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. drz

    After Voting To Declare English As The National Language, McCain Launches Spanish-Language Website (from TP).

    May 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. David Goldman for OBAMA






    & HILLARY.

    May 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Griff

    The Man of the Moment, stikes again...

    May 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. broadstreet buddy

    Jan – everybody who fought in the war for independence did not speak English. As a matter of fact it was even proposed that French be the official language because in Europe, diplomacy was conducted in French. So hold your horses about spanish. The rates for second generation immigrants speaking enlish is 94%, almost as high as the english speaking percentage for people living in the south (lol).

    But seriously, I hope McCain realizes that Cinco de mayo does not apply to every hispanic. In America its just another excuse to drink, as if Monday wasn't enough.

    May 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. MD

    Oh, so McCane finally learned how to COUNT?

    That is his first lesson in economics. The future of America suddenly seems much brighter.

    May 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Al, NY NY

    So what does the right wing of the GOP say about this? He is almost in lock-step with BO and HRC on this issue. Is this his attempt to attract the Hispanic vote while he alienates the zenophobes in his own party? A bit of a balancing act on his part....

    May 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. kvsmith in FL

    Are you kidding me? I hope fellow Hispanics don't fall for this clown as they did for George Bush. Republicans do not have our best interest at heart. It's all about getting votes and then forgetting about our concerns until the next election cycle. Like African Americans, all Hispanics don't look or think alike. We are all not from Mexico or have family members living in poverty in a 3rd world country. We have the same concerns as most other Americans, so why do our issues and concerns have to be simplified to immigration reform? They don't get it, so stop trying to be one of them and be your self. This guy is George Bush 3rd. He is just a mouthpiece trying to cap off a long career of not being a very effective Senator. He has had 20 years to do something about gas prices, global warming, immigration reform, etc. Now he has so many ideas that are all pretty much stupid. Where was he when Congress and the Senate was Republican lead? Don't be fooled!!!

    May 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. mimi de la cruz foe OBAMA



    May 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. BJ Mcgee

    He is the only man for the job. DEMOCRATS have no clue what we need they are a bunch on IDIOTS

    May 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Eddie

    I have no problem with hispanics,but I find it odd that McCain would say the republican party is all inclusive and never put forth the effort to get generations of black American voters cocerns heard ever.We will build a fence to keep you out ,but we want you here.Sounds very crooked for a straight shooter,scary.

    May 5, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. DJ, LA, CA

    McCain is a fraud. The conservative base was up in arms over HIS yes HIS congressional bill that BUSH backed. Now is trying to claim "he got the message?" and will build a stronger border.

    While at the same time trying to pretend that the GOP cares about the rights of low-wage or illegal immigrant workers?

    How are we going to get tough on terror, when we can't even defend our own borders with millions of undocumented people crossing in from Mexico each year?

    May 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. patirque in ok

    POR QUE!

    May 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. rice, bryan

    wasn't it the gop that complained that bill clinton let the mexicans in the u.s.. and now all of a sudden they want their vote, take about flip-flop.

    May 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. kvsmith in FL

    McCain has had forever to make changes while working as a Senator. He didn't do it then and he wouldn't as President. The military currently had outdated equipment, a horrible GI bill, unequal pay, poor veteran's benefits and care, horrible living quarters for most, so where has McCain been. If he hasn't always been fighting for the military or if he hasn't been mostly successful in looking out for military members, why should we believe things will be different if he is the President? Being captured doesn't make you a great leader, so don't be confused. I'm not trying to minimize his service or sacrifice, but we have all sacrificed much due to Bush and Republican incompetence! Don’t be fooled for a third time in a row. Simple accounting, you can’t reduce your income while increasing your spending. It’s called robbing Peter to pay Paul and eventually Peter will want to get paid. Unfortunately Peter is otherwise know as China, so we are forced to subjugate ourselves to a communist nation that sells us subpar products and continues to commit human rights violations.

    May 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Hispanics for Obama

    SI SE PUEDE!!!!!!! A vote for John McCain, is a vote for the minutemen.

    Yes We Can.
    Obama 08.

    May 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. TexasVet


    You're right he won't leave "US" stuck there with old equipment. He'll just leave us STUCK, and when we finally do get back we'll have the same pitiful GI BILL because he won't vote for the NEW GI BILL.

    OBAMA 08

    May 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. @americans

    McCain before the nomination will get the Hispanic votes!

    McCain after the nomination has lost his will, his conviction, pandering to the far-right ideologues, abandoned the guest worker program to shore up his conservative credentials by calling for border fencing first and deportation later; com'on...Hispanics will not buy this pandering.

    McCain has forever lost the Hispanic votes!

    Hispanics for Democrat!!!!

    May 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Chrissy, TX

    McCain gets my vote in Nov if Obama gets the Dem nominee. I am an American of Mexican descent and I would never vote for a person who sat in the pews for 20yrs and exposed his children to pure hatred. This change that Obama talks about is beliefs that he embraced from this pastor. Anyone that says otherwise is just in denial. Like I said before, this country may not be perfect but there is nowhere else that I would rather be than here! God Bless America and Hillary Clinton!

    May 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |

    McCain has got what it takes to attract Hispanic votes he is WHITE that is all it takes for them !!!!!

    Obama 08!

    May 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. SMS

    Who is the real elitist?? A pat on the head and 30 bucks in the wallet might sway a few folks, but the truth is it's more of the same misleading, elitist, top-down Beltway nonsense that's gotten us into the mess we're in.

    May 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    When Obama gets the nomination and picks Richardson for VP, this "story" is going to seem even less relevant.

    May 5, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Voter

    Hey, Hispanic voters, pssst. If you vote for McCain you will be drafted and off to war in no time......

    May 5, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. hillary= war, hate, racism, intolerance,

    YES we can 3 more SD for Obama
    today this afternoon 3 more will be announced officially!!!!!!!!!!

    go to the LAtimes, NY times, Huftington post, they all have it there,
    CNN will you ever publish that?????L

    May 5, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hispanics in Arizona are being rounded up, jailed and bused back to Mexico and this has been going on before McCain start running for president. That's right people, he's helped his state to process this and they haven't stopped. Do your own research, I travel to Phoenix once a month to visit family, I know the truth.

    May 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. norb

    You go John! McCain/Lieberman/Keating 08!

    May 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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