Reuters reported some Hispanics "like the fact" that McCain co-sponsored immigration bill, but not that McCain has reversed his position

››› ››› ANNE SMITH

Reuters reported: "Arturo Leyva has voted Democratic in the past, like many U.S. Hispanics. This year, the candidate catching his eye happens to be a Republican: John McCain." It later added that "Hispanics like Leyva, 45, say they like the fact that McCain teamed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on the immigration bill, which was later killed by the Republicans." But the article did not report that McCain has since reversed his position on immigration reform, arguing that "we've got to secure the borders first" and stating that he would no longer support his own bill if it were to come up in the Senate.

Reuters reported in a May 18 article that "Republican lawmakers last June sank a comprehensive immigration bill -- co-sponsored by McCain -- that would have created a path to citizenship for many of the 12 million mostly Hispanic undocumented immigrants in the United States." Reuters also reported: "Arturo Leyva has voted Democratic in the past, like many U.S. Hispanics. This year, the candidate catching his eye happens to be a Republican: John McCain." It later added that "Hispanics like Leyva, 45, say they like the fact that McCain teamed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on the immigration bill, which was later killed by the Republicans." But Reuters did not report that McCain has since reversed his position on comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that "we've got to secure the borders first." Moreover, in claiming that some Hispanics "say they like the fact that McCain teamed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on the immigration bill," Reuters did not report that McCain himself has said he would no longer support his own bill if it were to come up again in the Senate.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Times asserted in a May 18 article that "[l]ike President Bush, McCain has split from the party base in backing more liberal immigration laws and criticizing conservatives for ethnically insensitive rhetoric" without noting McCain's reversal on such legislation. The Times also reported: "By 2013, he [McCain] said, he hoped 'illegal immigrants who broke our laws after they came here [will] have been arrested and deported.' Only then did McCain offer some of his more familiar rhetoric that some say is welcoming toward illegal immigrants. He predicted that with the borders secured, Americans would accept the 'practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely with the millions of immigrants who have been in this country illegally.' " But the Times also failed to note that McCain's current position that "we've got to secure the borders first" is at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.

From the May 18 Reuters article by Tim Gaynor, headlined "McCain woos some Hispanics, others see baggage":

Arturo Leyva has voted Democratic in the past, like many U.S. Hispanics. This year, the candidate catching his eye happens to be a Republican: John McCain.

"He has a lot to offer Hispanics, and I think I may vote for him," Leyva, 45, said at his cellular phone store in central Phoenix.

U.S. Hispanic support for the Republican Party, small but growing steadily over the past decade, has ebbed in the past year, following a bruising battle over illegal immigration.

Republican lawmakers last June sank a comprehensive immigration bill -- co-sponsored by McCain -- that would have created a path to citizenship for many of the 12 million mostly Hispanic undocumented immigrants in the United States.

However, Hispanic voters may see a sympathetic candidate in the Arizona senator, some analysts say.

"Hispanic voters have not yet gelled for any candidate yet. In this election it is up for grabs," said Paul Brace, a political science professor at Rice University.

"The interest among Hispanics may be more in John McCain the man than in the Republican Party," he added.

The Arizona senator faces either Democratic Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton in the November election, who have majority support among the 18 million or so eligible Latino voters, according to the most recent survey.

Hispanics like Leyva, 45, say they like the fact that McCain teamed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on the immigration bill, which was later killed by the Republicans.

[...]

While Hispanics may be more open to McCain, Brace cautioned that the Republican Party's record on issues including immigration may prove off-putting to some, a view born out among some Latino voters.

"He could be a nice guy, but I don't trust his party on immigration," said Clinton supporter Pedro Marquez, 46, the proprietor of a cowboy clothing store in downtown Phoenix.

Other Latinos who voted for Bush said a wobbly economy and an unresolved conflict in Iraq gave them doubts about backing a Republican this time around.

"The last two terms of Republican presidency didn't make very good decisions," said Lourdes Leon, 45, who said she had voted Republican in the past and owns a Mexican taqueria, grocery and bakery in Fairfield, Ohio.

"The deficit and the recession we live in right now is hard, and the war is not right, so I believe we need a change."

From the May 18 Los Angeles Times article by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, headlined "GOP struggles to reinvent without losing itself":

As with global warming, those who want a tough line on immigration and border security have also been at odds with the McCain.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado wrote on the website Townhall.com that McCain and the Republican National Committee were hurling "obstructions" at members of Congress who want to run on the "winning issue" of tough border and immigration enforcement. Tancredo took aim at McCain's decision to speak to a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, National Council of La Raza, accusing the presidential candidate of "shameful pandering to a special-interest lobby."

[...]

McCain's supporters argue that that his policy proposals would bring a new image to the party, one that solves its problems by recalling old virtues of conservatism -- such as spending control and smaller government -- while appealing to key groups of voters needed by the GOP: Latinos, women and young people.

Like President Bush, McCain has split from the party base in backing more liberal immigration laws and criticizing conservatives for ethnically insensitive rhetoric.

As a result, McCain aides believe now that the Arizona senator has the potential to do well among Latino voters, perhaps winning more than the 40% that Bush did in 2004. That, they say, could assure victory in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- states the Democratic nominee would have to carry in order to win. It could also help McCain win Florida, a state he cannot afford to lose.

While reaching out to Latinos, McCain showed last week that he is fully aware of the risks that his immigration stance poses in alienating a vocal portion of conservative Republicans. He chose his words carefully when he delivered a major address in Columbus, Ohio, laying out his first-term goals.

He predicted that he would fix the country's immigration problems through "tremendous improvements to border security infrastructure and increases in the border patrol, and vigorous prosecution of companies that employ illegal aliens." By 2013, he said, he hoped "illegal immigrants who broke our laws after they came here [will] have been arrested and deported."

Only then did McCain offer some of his more familiar rhetoric that some say is welcoming toward illegal immigrants. He predicted that with the borders secured, Americans would accept the "practical necessity to institute a temporary worker program and deal humanely with the millions of immigrants who have been in this country illegally."

Posted In
Elections, Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
Los Angeles Times, Reuters
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.