McCain's rhetoric and the immigration debate

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On a blogger conference call yesterday John McCain was asked about his tone during the recent immigration debates, with the questioner accusing him of adopting the language of those who called conservatives bigots. McCain said he never used that sort of language. Coverage is here and here.

Blogs have already dug into some examples that seem to come close to McCain making just those sorts of charges.

And it’s likely that some of the confusion comes from McCain’s allies, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham and President Bush, both of whom were blasted for seemingly accusing Republicans of racism or bigotry during last year’s debate.

But here’s another example, albeit from his earlier presidential campaign, of McCain getting heated with opponents of illegal immigration. This account is from Craig Nelson, an anti-illegal immigration activist who challenged McCain on why he would expand legal immigration.

McCain’s eyes narrowed, and his head drew down into his shoulders. “You and I, sir,” he began slowly, emphasizing each word and glaring at me as if I were a poisonous insect, “obviously have differing views on immigration.

“But let me make one thing perfectly clear,” he continued, his voice rising, “there is no room in the Republican Party for bigots, xenophobes, or racists.”

It doesn’t look like McCain has solved this immigration issue just yet.

 

Stephen Dinan, National political reporter, The Washington Times

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