According to this National Journal article, John McCain is pretty steamed about losing the Hispanic vote despite his amnesty advocacy. Here’s how he reportedly behaved in a recent meeting about Republican outreach to Hispanics:
“He was angry,” one source said. “He was over the top. In some cases, he rolled his eyes a lot. There were portions of the meeting where he was just staring at the ceiling, and he wasn’t even listening to us. We came out of the meeting really upset.”
McCain’s message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama’s pace on the issue. “He threw out [the words] ‘You people — you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,’ ” the source said. “It was almost as if [he was saying] ‘You’re cut off!’ We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that.”
Ahh, it wasn’t that bad, say Republican senators who were at the meeting.
“What I saw… was John McCain saying, ‘Look, I didn’t get a lot of support from the Hispanic community,’ which he deserved to have had,” Martinez said. “It frustrated me. It frustrated him. [McCain said,] ‘You guys thought this guy [Obama] was going to be your savior. Where is his leadership?’ I sort of echo that. It’s not like [the meeting] went badly, I don’t think.”
How did people attending the session react to McCain? Martinez said, “I think they thought he’s still smarting a little bit. But I don’t think they felt threatened or attacked or anything like that. I don’t think so. My sense is the meeting was not ruined by John in any way, shape, or form.”
Martinez, who is Hispanic, continued, “John is John. Sometimes when he talks, he talks forcefully. He wasn’t ranting or raving or anything. I have seen John rant and rave. I don’t think this was one of those moments.”
Thune agreed: “It was a spirited discussion, but this sort of incendiary-type way that some people are characterizing it just doesn’t fit at all the tone of the meeting.” In fact, he added, “after it was over, [the guests] were taking photos [with the senators]. They were handing out business cards.”
Ranting and raving moment or not, the McCain approach to Hispanic outreach showed its limits in the 2008 election and the “no Tancredo, no problem” theory of its supporters will be put to the test in future elections.
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