ABC's Tapper claimed that McCain has "work[ed] in a bipartisan way" on immigration, did not note reversal

››› ››› KATHLEEN HENEHAN

ABC News' Jake Tapper asserted that Sen. John McCain has a "[r]ecord of actually working in a bipartisan way and taking risks to do so," and offered immigration reform as an example. But Tapper did not note that in the race for the Republican nomination, McCain reversed himself on a key aspect of immigration reform and said that he "would not" support his own bill if it came up for a vote in the Senate.

In a June 5 post on his Political Punch blog, ABC News senior national correspondent Jake Tapper claimed that "unlike [Sen. Barack] Obama," Sen. John McCain has a "[r]ecord of actually working in a bipartisan way and taking risks to do so," citing McCain's work on immigration reform as an example. But Tapper did not note that in the race for the Republican nomination, McCain reversed himself on a key aspect of immigration reform and said he "would not" support his own immigration reform bill if it came up for a vote in the Senate.

During the January 30 Republican presidential debate, McCain explained why he no longer supported the bill, which included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, stating: "The people want the borders secured 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.

As Media Matters for America has documented, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Politico, and Reuters have each ignored McCain's immigration reversal in reports discussing McCain's position on the issue.

Further, contrary to Tapper's claim that Obama does not have a "[r]ecord of actually working in a bipartisan way," Media Matters documented that Obama was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S.2590) with the bill's primary sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (OK) in 2006. In a press release upon Senate passage of the bill, Coburn himself referred to the legislation as the "Coburn-Obama Bill" and stated that the bill, which McCain co-sponsored, would "create a Google-like search engine and database to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans." In a June 4 article, The Hill reported that Obama and Coburn are currently working on legislation to "beef up the website by requiring the actual contracts to be posted as well as new details." According to the article, "McCain's Senate office contacted Obama's office Monday night asking to sign on" to the bill as an "original co-sponsor" and "Obama staffers were happy to comply with McCain's request to sign on, an Obama adviser said."

Obama also worked with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (IN) to produce the "Lugar-Obama proliferation and threat reduction initiative," which President Bush signed into law on January 11, 2007, and which received funding on June 28 of that year. In addition, four of the 12 co-sponsors of Obama's bill (S.2125) to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo" were Republicans: Sam Brownback (KS), Susan Collins (ME), Mike DeWine (OH), and James Inhofe (OK). Bush signed the bill into law on December 22, 2006.

From Tapper's June 5 post on Political Punch:

How John Sidney McCain III Could Theoretically Beat Barack Hussein Obama:

1. National security, national security, national security.

2. Record of actually working in a bipartisan way and taking risks to do so, unlike Obama. (Example: immigration reform. McCain nearly sacrificed his presidential campaign to pass that bill. Obama joined the bipartisan coalition but defected when labor-friendly amendments were offered.)

Posted In
Immigration
Person
Jake Tapper
Show/Publication
ABC Political Punch
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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