NY Daily News editorial lauded McCain's "straight talk" on immigration, ignoring his reversalFebruary 4, 2008 7:49 PM EST ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN
A February 4 New York Daily News editorial endorsing Sen. John McCain (AZ) for the Republican presidential nomination asserted that McCain "has been guided by two forces: conservatism and honor. Time and again, he has delivered 'straight talk' and risked the consequences of unpopular positions." As "one example," the editorial pointed to McCain's "forceful advoca[cy] of comprehensive immigration reform," asserting that, having "[r]ecogniz[ed] the economic importance of immigration, [McCain] would secure the borders, create a lawful channel into the U.S. for foreign workers and enable the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to gain lawful status, provided they paid penalties and taxes, stayed employed, learned English, kept a clean record and waited their turn." The editorial further stated that "[c]haracteristically, he has held his ground against an anti-immigrant fervor that rivals ... have exploited." However, McCain has reversed his position on a key element of the immigration debate. While McCain previously supported comprehensive immigration reform, he is now calling for border security before the creation of a guest-worker program or a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, as Media Matters for America has previously noted. The change represents a complete reversal on the issue of whether border security can be disaggregated from comprehensive immigration reform and addressed first.
Moreover, McCain has recently offered inconsistent statements on whether he would support his own immigration bill. During CNN's January 30 Republican presidential debate, McCain asserted that he "would not" support his own comprehensive immigration proposal if it came to a vote on the Senate floor, despite having stated three days earlier, on the January 27 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, that he would sign that very legislation into law if he were elected president.
From the February 4 New York Daily News editorial headlined "McCain is best choice for the Republicans":
McCain has led an extraordinary life. The product of a military family, he was shot down as a Navy flier over Vietnam and spent 5-1/2 years as a POW. Despite isolation and torture, he refused an offer of release unless his men went first.
As a two-term Arizona congressman and as a fourth-term senator, McCain possesses deep experience and a keen awareness of the threats America confronts around the globe. Throughout, he has been guided by two forces: conservatism and honor. Time and again, he has delivered "straight talk" and risked the consequences of unpopular positions.
For one example, McCain has been a forceful advocate of comprehensive immigration reform. Recognizing the economic importance of immigration, he would secure the borders, create a lawful channel into the U.S. for foreign workers and enable the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to gain lawful status, provided they paid penalties and taxes, stayed employed, learned English, kept a clean record and waited their turn.
McCain's stance is practical and in keeping with America's tradition as a beacon for newcomers. Characteristically, he has held his ground against an anti-immigrant fervor that rivals, including Romney, have exploited.
McCain has been similarly brave on the Iraq war. He broke Republican ranks to become an early GOP critic of how President Bush was conducting the war. Then, disregarding rising anti-war sentiment, he called for sending more troops to the war zone. How right McCain proved to be.
He has been just as on target in calling for controlling government spending, crusading against pork-barrel projects and winning passage of landmark campaign finance reform.
The record leaves no doubt as to who John McCain is and where he stands. He is a fiscal and social conservative who holds to core beliefs while remaining dedicated to finding bipartisan answers to the many challenges facing the U.S.
There is no comparison between these two men, McCain and Romney, one authentic, the other not.
Having dedicated his life to America, McCain is more than credible when he speaks of serving "a cause greater than self-interest." He has done that. Republicans should make McCain their nominee for President.