March 20, 2007

McCain Making A Run For The Border?

John McCain started his campaign for the presidential nomination in 2008 with two strikes against him -- the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and immigration reform. He has stated on many occasions that he represents conservative values, but conservatives mistrust him primarily because of these two issues. McCain apparently has heard the feedback, and he seems to be retreating on immigration as a result:

As he left Iowa, Mr. McCain said he was reconsidering his views on how the immigration law might be changed. He said he was open to legislation that would require people who came to the United States illegally to return home before applying for citizenship, a measure proposed by Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana. Mr. McCain has previously favored legislation that would allow most illegal immigrants to become citizens without leaving the country. ...

Mr. McCain, for example, appeared to distance himself from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat with whom he formed an alliance last year on an immigration bill that stalled in Congress.

“What I’ve tried to point out is we couldn’t pass the legislation,” Mr. McCain said. “So we have to change the legislation so it can pass. And I’ve been working with Senator Kennedy, but we’ve also been working with additional senators, additional House members.”

Mr. McCain focused instead on the proposal by Mr. Pence, a conservative. “Pence has this touchback proposal,” Mr. McCain said at a news conference. “I said hey, let’s consider that if that’s a way we can get some stuff.”

This seems like a substantial turnaround. McCain, until now, has made it very clear that he saw a "touchback" as unnecessary and burdensome for illegal immigrants. Perhaps he still does, but his sense of pragmatism calls him to start looking for compromises in order to get the rest of his bill passed.

He also seems rather embarrassed now about his flirtation with Ted Kennedy. It's not the only association with a liberal Democrat that McCain will live to regret during his run for the presidency. Russ Feingold and the McCain-Feingold bill that imposed restrictions on political speech will also serve as an anchor to his White House aspirations. Will his sense of pragmatism inspire him to backtrack on that legislation as well? And would anyone trust him even if it did?

UPDATE: It's worth noting, of course, that Rudy Giuliani shares McCain's position on immigration and the BCRA to a notable extent, and that Romney used to do so until recently. Romney has pledged to fight the BCRA, and his immigration stand has shifted a little to McCain's right.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference McCain Making A Run For The Border?:

» McCain Confronts Immigration Issue from Sensible Mom
How is he planning to distance himself from the McCain-Kennedy amnesty plan without looking like he's just temporarily pandering to Iowa voters. He should have done his research before he put his name on that bill and before he chastised republicans ... [Read More]

» TUES MAR 20 Spring Has Sprung and Make GWB’s Day - Please from The Pink Flamingo

Housekeeping first -

[Read More]

Comments (7)

Posted by burt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 5:28 AM

Let's not forget the gang of fourteen of which McCain was a leader. Without those seven RINOs we could have had a pretty good appellate bench by now. That in tern would have saved Bush's domestic agenda in my opinion.

Posted by BoWowBoy [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 8:07 AM

McCain's mea culpa ....if indeed is a softening of his open borders policy is "too little ....too late". That train has left the station ever since the conviction and sentencing of Border Patrol Agents Compean and Ramos.

Now Sheriff Guillermo Hernandez is sentenced for upholding American Law along our southern border.

Supporters of open borders ............and an outlaw federal government on this issue ......are dead meat.

At least in Texas.

Posted by Old Math [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 10:19 AM

“I think the fence is least effective, but I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.” said John McCain.

Posted by Insufficiently Sensitive [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 10:34 AM

Wow, he's willing to back up a little on the gaping hole in the southern border.

But if he's looking for support from this village, he's got to do the impossible. Reverse BCRA, undo its damage to the First Amendment, and undo the damage of the gang of 14.

Fat chance.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 1:25 PM

Yes. I want the goddamned fence and I'll vote for whichever party manages to put it up first.

I don't care about health care.
I don't care about education.
I don't care about tree-hugging.
I don't care about paving roads.
I don't care about inflation, deflation or stagnation.

I don't even care about whether or not we pull out of Iraq, since I've decided they're terminally dysfunctional and will stay that way regardless of whether we are there or not.

But I *DO* want the goddamned fence!

Posted by spectregunner [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 9:25 PM

When will everyone realize that McCain is not somone we can trust?

He will tilt in whatever direction he thinks will take him closer to the presidency, and God help anyone's grandmother who gets in the way, he'll run her over in a heartbeat.

Posted by younger brother [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 20, 2007 9:31 PM

“What I’ve tried to point out is we couldn’t pass the legislation,” Mr. McCain said. “So we have to change the legislation so it can pass. And I’ve been working with Senator Kennedy, but we’ve also been working with additional senators, additional House members.”

This is nonsense. We already have laws that are more strict than the competing postions McCain says he could consider. The laws are being disregarded.

"Coming around" apparently means liberalizing immigration a whole lot instead of an extreme whole lot.

Pense and Kennedy have the same plan except the Pense plan makes the illegals return to Mexico for a day. They are trying to set up a false contest between two choices that Americans don't want and both should be rejected.