AP, Bloomberg ignored McCain's reversal on immigration reform

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "won admiration from Hispanics -- for co-sponsoring an immigration bill that included a path to citizenship" while a Bloomberg article reported that McCain "bucked his party by pushing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." However, neither article noted that McCain reversed himself on border security and said he would no longer support the bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy if it came up for a vote in the Senate.

In an October 21 article, The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain "won admiration from Hispanics -- for co-sponsoring an immigration bill that included a path to citizenship." The AP added: "But he lost some of that support in speaking more forcefully about border security after the bill was twice defeated." But contrary to the AP report, McCain did not merely "speak[] more forcefully about border security"; he actually reversed himself on a key issue in the comprehensive immigration reform debate. McCain now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" [emphasis added] -- 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.

Also, in an October 21 article, Bloomberg reported that McCain "bucked his party by pushing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, has impressed many Florida Hispanics" and uncritically quoted the McCain campaign's national Hispanic media spokeswoman Hessy Fernandez stating: "John McCain at great political risk tried to achieve comprehensive immigration reform." Bloomberg did not note McCain's reversal on border security, nor did they note that at a January 30 Republican presidential debate, McCain said that he would no longer support the comprehensive reform bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) if it came up for a vote in the Senate.

Media Matters for America has documented numerous instances of the AP ignoring McCain's reversal on comprehensive immigration reform.

From the AP article:

The Rev. Mark Gonzales of Dallas, chairman of the McCain campaign's national Hispanic advisory council for Hispanic evangelicals, believes abortion and gay marriage remain the most important values issues for Hispanics. He, and others, say it's unfair to tie McCain to the GOP's harsher anti-immigration voices.

McCain defied Republican hard-liners -- and won admiration from Hispanics -- for co-sponsoring an immigration bill that included a path to citizenship. But he lost some of that support in speaking more forcefully about border security after the bill was twice defeated.

"The party has a major job to do in terms of repairing the damage with the Latino community," said Gonzales, who is also heading a first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan voter registration drive at Hispanic evangelical churches. "Hispanics are very loyal. It's a legacy, being Democratic in the Hispanic community. There is still a learning curve."

From the Bloomberg article:

Arizona Senator McCain, who bucked his party by pushing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, has impressed many Florida Hispanics. In June, he visited Colombia and Mexico to show his support for free trade and cooperation against drug trafficking. Obama, 47, hasn't visited Latin America since becoming a politician.

"John McCain at great political risk tried to achieve comprehensive immigration reform,'' said Hessy Fernandez, McCain's national Hispanic media spokeswoman. "Where was Barack Obama?'"

Among elderly Cuban exiles, the group that most strongly supports McCain, 72, there is palpable vitriol against Obama.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
Associated Press, Bloomberg
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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