost labor at the expense of American jobs.

    McCain is sadly mistaken if he thinks this is about right-wing factions.

    June 11, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. ERka Tucson, Az

    What an ass backwards thing to say "Secure the border first"....(nothing new here). The border guards can't even secure the american people from a questionably contagious American lawyer .. with no integrity... how about puttin aside your misguided preconcieved notions.. an doin the ethical thing.. and draftin a bill that works for Mexican working families and the american people.. ever thought of that??? Is your xenophobic fear makin the decisions???
    If ya want the respect you have to show respect...especially to the Mexican people, and the rest of the latinos in the nation.. not everyone is mexican .. just because they speak another language .. educate yourself... learn about another culture(Latinos, and other immigrants you fail to acknowledge) that make up the engine of your economy. Because if you don't it's gonna cost ya... especially in votes.

    June 27, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  3. US Citizen AnyTown AnyState

    To ERka Tucson, Az:

    "If ya want the respect you have to show respect..."

    How about respecting something called OUR LAWS? All you Mexicans have been disrespecting US law for over 2 decades!


    November 29, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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