CNN's Jack Cafferty asserted that Sen. John McCain "has been at odds with his own party for years on issues like immigration, campaign finance reform, and global warming," without noting that McCain said on January 30 that he would no longer support his own comprehensive immigration reform bill if it came up for a vote in the Senate and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first."
On Special Report, Juan Williams cited Sen. John McCain's record on immigration as evidence of a willingness to "work across party lines," without noting that McCain has said he no longer supports his own bipartisan bill. Williams then claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "doesn't have a record" of "working across party lines." In fact, Obama has co-sponsored bills with Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar that have been signed into law.
Reporting on Sen. John McCain's efforts to "attract" Hispanic voters, The Hill's Klaus Marre wrote that McCain "has spent the past few years courting Hispanic voters by being the lead Republican sponsor of failed immigration legislation that would have granted a path to citizenship to most of the more than 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States." But Marre did not note that McCain has said he no longer supports that legislation.
The Washington Post's Dan Balz asserted that Sen. John McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" is among the policy positions that help "paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional [Republican] party mold." In fact, McCain has abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation, saying that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
On The Beltway Boys, Morton Kondracke asserted that Sen. John McCain "may well" be able to "match George Bush's 2004 record of 40 percent" of the Hispanic vote "because he's got a position on comprehensive immigration reform that's humanitarian." But McCain asserted on January 30 that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came to a vote on the Senate floor and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
In an article about Sen. John McCain's general election strategy, the Los Angeles Times reported that McCain's advisers "believe his work on the controversial immigration legislation that included a path to citizenship for many of the nation's illegal immigrants will provide an inroad to Latino voters, particularly in the Golden State." But McCain no longer supports the "controversial immigration legislation" attributed to him -- he now says that "we've got to secure the borders first," and that he would vote against his own comprehensive immigration bill if it came to the Senate floor.
After citing "illegal immigration" as "the issue with which John McCain is weakest among conservatives," CNN's John King said that members of McCain's presidential campaign "say they will not pander to the talk radio community and that if there is there's backlash from that community, maybe independents will say this guy truly is a maverick, he truly is independent." But King did not note that McCain has reversed his position on immigration to more closely conform to the views of the GOP base.
A Wall Street Journal article asserted that "[w]hile Sen. [John] McCain has shifted his emphasis, talking more now about 'securing the border first,' he remains committed to the broad strokes of his original approach [on immigration reform]." And the Washington Post editorial board wrote that McCain has made "what amounts to only a mild shift in emphasis in his longstanding position." However, McCain's current position -- that the borders must be secured before other reforms can be addressed -- is a reversal of his prior position; McCain previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Moreover, he now says that he would not support his own legislation if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
NBC's David Gregory stated: "John McCain is not going to pander to the right. He did that once and it didn't work." The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson and MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan both agreed, asserting: "He's not going to do it." In fact, McCain has attempted to satisfy conservative Republicans by reversing his positions on issues such as taxes, immigration, and the religious right.
A USA Today article stated that Sen. John McCain "has been criticized for supporting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but he has said he would focus on sealing the borders before taking up any other measures," falsely suggesting that McCain's current proposal to secure the borders first is consistent with his prior support for comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, McCain previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other provisions in legislation on comprehensive immigration reform, or else it would be ineffective.
In an article on Sen. John McCain's efforts "to rally conservatives to his candidacy," The Washington Post asserted that McCain "has diverged from conservatives on several issues, including campaign finance legislation, immigration policy and President Bush's tax cuts." But, unlike a previous Post article that documented McCain's "flip-flops" on taxes and immigration, this one did not mention that McCain has changed his positions on those two issues to more closely align himself with the base of the Republican Party.
A New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference asserted that on the issue of immigration, McCain "has not changed his basic position." Similarly, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson stated, "McCain hasn't changed his position on providing illegal aliens with a pathway to citizenship, but he now has a new approach: secure the border first." In fact, McCain's current support for securing the border first represents a reversal of his prior position.
A USA Today article described John McCain as "a maverick senator from the West" who has taken "maverick stands, including votes against Bush's tax cuts in 2001" and "his sponsorship last year of an immigration bill that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in this country," while a USA Today editorial asserted that "McCain's chief sin, apparently, is that he has broken ranks on issues that include campaign finance, President Bush's tax cuts, illegal immigration and global warming." Neither the article nor the editorial mentioned that McCain has since shifted positions on the Bush tax cuts and immigration.
Previewing the January 5 presidential debates, MSNBC's Chris Matthews discussed what he said would be "a good question" to ask candidates, such as one that would force the candidates to "choose between Latino voters who want more of an open border and the other voters ... who definitely don't want that kind of an open border." Yet, while Matthews did not offer any examples of "Latino voters who want more of an open border," in fact, a number of national and regional Latino groups have specifically rejected the idea of "open borders" while advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, as have members of Congress representing states and districts with large Latino constituencies.
The Des Moines Register's endorsement of Sen. John McCain praised him for "taking stands based on principle, not party dogma," citing his positions on immigration reform and President Bush's tax cuts, among others. However, as noted in several reports, McCain has shifted his position on immigration reform and actually reversed his position on the tax cuts.