It’s my belief that McCain is a slow learner, especially when it comes to his amnesty bill.
Tim Russert got another shot at him on Meet the Press on Sunday.
MR. RUSSERT: If the Senate passed your bill, S1433, the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill…
SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.
MR. RUSSERT: …would you as president sign it?
SEN. McCAIN: Yeah, but we–look, the lesson is it isn’t won. It isn’t going to come. It isn’t going to come. The lesson is they want the border secured first. That’s the lesson. I come from a border state. I know how to fix those borders with walls, with UAVs, with sensors, with cameras, with vehicle barriers. They want the border secured first. And I will do that, and, as president, I will have the border state governors secure–certify those borders are secured. And then we will have a temporary worker program with tamper-proof biometric documents, and any employer who employs someone in any other circumstances will be prosecuted.
That means a lot of people will leave just, just normally because they’re not going to be able to get their job. Then, of course, we have to get rid of two million people who have committed crimes here. We have to round them up and deport them. As far as the others are concerned, we were in an ongoing debate and discussion when this whole thing collapsed, and part of that, I think, has to be a humane approach. Part of it has to be maybe people have to go back to the country that they came from for a period of time while we look at it.
But the principle that the American people want, secure the borders, reward no one ahead of someone who has either waited or has come to this country legally because they have broken our laws to come here. But I’m confident–look, there’s, there’s humanitarian situations. There’s a soldier who’s missing in action in Iraq. His wife was here illegally. America’s not going to deport her. We have humanitarian circumstances. America’s a generous Judeo-Christian valued nation, and we can sit down together. The–all leading Republican candidates now just about agree that with–using those principles that I just articulated, we can fix it. But secure the borders first.
Look at the way he answers Tim Russert’s question. He says that he would still sign that horrible bill he put his own name on, even though he claims to have learned his lesson about what the American people want in illegal immigration reform. He recites all the talking points, and pretends he agrees with those who want to secure the border first. He doesn’t. He doesn’t even have a plan to hold those governors accountable for their part in securing the border. He says that “maybe” people have to go back to their home country. He also has the support of open-borders advocates like Senator Mel Martinez (FL), his national finance co-chair Jerry Perenchio, and his own Hispanic outreach director Juan Hernandez, who has a questionable view of what defines a border.
There’s no virtue in being stubborn on a bad policy. McCain hasn’t changed on this issue, and we need to recognize that.