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Obama Assails McCain on Immigration Before Latino Audience

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Sen. Barack Obama repeated his charge that his opponent Sen. John McCain has not been a consistent backer of creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are now in the United States, telling a Latino group he would be a stronger advocate on the issue.

"When he was running for his party's nomination, he abandoned his courageous stance," Obama told the League of United Latin American Citizens, who heard from McCain earlier in the day,"and said that he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote. Well, for eight long years, we've had a President who made all kinds of promises to Latinos on the campaign trail, but failed to live up to them in the White House, and we can't afford that anymore."

McCain and President Bush were strong advocates of making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens when Congress debated the issue last year, but in the presidential campaign the Arizona senator has emphasized the importance of improving border security before pushing for new immigration legislation. McCain says he still supports that immigration legislation, but Obama pledged in his speech to "make it a top priority in my first year as President."

Obama also told the group that he needed them to help turn out more Latinos votes so he could win key swing states like Nevada and Florida. Polls show Obama far ahead of McCain among Latino voters, who generally lean Democratic, but a strong turnout among them could tip states to Obama.

"I need your help,"Obama said. "This election could well be decided by Latino voters."

As Obama listed states where Latino votes could make the difference a person in the audience shouted "California."

He dismissed that, saying "we're going to stomp them in California," referring to the Republicans.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 8, 2008; 5:53 PM ET
Categories:  On the Issues  
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Next: McCain's Latest Iran Joke


Agreed Chuckamok, as a gay man voting for McCain isn't exactly in my best interest, but it's better than voting for someone who will probably want to legalize over a million criminals.

Posted by: George | July 17, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

'Of LEGAL votes, that is'
Illegal immigrants can't vote.

Posted by: Fugglez | July 13, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Obama's impossible road ahead:

Posted by: PacificGatePost | July 9, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

David - I'm with ya here.

EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN I know wants the porous borders choked off COMPLETELY, as the first step to solving the immigration mess.

Why don't our sniveling pols realize that by getting on the tough, RIGHT side of this issue they would win in a landslide. Of LEGAL votes, that is.

BTW, what ever happened to that illegal beeyutch who was deported TWICE, after living in Chicago under a false SSN and taking "refuge" in a church there? She whined "I am NOT a criminal" when it's obvious she's a felon three times over?

Posted by: Chuckamok | July 9, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

If Obama cares so much about immigration reform where was he the last time a group tried to introduce the measure in Congress? If my memory is not wrong I think he was again the measure. I got a headache any time I tried to figure out where this man stands. Nafta, Iraq, talking with Iran and now immigration. I would respect Obama more if he was not so willing to say whatever the person in front of him wants to hear.

Posted by: George | July 9, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Another McCain flip flop - where's the non-stop reporting on this? Or is it simply not covered because we're all expecting mccain to change his positions on the issues as he has from the start. Lets's see some balanced scrutiny here - mccain is flip floppin' all over the place it's a wonder he hasn't thrown out his back!

Posted by: JDB | July 9, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

As a latina who lives in Chicago, I can honestly say, I have seen Obama do alot for everyone in this state. He marched with the Mexicans to Daley center, he helped the Catholics and blacks in the Southside, where I live. I would see him all the time. He would go to the neighborhood meetings to hear the people out. I don't know about McCain, but this guy is the real deal. He could have been making lots of money, instead he got a job making 12,000 a year and a old beat up vehicle to work for the poor.

Posted by: lola | July 9, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I am confused. what is wrong with me?

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 9, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey sunnyside, why don't you quit with the Spanglish? You sound like an idiot. If you had any intelligence at all, you'd know that you either speak correct English or Spanish, but not a mix of the two. If you want to debate in Spanish, bring it on. And maybe if the illegals wouldn't come here in the first place, they wouldn't be harrassed. Did you ever think about that? My wife is an immigrant and has never been in this country a single day illegally. Giving amnesty to all these border jumpers is the biggest insult possible to those that try to do it right. I am a Spanish interpreter, so trust me, getting rid of the illegal immigrants is bad for business, but I can't condone people who blatantly break the law and then expect some sort of reward by marching for their rights in the streets of Los Angeles and many other cities. If they're hear illegally, they should keep their mouths shut, keep a low profile, and be thankful for what little they're given. And they damn well better not expect Social Security benefits when they retire, even if they've been paying into the system through their taxes. I'll take that, thank you. Go McCain. Tighten up the border!

Posted by: David | July 9, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

How many first priorities does Sen Obama have?

His first should be to go to Walmart and buy out their "flip flops" to hand out.

Posted by: Robert S. Bell | July 9, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Sherry Kay | July 9, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

EEEEEEEEE-HEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I squeal. Oh, this menopausal monster! Leave me, o foul putrid pestilence of pads powders pills and peevishness, and return me to the only slightly less noxious role of posting racist and anti-intellectual spewage which always concludes, "NOBAMA." (Sometimes I use punctuation, but due to acknowledged brilliance at recognizing that the first syllable of the Democratic nominee's last name rhymes with the word "no," I think I can be excused the occaisional lapse in punctuationall correctness.)

Posted by: Sherry Kay | July 9, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

McCain flip flops daily on issues - including immigration - in order to pander for votes - but these never make the front page and you don't see articles and editorials about his fliping or pandering. Why is that? Obama gets attacked daily, but McCain is stil getting a free ride on the 'double-talk' express.

Posted by: bernadette | July 9, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

People are being deceived left and right. If you have any hesitation at all about Obama, that is reason enough to not vote for him.

Posted by: Tariq | July 9, 2008 4:03 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JERRY | July 9, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

California is a big and complicated state. There are more folks here than just white folks and Latinos. There are many minority groups here that will be voting in November. They are polite to Obama, but they will not vote for him. They don't see him as the best thing that the Democratic Party can offer.

Posted by: The Truth Hurts | July 9, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse





Create Opportunity in SOUTH and CENTRAL AMERICA!

McCain for VICE PRESIDENT!(You know-The 51Rst SENATOR!) ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | July 8, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

This nonsense about keeping immigrants out of our country is laughable. If MClonebush gets elected, I want to leave. And people don't want anyone to take my place?

Posted by: jeffp | July 8, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

No matter who becomes president, I don't think there will be amnesty. We let illegals become residents in the 1980s and what happened? 12 million more illegal immigrants BROKE into the U.S.! The U.S. needs to be stricter, not more lenient! Forget about political correctness and take care of U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Posted by: amx2123 | July 8, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I am neither an Obmam fan or McCain fan. But I will tell you. I am MUCH LESS likely to vote for a candidate that is pandering to illegal immigrants and their families. The Democrat party seems to be selling out our soveriegnty for the future votes of the 10 kids each latino family on welfare produces in this country. We need to end this non sense of birthrite citizenship. Just come here to California and you will see the mess that sancturary policies and lax enforcement has caused. Its crazy here.

Posted by: nwkerr2005 | July 8, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Antonion and Santiago you two are the mentirosos (how ya like me now boludos!) If you think that Johnny McCain is not gonna sacrifice the Latino vote for the base republican anti immigration anti hispanic wing of the republicans then you all must be dreaming (estan sonando). Just take a quick camino over to Prince William County where there are countless hispanics being harrassed by a minute men mentality. This is what this election is about. iDespiertense ahora amigos! Wake up Friends! you all are bein' used by a machine that is willing to chew you up and spit you out after the election.
Voten por Obama Si se Puede!

Posted by: sunnyside1 | July 8, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

In his speech, BHO lied yet again:

And, if you think LULAC is a mainstream group, think again:

What's it going to take for the WaPo to do some real reporting for a change?

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 8, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm always impressed with the passion people argue over McCain/Obama on meassage boards like it's going to sway people who haven't decided. Or the belief anyone really cares what someone posting on a message board thinks.

Posted by: Jesus | July 8, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

More dirty tricks.

A McCain troll insults hipanics and calls them pr*cks, then his post as: 'Gobama'.

These guys KNOW they can't win the election fair and square, so they're willing to do ANYTHING to hurt Obama or 'help' Senator McSame.

Posted by: jorge999 | July 8, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain's conundrum regarding immigration and border security, among other issues, will cost him the election. He must have the support of his conservative base, but viewing his pandering on the immigration issue to the Hispanics, too many conservative Republicans will stay home on election day. The Hispanics know he is pandering to them, as Obama has correctly pointed out, and that he flip flops on the issue depending upon which group to whom he is appealing for votes. No Republican has ever attracted enough votes from an ethnic minority group to compensate for the loss of a substantial portion of his conservative electoral base. McCain will not be the first to reverse this historical fact. He is trying to be a "man for all seasons" and the last man to do that, St. Thomas More, lost his head because of it.

Posted by: Stephen | July 8, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The great thing about the below is the signature, MIQUEL. Usually it's Miguel. Do we think this "Latino" can't spell his own name?

I am a Latino and I will NEVER support citizenship for ILLEGAL ALIENS...NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE FROM!

I think it is insulting to think ALL American Latino support crimminals who break into the country. Illegal Aliens have turned my city into a living HELL!!!!

Posted by: Miquel | July 8, 2008 7:50 PM

Posted by: zrgmom | July 8, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL, notice how the Republican blog trolls are making sure to post under ethnic names in order to better convince us. "Santiago," "Maria," "Mario." You guys are hilarious.

Posted by: Mike H. | July 8, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a good sign: Obama is getting desperate attacking McCain.

Hope McCain's Campaign maintains the same Noble Tone as they did, instead of firing back. It is not worth.

The more Obama gets emotional, the more he makes gaffes. If you maintain cool, then we will see his real face.

"Obama pledged in his speech to 'make [immigration legislationit] a top priority in my first year as President.'" Sorry it won't happen. Voters are not that stupid. What a delusional man!

"This election could well be decided by Latino voters." Well, this election will be decided by Independents and Women.

BTW this election is over: You do not have any cards to play!

Posted by: Premier | July 8, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Trying to placate both sides of the conflagration on immigration, isn't going to work? Senator McCain has fumbled over this growing issue, that is now out-of-control. Neither Obama or McCain are stewards of stopping overpopulation, because after a blanket AMNESTY which both have proposed. Millions more will appear on our doorstep, expecting more of the same. Diversity Alliance for Sustainable America have stated in it's article that if the U.S. grants amnesty and gives citizenship to 12 to 30 million illegal migrants, as Senators Obama and McCain propose.All those naturalized citizens could possibly add 120 million U.S. and foreign-born relatives to the U.S., in the next 20 years whom all would CONSUME MAJOR ENERGY.

We all know the consequences of illegal immigration, that has already taken a serious toll on jobs and the quality of life in America. Not enforcing our laws has become an unparalleled financial benefit for predatory businesses, but a growing chaos on the streets and highways, as America tries to cope with the propagation of congestion and pollution. Do not think Canada is exempt from this monolithic issue, as the free movement of cheap labor is the obnoxious agenda of the free trade, open border globalists.

Leading Democrats have refused to sponsor the SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) for enforcement only, All American patriots (no matter their country of origin) should join for free and learn about the facts and the next AMNESTY conflict.

Posted by: Brittanicus | July 8, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the McCain campaign's paid bloggers are out in full force today.

Could we have just one intelligent discussion of this article minus name calling and racist rants?

Posted by: Oh well | July 8, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

When my family came here they had to work very hard for citizenship and for everything we have. I dont think it's right to promote this idea of making everything easier. Hard work is the answer to citizenship. I think McCain is correct in his policies on border security.

Posted by: marisa | July 8, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I am a Latino and I will NEVER support citizenship for ILLEGAL ALIENS...NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE FROM!

I think it is insulting to think ALL American Latino support crimminals who break into the country. Illegal Aliens have turned my city into a living HELL!!!!

Posted by: Miquel | July 8, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama just wants our votes. He represents poor whites and blacks. they don't want Mexican's to get citizenship. He is all talk, just trying to say the right thing to everyone.

Posted by: Sal | July 8, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Why did McCain even bother to show up? He's lost Hispanics in a gamble to curry favor with the Right Wing. And that might not work.

Posted by: matt | July 8, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Will Barack Hussein please give us one example of where he stood up to his liberal democrats and forged an alliance with the people on the other side of the aisle ?? one example ?? ANY one ?? puhleeeez !!

Posted by: patriot08 | July 8, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Benighse | July 8, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama needed help to turn out more Latinos votes so he could win key swing states like Nevada and Florida. Latinos are being tricked by Obama. Obama cares more about wining than about our issues.

Posted by: Antonio | July 8, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama thinks that he is entitled to the presidency. Obama doesn't it. We are sick and tired of Obama taking California for granted. Obama doesn't deserve California. Without California, he will lose the election. We are working to make this a reality.

Posted by: Santiago | July 8, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama is so full of it.

Posted by: Maria | July 8, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

when will obama start giving the details of his plans. while the mccain immigration plan has some questionable parts, at least he proposed it to America. where is obama's plan? where is the "new" kind of politics he promises? he has no history of bipartisanship, only voting with his party nearly every time. there is no courage or "change" in bowing to party leaders.

i want a courageous president who is willing to work with congress and the american people not one who is bound to his party.

obama is politics as usual; partisan, vague, empty promises, elite, shady cohorts (wright, rezco, terrorists, etc), shifty, and a flip flopper.

Posted by: Arkie | July 8, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Zogby polled ALL 50 STATES, with GREAT results for Obama. Check out the details, state-by-state, here:

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

This is typical Barack Obama. He accuses John McCain walking away from an issue that he has not even addressed.

All Obama says in this speech is that he would be a stronger advocate on the issue. Flash back to the debate in Michigan, I believe, when Hillary Clinton was asked about driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Both Obama and John Edwards criticized Clinton for giving an evasive answer but were equally evasive when they were asked the question later on news programs.

The McCain plan had flaws for sure. One was the provision that called for undocumented workers to come forward, pay a fine, return to their homeland, and apply for legitimate admission to the United States.

Undocumented workers are not stupid and would not risk their jobs and situations to pay a fine and submit an application that may not be approved or even considered.

But Obama wants to have it both ways by criticizing McCain for backing away from this plan. At the same time, Obama but never proposes anything on his own that would risk offending voters on both sides of the issue.

It will be a neat trick if Obama can pull off this plan of never offering anything specific all the way to November.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 8, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Remember George Bush promising a new era relations with Mexico and compassion for immigrant families. How did that work out? Remember his brother in Florida (married to a Mexican? and his nephew speaking Spanish at the convention was supposed to usher in a new tolerance for Latinos in the Republican Party? Things are great now, huh? GW even put a Mexican-American in as the Attorney General, until he canned him for doing what he was told. Meanwhile, the anti immigrant fever among Republican politicians is getting hotter and hotter. Yup, when a Republican tells a minority/ethnic group that their voice and support is can take it to the bank because you can always trust a Republican.

Posted by: thebob.bob | July 8, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a hero. Enough said. He is the politics of the future - having the personal courage to stand up to your own party and public opinion, not to do what's popular at the time, but to do what is right = a better America.

Posted by: McAwesome | July 8, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Hispanics don't matter and they are definitely not going to decide this election nor any election. They voted for Clinton, and are racist pricks. Hispanics come here illegally and have broods of children supported by taxpayer money. We don't need their kind here, and we definitely don't want nor need their vote.

Posted by: Gobama | July 8, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Republican commenters are going to be in shock, rather than admit their economic policies are a failure they decided back in 2006 to try and scapegoat Hispanics. It didn't work and now they, and their Vietnam Victim candidate are going to pay the price, with weak Hispanic support.

Posted by: Julian | July 8, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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