Saturday, May 18, 2024

John McCain Releases New Ad Claiming Democrats are to Blame for Lack of Immigration Reform. Senator Robert Menendez Responds


As part of his strategy to gather Latino support in swing states John McCain released a deceptive new Spanish ad that claims that immigration reform was not achieved last year because of Democrats refusal to support it. He claims “Obama and the Democrats in Congress” stopped the bill and that it is because of them that we do not have border security, path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants or a guest worker program.

The ad says:“The press reports that their efforts were ‘poison pills’ that made immigration reform fail,” he continues. “The result: No guest worker program. No path to citizenship. No secure borders. No reform. Is that being on our side? Obama and his Congressional allies ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead.” The ad does not reveal which members of the press or publications made these claims. Their lack of disclosure leads us to believe it was not a credible source.

The ad fails to reveal that it was Republicans who voted against the bill for fear of alienating the extreme wing of their party who is staunchly anti-immigrant. It was also Republican Senators who led a filibuster to stall the bill in congress which led the bill to be killed in the senate.

Meanwhile John McCain has made clear that he no longer plans on promoting a pro-immigrant agenda as he did in the past. At the January 30, 2008 Republican debate he said that he would no longer support the bill he co-sponsored with Kennedy if it came up for a vote in the Senate. McCain now says that “we’ve got to secure the borders first” — a position at odds with his prior claim that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.


To his credit John Mccain did vote in favor of the bill just as Barack Obama did. However, he cannot pander to Latino votes by distorting the truth about his party’s lack of support for immigrants or by failing to reveal that his official stance on this issues has changed dramatically since he became a Presidential candidate. Furthermore claiming that it was Democrats who killed immigration reform is a full distortion of the truth.

The Obama campaign responded with a statement by Senator Robert Menendez(D-NJ). In an official statement released by the campaign Menendez explained that Obama supported the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the “overwhelming” majority of Republicans voted against. He went on to say that it is “hypocritical and untrue” for McCain to claim otherwise.

He went on to say:

John McCain has lost his credibility when it comes to the immigration issue. Enough is enough. The man who said he would vote against his own immigration bill during the Republican presidential debates, who was unwilling to stand up to his own party when they approved an anti immigrant platform, cannot attack Democrats on immigration in Spanish, while pandering to the extreme right Tancredo wing of the Republican Party in English. If John McCain is not willing to stand up to his own party during his convention, how can we trust that he would stand up for change in the White House?”

It seems that McCain and his camp believe that it is indeed possible to pander to Latinos claiming a pro-immigrant agenda while courting those on the other side of the issue as well. Ads such as these hurt McCain’s credibility with both groups.

SF Gate