On American Morning, Dana Bash asserted that Sen. John McCain made "a concession" to "conservatives" on the issue of "illegal immigration" during CNN's January 30 Republican presidential debate, when McCain said he would not, in Bash's words, "vote for his own legislation allowing citizenship" for undocumented immigrants if it came to a vote on the Senate floor. But Bash failed to note that just days earlier on Meet the Press, McCain had said he would sign that very legislation into law.
Discussing immigration reform, CNN's John King stated that Sen. John McCain "has changed his emphasis -- he still says a guest-worker program, still says treat those here illegally humanely." The Wall Street Journal similarly reported that McCain "subtly alter[ed] his position without actually reversing it," adding that "[t]he lesson he drew from the debate last year ... is that Americans 'want the border secured first, and I would do that.' " In fact, McCain's current support for securing the border before implementing a guest-worker program is flatly inconsistent with his previous assertion that, unless other changes to immigration laws are also passed, "people will risk their lives to cross our borders -- no matter how formidable the barriers -- and most will be successful."
Discussing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, CNN correspondent Carol Costello remarked on The Situation Room that the issue "literally drives some off the deep end, like Lou Dobbs."
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Lou Dobbs agreed with a viewer that "[t]here was not one question about illegal immigration" asked during the recent Democratic presidential debate, saying, "You know, I noticed that. I wonder why." But, during the debate, CNN's Joe Johns asked Sen. Barack Obama if his health-care plan would "cover the estimated 12 million or so illegal immigrants" in the United States. And Wolf Blitzer later asked a similar question of John Edwards.
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.
Chris Matthews falsely suggested on MSNBC's Morning Joe that Sen. John McCain has "stood his ground" on the issue of immigration. In fact, after originally calling for a policy that both strengthened border security and established a guest-worker program, McCain now emphasizes securing the borders first.
Discussing Sen. Barack Obama's use of the phrase "yes, we can," in recent speeches, Pat Buchanan said: " 'Yes, we can. Sí, se puede.' That's Hispanic. That's the cause of the illegal immigration movement and the amnesty movement."
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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.
On Countdown, Keith Olbermann asked Dana Milbank about the repeated references in The Washington Post to the cost of John Edwards' haircuts, including in his own column. Milbank replied that he is "guilty of the haircut slander" and added: "[T]he $400 dollar haircut speaks of that the same way Romney having the illegal immigrants twice return to work in his home even ... as he's complaining about illegal immigrants." While Milbank identified an inconsistency between Romney's actions and his stated views, he offered no justification for suggesting a similar inconsistency in Edwards' efforts to fight poverty while paying for expensive haircuts.
In discussing recent riots in Paris suburbs with guest Steve Emerson, Glenn Beck likened the rioting there to the purported situation in the American Southwest, where "[y]ou've got people coming here that have no intention of being Americans. They say, you know, 'Hey, this is our land. We deserve it back.'" Beck's question invoked the "reconquista" concept initially spread by a "vitriolic Mexican-basher" and perpetuated by some conservatives, including Michelle Malkin and Pat Buchanan.
Promoting his new book on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News show, Pat Buchanan claimed that Americans are "addicted to this myth" of the United States as a "melting pot," adding: "[T]here's no doubt that the American melting pot worked wonders with the folks that came from Europe from 1890 to 1920. But we had a 40-year time-out, and we had clashes in that period and it finally worked." Buchanan then claimed that "we're going to end up with what [former President] Teddy Roosevelt warned against: a tangle of squabbling nationalities." But while Buchanan has previously asserted that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming a "minority," the targets of Roosevelt's ire in a 1915 speech were European immigrants.