Chicago Tribune cited immigration reform as an example of McCain's "credentials as a maverick" but didn't note his flip-flop on the issue

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman asserted that Sen. John McCain "has a considerable record" as a "maverick" and cited his partnership with Democrats on immigration legislation, among other issues. But Zuckman did not mention that McCain reversed his position on immigration reform to appeal to Republican primary voters and no longer supports the comprehensive immigration reform legislation he sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy.

In a June 4 Chicago Tribune article about Sen. John McCain's June 3 speech in which he described himself as "a change agent," correspondent Jill Zuckman wrote that McCain's "first priority is underscoring his credentials as a maverick," asserting that "[h]e has a considerable record in that regard" and citing McCain's partnership with Democrats on immigration legislation, among other issues. Zuckman further wrote: "Each of these partisan heresies has sparked heartburn among GOP leaders." But Zuckman failed to mention, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, that in the race for the Republican nomination, McCain reversed his position on immigration reform and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" and that he "would not" support the comprehensive immigration reform legislation he sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Moreover -- in writing that "McCain cannot afford to unduly alienate Republican loyalists. But ... his first priority is underscoring his credentials as a maverick" -- Zuckman failed to note that, like his reversal on immigration, McCain changed his stance on other issues during the race for the Republican nomination.

From Zuckman's June 4 Chicago Tribune article:

Differences with Bush

"I have worked with the president to keep our nation safe," he said. "But he and I have not seen eye-to-eye on many issues. We've disagreed over the conduct of the war in Iraq and the treatment of detainees; over out-of-control government spending and budget gimmicks; over energy policy and climate change; over defense spending that favored defense contractors over the public good."

And he criticized [Sen. Barack] Obama for engaging in intellectual dishonesty by rhetorically tying him to Bush.

"Why does Sen. Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something they know is false," McCain said. "So he tries to drum it into your minds by constantly repeating it, rather than debate honestly the very different directions he and I would take the country. But the American people didn't get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Sen. Obama. They know I have a long record of bipartisan problem solving."

McCain cannot afford to unduly alienate Republican loyalists. But in a year when Republicans are deeply unpopular with most voters, his first priority is underscoring his credentials as a maverick.

He has a considerable record in that regard. Over the years, McCain has partnered with Democrats such as Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin on campaign finance- and ethics-reform legislation and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts on Immigration reform. Each of these partisan heresies has sparked heartburn among GOP leaders.

Obama on Tuesday dismissed those episodes as aberrations. "While John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign," Obama said. "It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time as he did in the Senate last year."

Posted In
Elections, Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
Chicago Tribune
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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