If You Speak Spanish, McCain Has A Different Message On Immigration

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain got caught in hot water Tuesday for major differences in how he describes himself as pro-immigration in Spanish but tough on the border in English.

“Unidos Con McCain,” which is Spanish for “United With McCain,” is the name of the Vietnam War hero’s Spanish-language website that went live Tuesday. The site’s section talking about immigration differs markedly from its English counterpart, reports The Washington Post.

In the “Issues” section of the Spanish-language site, there’s a tab for “Inmigracion,” which is Spanish for immigration. McCain touts his role in formulating the doomed 2013 “Gang of Eight” Senate immigration reform bill. The aforementioned bill is nowhere to be found in McCain’s “Homeland Security and Immigration Reform” section in his English-language site.

A McCain campaign spokeswoman, Lorna Romero, explained away the discrepancies lost in translation between the two sites by saying they were, “never intended to be identical.”

The octogenarian is fighting against Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. The 2008 GOP nominee is distancing himself from 2016 GOP nominee Donald Trump by reaching out to Hispanic voters in a Spanish-language campaign site.

Kirkpatrick’s campaign quickly seized on the clear differences, with a press release titled, “McCain’s immigration doublespeak revealed.” The Democratic challenger blasted her opponent, saying, “Arizonans want leaders who will be consistent on key issues like comprehensive immigration reform and who will always say where they stand — in any language.”

McCain’s opponent went on to say that, “this kind of doublespeak on immigration shows John McCain has changed after 33 years in Washington and no longer offers the ‘straight talk’ hard-working families deserve.” The “straight talk” reference is a veiled swipe at McCain’s 2000 election campaign in which he traveled around the country in a bus he named the Straight Talk Express. The latest RealClearPolitics poll average shows the incumbent with an eight point lead at 44.7 percent versus Kirkpatrick’s 36.7 percent.

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