Ignoring flip-flops, Reuters asserted McCain "faced a revolt among some conservatives unhappy with his past stances on immigration, tax cuts"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Reuters' John Whitesides wrote that Sen. John McCain "has faced a revolt among some conservatives unhappy with his past stances on immigration, tax cuts and campaign finance reform, although it has done little to slow his march to the nomination." But, in fact, on immigration and taxes, McCain reversed his positions to more closely align himself with the base of the Republican Party.

In a March 3 Reuters article, political correspondent John Whitesides wrote that Sen. John McCain "has faced a revolt among some conservatives unhappy with his past stances on immigration, tax cuts and campaign finance reform, although it has done little to slow his march to the nomination." But, in fact, on at least two of the issues Whitesides cited -- immigration and taxes -- McCain reversed his positions to more closely align himself with the base of the Republican Party. While McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, he now supports making the tax cuts permanent, while misrepresenting his stated reason for previously opposing them. And on immigration, McCain 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. Indeed, during CNN's January 30 Republican presidential debate, McCain asserted that he "would not" support his own comprehensive immigration proposal that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants if it came to a vote on the Senate floor.

As Media Matters for America has noted, numerous news articles have uncritically reported McCain's past positions on issues such as immigration and taxes without noting that he has since taken opposite positions. In contrast to Reuters, The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller, in a March 3 article, noted that McCain has made a "striking turnaround ... on the Bush tax cuts, which he voted against twice but now wants to make permanent," and has "moved from his original position on immigration." Bumiller also noted that "McCain went so far at a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in January to say that if his original proposal came to a vote on the Senate floor, he would not vote for it."

From the March 3 Reuters article:

In the Republican race, McCain leads Huckabee 61 percent to 28 percent in Ohio and 53 percent to 33 percent in Texas. The other remaining Republican candidate, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, had 6 percent in Texas and 5 percent in Ohio.

McCain leads handily in nearly every voter category and in all regions of both states. He even leads in Ohio among those who call themselves very conservative, although Huckabee leads in that category in Texas.

McCain has faced a revolt among some conservatives unhappy with his past stances on immigration, tax cuts and campaign finance reform, although it has done little to slow his march to the nomination.

The rolling poll was conducted Friday through Sunday. It surveyed 761 likely Democratic voters in Ohio with a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points, and 748 in Texas with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

The poll of 675 likely Republican voters in Ohio had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points. The survey of 628 voters in Texas had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Network/Outlet
Reuters
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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