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 endorsing Sen. John McCain's bid for the Republican presidential nomination, The Baltimore Sun asserted that McCain has "stood his ground" on "immigration reform." However, while McCain now says that border security must be addressed first, he previously said that border security could not be disaggregated from other provisions in the legislation on immigration reform. Similarly, the San Antonio Express-News claimed in its endorsement of McCain that his "advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform" is among the positions that may "be attractive" to "independent voters"; but McCain has said he "would not" vote for his own comprehensive immigration reform proposals.
On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl said he was "pissed off" because the FBI is expending too many resources prosecuting mob criminals while ignoring the northern border of the United States: "Now, what bothers me is our borders up near Canada are opened up. It looks like the pilgrimage in to Mecca, the amount of 'Aba Dabba Doos' that are coming in from Canada in to the United States. ... We should take some of our great FBI agents and station them up there so they can make some oberservationtations [sic] about these guys, Al Swawahiwi [sic] and all his brothers and cousins coming through there."
On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle claimed that while in "most campaigns," "Republicans begin on the right for their campaign and come to the middle for the fall," John McCain is "in the middle and he has to swing right for the primaries." In fact, McCain has already shifted rightward on immigration and taxes, and McCain himself has asserted that he is a "mainstream conservative."
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.
On MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann named CNN host Lou Dobbs the "winner" of his "Worst Person in the World" segment for calling the Anti-Defamation League a "joke," as Media Matters for America documented.
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On Lou Dobbs Tonight, National Council of La Raza's Janet Murguia accused host Lou Dobbs of using "hate groups to make your case on immigration," noting that Dobbs had aired a graphic from the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group linked to white supremacists. Dobbs responded: "You got anything a little more recent?" He also asked, "How long was that on the air?" When Murguia responded, "It doesn't matter how long," Dobbs replied, "Of course it does." Dobbs also labeled the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as "absolute advocate groups for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens" and said of the ADL, "They are a joke."
A Washington Post article described Sen. John McCain as a "conservative maverick" and asserted that he has committed "heresies on taxes, immigration and campaign finance." Yet Kane did not mention that on immigration and taxes, McCain has either reversed or shifted his positions to more closely align himself with the mainstream of the Republican Party.
A New York Daily News editorial endorsing Sen. John McCain asserted that McCain "has delivered 'straight talk' and risked the consequences of unpopular positions," citing as an example McCain's "forceful advoca[cy] of comprehensive immigration reform," claiming that "[c]haracteristically, he has held his ground against an anti-immigrant fervor that rivals ... have exploited." In fact, McCain has reversed his position on a key element of the immigration debate and has offered inconsistent statements on whether he would support his own comprehensive immigration bill.