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. Funny

    Wake up. Hillary is not attacking Barack, she's attacking you. If she can keep you focused on something trivial, you won't pay attention to what’s really happening in Washington. It's worked for her all these years to the tune of $109. million dollars. Why should she want you to take the wool off your eyes now? She wants to make more money, and not think about you.

    Don't be fooled Americans, we want a president who will change DC– who's going to tell us the truth. We're sick of lies.

    Vote for Barack, change how Washington works.

    Obama 08

    May 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    DEAR GOOD HISPANIC PEOPLE. HE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU!!!
    MC CAIN DON'T CARE AND NEITHER DOES BILL OR HILLARY CARE ABOUT US.

    VOTE OBAMA NO MATTER WHAT THEY SPIN.

    May 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Richard W. Cohen

    There is no such thing as an illegal immigrant. They are legally defined as aliens. They have breached our border knowingly and illegally, and committed identity theft to work in this country. They are not citizens. They are not even immigrants.

    Those are facts. Anything else is propaganda.

    May 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Roger

    Re; John Smith:
    Hey John, what country do you live in? Your comment suggests that over 90% of the voters be white. Are you white, JOHN SMITH?

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

    Yeah, this is sad. Sad we're stuck with this guy while a genius like Mitt Romney gets left behind because of his religion. I can't believe I'm stuck voting for this clown McCain, but Obama and Hillary are complete jokes.

    May 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Tired of W, OH

    McSame is getting a free ride in the media. My most recent favorite McCain comment is this:

    "My friends, I will have an energy policy which will eliminate our dependence on oil from Middle East that will then prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”

    He virtually admitted that we went to war for oil! Of course he's stammering about it now and trying to explain it away, but he let the (not-so-)secret out of the bag! This was just glossed over by the media and the dem candidates aren't hitting him on this! Add this to his endorsement by that nut-job Haggee. It's sickening the way McSame is skating through this while every word that Obama says is twisted and scrutinized. The Conservative News Network is doing everything they can to extend the Bush dynasty!

    May 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. hope=fear

    to John Smith:
    did you learn that in college? Is that where you learned to spell "elitist"?

    May 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Stephen David

    Adios John. Adios.

    May 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Jerry

    John says "my party reaches out to every citizen, every American,"
    maybe thats why there are no African Americans on the
    Republican side of Congress.

    Jerry

    May 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. david

    LETS SEE WHAT DREAM HE'LL SELL TO THE LATINOES

    May 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Veterans Against McCain

    THIS MAY WORK IF YOU WERE RUNNING AGAINST PAT BUCHANON, BUT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TWO REAL CONTENDORS THIS YEAR.

    May 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Dinah, NM

    Look at Hillary's history. She used black people and she will use Latinos.

    Wake up, and McSame is not your friend. Just as GW turn his head, McSame will do the same for minorities.

    Obama 08

    May 5, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Linda, TX

    Barack wants everyone in this country to have dignity. He is fighting for you. Don't buy into the same old thing politicians have been telling you for years. Do believe it.

    Change we can believe in–Barack Obama.

    O/08

    May 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Sick&Tired

    Juan McSame, Need I say more?

    May 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. sigh

    Hey Mitchell, please, could you play the fear tactics even harder...you are pathetic...hey cat lovers, McCain is going to kill all the cats as soon as he's elected...vote Obama...pathetic

    May 5, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Linda

    Barack wants everyone in this country to have dignity. He is fighting for a better America for you. Don't buy into the same old thing politicians have been saying for years. Don't believe Hillary or McSame.

    Change we can belive in –Barack Obama.

    O/08

    May 5, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Mike - Texas

    McCain will open the flood gates to illegals as wide, if not wider than either Clinton or OBama.

    Remember this, when you are out looking for a job.

    All 3 need to be stopped!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. sigh

    hey Doug...what have you ever done for Hispanics?...the solution to the immigration issue starts with each one of us!

    May 5, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Turner

    I wonder how long it will be before Hillary copies McCain 'again' and puts up Her version of the website?

    Two proud moderate Republicans

    McCain / Hillary 08

    May 5, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Anonymous

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

    Have the last eight years taught you nothing? We expect our president to be "one of us." In the US today that means stupid, intellectually lazy and completely unwilling to learn about the larger world around him. But we would like to have a beer with him.

    Why else is anyone who speaks at a level higher than a six-year-old seen as an elitist? Why is someone who speaks truth when it is unpopular viewed as out of touch? Why else would someone who grew up black in America, dedicated his life to public service, worked his way into one of the finest universities in the world, and just recently paid off his student loans in his 40s be seen as out of touch?

    We get the leader we deserve.

    May 5, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Now that's...rich.

    Adios, McSame.

    May 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Jan, are you from Texas, Mississippi, or Alabama?

    May 5, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Jezenla

    Hispanics don't like adulterous liars either!

    May 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    Stinko de Mayo

    May 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Billy G in Las Vegas

    how do you say "A Hispanic American voting for a Republican is like a Chicken voting for Col Sanders" in Spanish?

    May 5, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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