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. beachgirl

    Boy oh boy! all of the sudden McCain wants the hispanic votes...NO SE PUEDE!!! ha ha ha. First he wants to keep us in Iraq for 100 years (thousands of hispanics in military) and then he wants to build the stupid "fence" to keep hispanics away! But he wants you to vote for him??? is this one of his "old" jokes or what??? NO SE PUEDE JOHN!

    May 5, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Steve

    For those that we wondering how both arms were broken in Vietnam,
    was due to the fact he did not follow instructions on ditching a plane by crossing both arm.

    May 5, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Bob B. Austin, TX

    End the Republican nightmare!! Talk, talk, talk... But WE SEE WHAT Y'ALL HAVE DONE!!

    May 5, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Blake

    This new website comes despite the fact that McCain voted in 2006 for Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-OK) amendment to “declare English as the national language of the United States and to promote the patriotic integration of prospective US citizens.”

    May 5, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. G

    To all my fellow latinos, Vote for McCain if Hillary loses the Nomination. This Obama cat does not care about us. Just look above and read how disrespectful his followers are. They have no shame, they think the black votes are important. Than lets show them how important the hispanic votes are.

    "HIllary 08 or McCain 08"

    May 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Ilona Proud Canadian

    I just don't know what to do to get people to do their own research. It really is quite easy. If you can post your comments on this blog, you are obviously capable of doing some research. Please google...Guam Caucus Drama Continues..You will be quite surprised. If cnn does not post this comment go to huff post, I will continue to post there.

    May 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Anonymous


    Hispanics people hate old guys"

    Well put.

    May 5, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Wayne, Greenville TX

    The height of hypocrisy – Republicans want Hispanics to vote for them, but Republican policies are very anti-Hispanic. Especially where immigration is concerned.

    Hispanics who want the best for America should join us here in the Democratic Party.

    May 5, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Wayne, Greenville TX

    JC May 5th, 2008 2:19 pm ET

    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.

    John McCain IS outdated equipment!!! 🙂

    May 5, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Observer

    To all hispanics, I remind you of what happened to the evagelicals. They supported Bush and as soon as he was back in White House, he litteraly told them to go to hell.

    You better join the Democrats. GOP will never meet your needs. Who are the Senators and Congressmen who are supporting the anti-immigrant legislations? Mostly GOP.

    The GOP will use you as the pinata for their re-election bids.
    Avoid them like the plague.

    May 5, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. JCB

    McCain is trying to get the hispanic voters that back Clinton. He is no fool. He knows that many of us Hillary supporters do not, absolutely do not , want to vote for Obama. McCain is trying to get an early start on cross-over votes - I would too if I were him. If Hillary loses, many will vote for McCain. Me too!

    May 5, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Walt, Belton,TX

    Screw Cinco de mayo! It is not a US Holiday, but a Mexican one.

    May 5, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Core Democrat

    Hillary Clinton will carry the Hispanic vote.
    If she is NOT the nominee, than McCain will. Another reason Democrats LOSE with Obama! HOW MANY REASONS DO WE NEED?

    May 5, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Viet Nam Vet

    The sign says it all "CON MCCAIN"

    May 5, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. darko

    At least he wants do something (although, pretty weak) about immigration, rather than totally ignore it like the 2 dems. I bet he comes out with a social security plan fix before them too!

    Dems: "Immigration? bush bush bush blah blah bush

    Dems: " Social Security? What? It's fine. Working as intended. Nothing to worry about" (if not, we'll just raise the taxes and pay out less)

    May 5, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. Jax

    There are 2 different types of Hispanics in this country. The ones who are legally in this country and the ones that are not. Conservatives have a problem with the later as should any law abiding citizen have a problem with those that break the law.
    Someone has always has to pull the race card

    May 5, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Alan Boyer

    Yeah, right!

    May 5, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Luke in Arcata

    McCain like the Dems will say what he thinks will get him elected.The end justifies the means.That's the Naval Acad. code. As a Navy flier he dropped bombs that he new would likely do collatial damage but that risk was factored in before he bombed away. A few upset voters on either side of most issues won't bother him in the least! The job will wear him out so his V.P. selection is important. Sen. McCain is 100% disabiled from war injuries(60,000 a yr.) and his wife is worth $150,000,000. He really doesn't need a job.

    May 5, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. NuevoMexicano

    Estamos Unidos CONTRA McCain 08

    May 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Barbara Francisco

    John Roberts interview with Clinton is bogus! He asked about the gas tax holiday starting with "when you are President..." Clinton's proposal is for "immediate relief" this summer NOT after the election. This question was posed to her in such a way to get her off the hook for her rediculous proposal. Politics at usual with John Roberts and Clinton. Americans are sick of this and I hope they see through it and elect Obama. CNN should be ashamed!!

    May 5, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Jed in Texas

    We need strong able bodies for the draft next April.It will be to go into Iran and get the real oil so we can all become rich,well at least 2% of us.They are building the fence to keep you from leaving.Sign up now and get a free Pizza.

    May 5, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. sonya

    Hispanics, please stop being so easy. stop voting for people just because you think they will do things for you, belive me neither McCain or Clinton cares about you, they ONLY care about getting your votes and nothing more. Look how Bush made fools out of you when he was running, trying to talk that broken spanish, when he got in the white house he never mention you again. Stop letting these people use you. McCain didn't even want to celebrate MLK day or give aid to Katrina victims so if he don't want to give aid to or celebrate blacks what do you think he will do to you. McCain can care less, after he use you and get what he wants, McCain will act just like Bush.

    May 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. Navy Vet

    John McCain courting the hispanic vote is like David Duke courting the NAACP endorsement in his presidential runs. It makes me chuckle!

    May 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. Abigail, Newport Beach

    Some Hispanics try and make out as racist towards other people of color
    when they are the ones that are not politically savy enough to know that
    the republican party is no where for their interests. Hispanics voting
    for the republicans is like the chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

    Yes We Can.

    May 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. Patrick

    McCain has done more then either Clinton or Obama for hispanics in our country and he has a record to prove it. He co-sponsored then McCain/Kennedy immigration bill that was trying to help all the illegals in our country become citizens. He took the high road and suffered terribly for it from his base. Don't we want a man in Washington that is going to do what is right even if it hurts him in the polls? We can't deport all of them, so this is the logical solution. If hispanics are told the truth about all 3 candidates voting records, then will flock to McCain.

    May 5, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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