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. smart voters don't vote for hillary

    OBAMA: “We let the special interests put their thumbs on the economic scales. The result has been a distorted market that creates bubbles instead of steady, sustainable growth; a market that favors Wall Street over Main Street, but ends up hurting both.”

    check out what hillary says on Hillary Clinton on CNN. 3:06 to 3:09. she says the same thing, only dumbed down. Plagiarism.

    May 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. mama4obama


    the fact that they are here ILLEGALLY says alot.

    I agree that they are trying to find a better life and I for one support that, but it has to be done legally. Im from Arizona and I know the strain it can put on the economy. If you are not bilingual you can kiss job opportunities goodbye. I find that to be most unfortunate given that this country speaks English.

    If they want to come to this country then I think they should learn to speak our would be expected if we went elsewhere and they should be paying into the government just like the rest of us, but that is not what is happening. If that were what was happening...immigration would not be an issue.

    Come in legally...or dont come in at all. JMO.

    OBAMA 08....

    May 5, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Shayna

    What an oxymoron...McCain courting hispanics . LMAO

    Hillary is the only one that has ever done anything for hispanics...or blacks for that matter.


    May 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Montana is Obama Country

    ..............Sí Se Puede.

    ..............Sí Se Puede.

    ..............Sí Se Puede.

    .............Sí Se Puede.

    ...................Barack Obama for Latino's..

    ...........................................Barack Obama for AMERICA......

    May 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. E. C., Houston, Texas

    If John McCain doesn't take a strong stance against Illegal Aliens and forgets the 'path to citizenship'....he won't have a prayer winning the election. Illegal Aliens have ruined not only our society, but have tried to destroy our Moral Values, by their crime, prostitution, un American mores, drugs, cheating, stealing and fathering children out of wedlock. Marriage is secondary to these people who come to this country illegally and drop kids at the first hospital. McCain had better consider Legislation that prohibits a woman who is Illegal in giving birth to a 'citizen' and being allowed to stay in this country. Ridiculous!

    May 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. wait a minute

    I hope Hillary wins so McCain can take her down for good.

    Speaking English with a Hispanic accent doesn't mean the speaker is stupid. Often these older Hispanic people are much more knowledgable than the young folks.

    Most Hispanics or other foreigners respect seniors much better than we do.

    May 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. White Independent

    You sir represent more of the same. There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common – that whether we are rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what’s happening in America right now. Change is what’s happening in America.

    May 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Joyce in Florida

    Vote for Hillary Clinton period. No Obama and please don't waste votes on John McCain if Obama is not the nominee. You know, everyone could write-in their candidate of choice if their candidate wasn't chosen as the nominee. I believe Hillary Clinton will be our nominee so I won't have to write her name on my ballot. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Jane, NC

    Given the seriousness of the problems left by the Bush Administration and the fact that there is little contrast between the proposals of Sen. McCain and the failed policies of Pres. Bush, I cannot see how any American citizen could take a McCain candidacy seriously. But in Sen. Clinton, we will not only have the first woman president, but a most capable candidate who has far more insight into the issues. She is by far the person we need, especially at this moment in time.

    May 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Adrian

    Wow, it seems that any mention of the role of Latinos in the race unleashes the worst bigotry, derogatory and thoughtless pronoucements about greend cards and fences. As a Latino, I am chuckling to myself and wondering why I even read the rantings of people on here.

    So much for the notion of an informed and thoughtful American public .

    May 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. The Vote

    He was the co-author of the Immigration Reform Bill with Ted Kennedy, that was eventually shot down by Republicans. To support McCain go to this is helarious, they have some cool stuff their!!

    May 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Ross Perot

    Well Shinola – Dem Dems got dat vote – Mccain will cause the terrorists to road rage a blow up more than a Hookah !

    and Conguruent is the CNN Rotten Love – ..

    4 sho

    May 5, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. viva Mexico!

    Illegal word for you


    the most Americans have no issue with you coming here to long as you immigrate legally and can be properly accounted for.

    the slow visa process is no excuse to jump the fence illegally.....follow the rules or go back home!

    May 5, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Shawn Steele

    I think it's pathetic that any one race group has become "more important this election cycle."

    Human beings should not be viewed as playing cards, chess pieces or numbers. People are people, and Hispanics, African Americans, Caucasians and all races in the United States are just as important this election cycle as they always have been. Making a Spanish website to try and make friendly with a race group you have been ignoring and mistreating for years isn't going to cut it for any candidate. How quickly we forget the Golden Rule.

    May 5, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Lictor

    Today is Cinco de Mayo
    Why the memory is selective.... Everyone pay taxes is this country.

    May 5, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. dustyBin

    We isnt CNN publishing spanish speaking comments? I dont see know Speak English signs,

    May 5, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. EBC

    Grandpa McCain needs a LONG nap.

    Can he even say "MUCHO LOCO"!!!!

    May 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Even Hilliary's hometown newspaper states, "She is taking the low
    road." Well, hasn't that always been the case.???????

    May 5, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Hmmm....trying to keep busy....I don't blame him...he needs to stay within the news cycle somehow given that the Dems are getting all the good/bad press these days...

    May 5, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. John Marietta, GA

    McCains goin gto re united the people. Yah Ummm George promised the same thing and we all see how that turned out. The same people that pull Georges string are in charge of McCain. New face, mew name, same old game. NO MORE MCCAIN!

    May 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Read Me

    "It was during the Bill Clinton Administration (1995) that the sale of Magnequench to the Chinese was approved (via their surrogates Archibald Cox and the Sextant Group). As the Indianapolis Star reported, the Clinton Administration could have blocked the sale since " Congress gave the president authority to block foreign acquisitions that could threaten national security". That law was available to the Clinton Administration." (This was obtained through a link from the website.)

    May 5, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Obama for Emperor of the World

    Mc Cain for President of the USA and Barry for Emperor of the World!!

    May 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Kevin B

    McCain is a joke. He has no idea what he is talking about, and flip-flops every other day on every single issue.

    Clinton is the female version of George Bush.

    Not that I'm a big fan of Obama, but at least he's partially intelligent...

    May 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Dori in AZ

    So, now Sen. McCain is courting Hispanic voters. Hhhmmm. As I recall, he became a bit confused about some key points about the Middle East and who's who doing what to whom. . .

    Here's a test for our border state senator. Does he know the reasons for the celebrations of "Cinco de Mayo" and "16 de septiembre"? (Please don't tell me that one is celebrated on May 5th & the other on Sept. 16th, & that it's a good time for a party.)

    Pull out those history books!

    Obama 2008! Si se puede!

    May 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Walter

    This is simply pathetic. After turning on Hispanics to get the votes of the far right, he turns back to them and asks for their support.

    Every person of color (or person of reason, for that matter) should be insulted by this shameless and hypocritical coward.

    May 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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