June 22nd, 2008
10:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Analysis: McCain's uphill battle on illegal immigration

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/21/mccain.hispanics/art.mccainbash.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain's accused of flip-flopping on immigration policy."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In recent days, Sen. Barack Obama has backed off his harshest criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and he's changed his stance on campaign financing, electing to decline the federal funds for the general election - prompting charges of flip-flopping.

Obama's campaign says Sen. John McCain has contradictions of his own, namely on illegal immigration.

On Wednesday night, McCain held a private meeting with more than 150 Chicago, Illinois-area Hispanic leaders.

According to The Associated Press, several people who were at the meeting said McCain assured them that he would push for comprehensive immigration reform if he's elected president.

In 2007, McCain's sponsorship of comprehensive immigration reform angered conservatives and very nearly derailed his presidential campaign.

At a Republican debate at the Reagan Library in January, McCain was asked whether he would still vote for his original measure.

"No, I would not ... because we know what the situation is today ... that people want the borders secured first," he said.

McCain's critics were reassured.

"The original proposal, I opposed. Sen. McCain's new proposal, I support, which is to ensure you have border security before you have any other type of reform," L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said.

After the Chicago meeting, the Obama campaign's communications director, Robert Gibbs, charged that McCain was trying to have it both ways.

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Marie in California

    I'm with McCain on this one. He's long been a senator from Arizona, a border state, and knows the immigration situation well. I trust his judgment.

    June 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Speechless

    Some of Those Endorsing Obama:

    – Louis Farrakhan ( Nation of Islam Leader, racist, anti-Semite)
    – Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades ( Islamic Terror Organization)
    – Raila Odinga ( Fundamental Islamic candidate, Kenya,poss. cousin)
    – Daniel Ortega ( Marxist Sandinista Leader. Nicaragua)
    – Raul Castro ( Hard-line Communist Leader, Cuba)
    – Socialist Party ( Marxist Political Party)
    – The New Black Panther Party ( Black Militant Organization)
    – Hamas Terrorist Organization ( Islamic Terrorist Organization)

    Why are so many American enemies rooting for Sen. Obama???

    June 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. judy, Wisconsin

    "My Friends–vote for me, I have more experience than my Democratic apponent–as a liar, a flip-flopper, a republican puppet, and Joe Lie-berman's side-kick. I am also under observation for dementia and a bad temper.
    Sincerely, John McBush

    June 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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