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. Jones in California

    Flip flopper. Trust me No Hispanic will vote for McCain this fall, they 're smart than you think and they 're suffering in this economy. GAS @4.50, war in Iraq, Homes crisis and employment..........This is real people. Don't even count on us because you're making a fool of yourself....

    May 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. James

    More grownup responses by the Obama Youth manning the blogoshere. Good Lord I fear for the future of this party.

    May 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Anita in NC

    Whomever any NATURALIZED American citizen chooses, it's their business.

    It's the illegal voters, those that are NOT CITIZENS, but register to vote with state issued or falsified driver's licenses and/ or id cards that pollute our elections. Voter registration drives are held on the sidewalks of retail shopping centers, churches; driver's license offices and more with no valid proof of right to vote in a US election.

    There is an outspoken public movement generated from the current and former Mexican president to influence American elections, soveriegnty and political policy on all levels, by any means possible.
    Even the current Mexican president admits to having relatives illegally living in the US.

    May 5, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Jose in Texas

    LOL , McCain....WE'RE NOT DUMMYS AS YOU THINK.............

    May 5, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. mk

    Whatever McCain does, he and the GOP are irrelevant. He would be better off raising the money for charities rather than his campaign, at this point. The party carries no weight.

    May 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Eli

    Like any first date with a person of interest that didn't work the first time, don't expect to much of this second date with the Latinos. President already messed that up for GOP seekers.

    May 5, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Ian

    How about killing THREE birds with ONE stone? By bringing ALL of our troops home we can end the conflict in Iraq, use our military to protect our own borders, and improve our own economy by not spending billions of dollars every day by having our troops overseas.

    By the way, 80% of the money going into Iraq is unnacounted for.

    Ron Paul '08

    May 5, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. hmmmmm.....sounds fishy

    Mc Cain is just courting you back across the border

    May 5, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Jessica, GA

    I guess the Republicans want change too.

    Juan Carlo McCain/Maria clinton 08.....The real dream team

    May 5, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. hmmmmm.....sounds fishy

    its about time that blacks and browns and whites get it together......and the word of the day is: TOGETHER

    May 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Juanita Harris, Antioch, California

    Wwhat did McCaiin ever do for Hispanics? He only wanted to grant amnesty for illegals, thus annoying my relatives who are in line to immigrate legally. Err, Doug R., who is the joke???

    May 5, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Ken

    Some people might call this "courting", but I count it has "pandering"!

    I believe that for this great country to get back the respect and glory, that Hillary Clinton is our better choice to make it happen. Hillary has the talent, skills, knowledge and experience to make it happen. She will be able to start making the changes that our country needs to make, right from day one!

    WAKE UP AMERICA! Let us ALL get behind Hillary Clinton and push her over the finish line. She is the "Best" candidate to fix the Mess that "Bush" got us into. McCain would end up just being a 3rd term for "Bush" and we really DO NOT want that to happen.

    May 5, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Anne E.

    I'm a 2nd generation Mexican-American & I have only one thing to say to John McCain - with all due respect, I don't think your war credentials qualify you to serve as President.
    My father proudly served this country as a U.S. Marine, but that doesn't mean I'd want HIM running this country, either.
    OBAMA '08

    May 5, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Reality check #1

    Hispanics belong to a winner and one who has always fought for their rights, none other than Clinton. Hillary for President and hispanic rights!

    May 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. liberals' worst nightmare

    Obviously there is no educated dialogue on this article.... nothing but the typical far-left hatred and idiocy toward McCain or anyone lefties don't agree with. What a complete SHOCK!

    May 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Jelissa M.

    this. is utterly hilarious.
    i hope that hispanics see through this convenient cinco de mayo, "we'll translate the page but not the pledge of allegiance", "use your vote to quickly and efficiently ban you from this country" ad

    im so disappointed with CNN lately.
    im just surprised this isnt one of their many Hillary posts.


    May 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. laura

    After Bush, I'd think GOP would be dead to hispanic voters.

    Hey CNN, cover the superdelegates announcing for Obama! The leads been cut in half, and more to come!

    May 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Sam - Dallas

    Because you're racist Sharon Minnesota? It makes no sense to vote for Clinton or McCain. Clinton & Obama have essentially identical policy plans for the country, and McCain is completely opposite on most issues.

    May 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Steve

    The Democratic Party once again has found a way to self destruct. The Bush Adminstration tried to hand the White House to the Democrats on a silver platter. They won't take it. They'd rather fight among themselves creating a division that will never heal. Democrats will never come together before November. The divide is too wide. and John McCain will be the next President. Get used to it folks, .

    May 5, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. HYPOCRACY 08


    Curious which Democrat Nominee wasn't?

    May 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Mike Glenn

    Ah, the Left. So in love with their loose-leaf notebook version of history.
    Since it is obvious you've conveniently forgotten, may I remind you that it was Senator McCain who had the cojones to buck his party's mainstream and support an immigration bill that actually contained a path for eventual citizenship for illegals? Do you at *least* remember how he was drawn and quartered for it?
    No; of course not. Perish the thought.

    May 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. An Agnostic Democrat

    Go for it, abuelo McSame. Nada, nada nada.

    May 5, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Greg Pa

    I almost don't want to see McCain win. He is the best option we have. I just don't want to see an American HERO SLANDERED. Which will happen if he is elected. The dems will cry and call for a recount and shame our country once more.

    Doug R has just made my point!!!!!!!

    This man has suffered more for this country will ever know. NEVER QUESTION A SOLDIER'S PATRIOTISM. They give their lives fore our country.

    May 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Ann,PA

    Obama would never have my vote, and where has the rev been I believe that was all a polictical ploy so Obama would have to give ANOTHER speech and some people say it sounded good and they probably felt sorry for him and gave him pity well I am sure and mark my words depending on what happens tomorrow we may just be seeing the rev again SOON..........YUK

    May 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Rasheeda NYC

    My husband is Colombian and he was so apalled at how this country could even consider McCain for president...He was wondering how could a country as progressive as ours consider someone who is so

    May 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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