May 5th, 2008
01:52 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain courts Hispanic voters

John McCain works to attract Hispanic voters.

John McCain works to attract Hispanic voters.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain used Cinco de Mayo as a launching pad for a new Spanish-language Web site on Monday, and emphasized his stance on immigration and border security, hoping to attract Hispanic voters, a demographic which has become more important this election cycle.

The presumptive Republican nominee, who represents a border state with a large Latino population, stressed the importance of securing the borders for the sake of national security, a priority he said Hispanics agree with, but he admitted the tone of debate has “harmed” the GOP’s image with Hispanic voters.

“I think the tenor of the debate has harmed our image amongst Hispanics, [but] I believe the majority of Hispanics share our view that the border must be secured and the border must be secured first,” The Arizona senator said.

McCain, who came under attack last year from some conservatives for his support of a bipartisan immigration bill, empathized with Hispanics who he said have often been mistreated.

McCain underscored his view that those who came to the U.S. legally take precedence over those who entered the country illegally. "That still means that we can address it in a humane and compassionate fashion, understanding families, understanding all the aspects that affect the lives of all human beings.”

McCain also pledged to attend the National Council of La Raza's convention in July, the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization which seeks to improve opportunities for Hispanic-Americans.

Asked if he would face criticism from his more conservative backers, McCain stressed his party is all encompassing.

“My party reaches out to every citizen, every American who shares our views and our optimism and our belief in the principles of this great nation,” McCain said. “The job I have is to reunite America, to make sure that people know that I will be the president of all the people whether they vote for me or not.”

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Stacy Clarks


    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Brian

    Hispanics for McCain we all know that the Republicans are the party for equality!

    Pay no attention that ONLY White Protestant Males are the only ones ever to be nominated for President or Vice President by the Republican party.

    May 5, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. JC

    McCain is the only half decent choice for President. He may be old but he has the experience and won't leave our military stuck with outdated equipment.

    May 5, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    no mccain, i think that your vote for an illegal war has harmed us. you smile as our troops are on the frontline getting killed and injured. you disgust me.

    May 5, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Marine

    Better than BO and a woman who supposedly had not idea that her husband was having affairs.

    Keep killing each other DEMS

    May 5, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |

    So Sad... Doing anything. Obama is going to wax you in November.
    We need someone who is not old and senile.

    May 5, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. After further review,Texas

    You may as well go to Mexico and get their vote too John,Oh,I forgot they are already here and voting for you with a green card.

    May 5, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Brian

    This is by far the funniest thing I have seen.

    This man does not relate to Hispanics in any way shape or form

    May 5, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Ed Van Hoosen, Texas

    I would not put it past the Hispanics to vote for the very person that will
    build the fence to keep them out. They aren't too politically savvy, voting
    for Hillary and all.

    May 5, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Dana in Arizona

    Arizona is solving the illegal immigration problem on its own. The Federal Government and all three candidates are unwilling to do anything about it.

    May 5, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Jan

    Wow, talk about giving our Country to the CHINESE! ?

    Sounds like McCain wants the USA to become The United States of Mexico!!! Sorry, But my Dutch, German, English, & AMERICAN INDIAN ancestors who served AMERICA – in the Revolutionary War for INDEPENDENCE, the Civil War, The Spanish-American war (to keep this Country AMERICAN), WWI, WWII, AND The Korean War – did NOT fight to make this Country's language "English as a SECOND language" & to hand her over to illegal's, drug runners, drug dealers, & worse!!!

    I have NO problem with folks who want to make USA their home LEGALLY & legitimately, but we are failing MISERABLY when we hand our land over to lairs, cheats, theives, & murderers with NO REGULATION!!!

    We better get wise REAL QUIK, American's, before we lose EVERYTHING!!!

    May 5, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Women for Obama

    He and his party are sadly funny. Our Hispanic citizens are no more fooled by his sudden concern (on Cinco de Mayo) than were our African American cicitzens fooled by his new found concern on MLK Day. Shameless.

    May 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Jason

    To Jan McCain is the one who wants to build a fence to secure the borders. Dems are against it. Both Clinton were for it then flip flopped to court hispanics in Texas.

    Hillary wants americans to have to pay for tuition costs for illegals.

    May 5, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Nando, Florida

    He should he really was Born In Panama JUAN MCCAIN!!

    May 5, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. shelly in IL

    McCain admitted that "the troops are in Iraq because of oil" enough said!

    May 5, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Deborah

    CNN is so PRO Hillary Rotten Clinton that I can not believe that they gave Grandpa Munster some space on their Political ticker.

    Down with CNN

    May 5, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Dee


    Hispanics people hate old guys

    May 5, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. John Smith

    We need real change in the criteria for "voting" in any election for the presidency". Here is my proposal, and I await your comments:

    Only people with at least an AA degree from a community college should vote for the nominee. That is, we need only those who are "informed" about policy issues to vote.

    We expect our president to be brilliant and learned, so should the voters.

    May 5, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Joe on the Street

    Amigo McCain/08

    May 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Ben

    To all latinos. My wife of forty years is a mexican. She is a legal resident of the United states. She has suffered on many occasions racial predjudice whenever she went shopping. Cesar Chavez stood up for you. Obama will fight for you. Vote for Obama.Que Dios te bendiga

    May 5, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. mitchell

    mccain will start the 'war on immigrants',soon after taking office.latinos beware!vote for obama.he has a plan to make you legal.hillary will be bickering with republicans ,instead of solving your problems, fairly.

    May 5, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Amazed!!!

    Wow Jan,

    Hmmm I wonder what side of the Civil War your ancestors fought on? Probably not the Union side huh? Not all illegal immigrants are thieves, murderers, drug dealers, drug runners, etc. What an incredibly racist statement to make! Most are hard workers, just attempting to find a better life for their families! By the way, there are also African, West Indian, Caribbean, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Cuban, Venezuelan...immigrants that have served this country tremendously, not only Caucasian Europeans.

    It's people like you that we regret to hand America over to!

    May 5, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. Sharon Minnesota

    Hillary Clinton in 08 or John McCain. No Obama ever.

    May 5, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Doug R.

    More flip flopping and pandering for votes. What has this false patriot McCain ever done for Hispanics?? This man is a joke.

    May 5, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. 58 white old ladies for OBAMA









    May 5, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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