« Sam Quinones Wins Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's 70th Annual Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Outstanding Reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean | Main | Increase in Mexican Asylum Claims Based on Drug War »
July 12, 2008
Senator Mel Martinez: McCain "Stood Tall" on Immigration Reform -- Did He and Does He Now?
In conference call with reporters yesterday, Sen. Mel Martinez claimed that John McCain "stood tall" and championed comprehensive immigration reform during the Republican primary campaign. But the fact is, McCain walked away from comprehensive immigration reform during the GOP primary campaign and adopted an "enforcement first" approach favored by the conservative wing of the Republican Party. In fact, during a GOP debate in January, McCain even said that he would vote against the comprehensive immigration reform bill that he coauthored.
Martinez also claimed that Senator Obama "worked against" efforts for reform and supported an amendment that killed the immigration reform efforts, but Obama was repeatedly praised for his efforts, and numerous contemporaneous accounts found that it was in fact Republican members that killed the bill.
For a video of John McCain stating that he would not support his own comprehensive immigration reform bill, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAPjJvIxSZw
Ben Smith on Politico.com states writes that
"When Florida Senator Mel Martinez criticized Obama's work on an immigration bill today, he contradicted his own earlier praise for Obama. mmigration bill today, he contradicted his own earlier praise for Obama. On the McCain campaign conference call just now, Senator Mel Martinez expanded on John McCain's argument that Obama had sabotaged comprehensive immigration reform. "He was AWOL, he was working against us," Martinez said. However, in a June 28, 2007 letter to Obama, . . . ., Martinez wrote to thank Obama for his "support of the Immigration Reform Bill." "While it failed, your backing of this important legislation meant a lot to me personally," Martinez wrote. "I know that standing firm in the face of extreme pressure has not been easy, and again, I thank you." "The letter was written well after Obama had supported an amendment -- to sunset the bill's temporary worker program -- that McCain has described as a "poison pill," a phrase Martinez repeated today. "Let me tell you, here is the crux of the issue when it counted, when the chips were down, when Senator Kennedy, Senator McCain and I were desperate to round up votes, kept the coalition intact, Senator Obama was destroying it by offering an amendment that was a poison pill that would have killed it.," Martinez said today, contradicting his earlier letter."
July 12, 2008 | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Senator Mel Martinez: McCain "Stood Tall" on Immigration Reform -- Did He and Does He Now? :
Whether or not the amendment to sunset the bill's temporary worker program was a poison pill, the proposed program was antithetical to American values so I'm not exactly impressed by a vote to sunset. If you're truly anti-corporatocracy you'd never vote for it under any circumstance.
Posted by: Jack | Jul 14, 2008 3:17:09 AM