McCain loses temper with Hispanic immigration activists
posted at 2:55 pm on April 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
When we remind people that elections have consequences, we’re usually talking about the outrage that comes from appointments to the executive and judicial branches. They have other consequences on policy and legislative priorities, as John McCain “forcefully” reminded Hispanic immigration activists at a meeting last month. National Journal reports on the fallout today:
The meeting in the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room on March 11 was a Republican effort led by Sens. McCain of Arizona, John Thune of South Dakota, and Mel Martinez of Florida to reach out to Hispanics. But two people who attended the session say they were taken aback by McCain’s anger.
What began as a collegial airing of views abruptly changed when McCain spoke about immigration, according to these sources, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. Anonymity was also requested by a third source, who was not at the meeting but was told, independently of the other two, that McCain had displayed his notorious temper.
“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.”
I don’t have much sympathy for McCain on his immigration policies. McCain thought that Hispanics would flock to his banner based on his embrace of most of their agenda. In the end, though, McCain and Barack Obama wound up at just about the same policy on immigration, making it a wash in the presidential election. Hispanics instead overwhelmingly supported Obama over McCain, 67%-31%, an even worse drubbing than George Bush got in either election. McCain had lectured Republicans for years about losing the Hispanic vote if we didn’t produce candidates sympathetic to amnesty or amnesty-lite programs, and he got humiliated by the failure of his argument in November.
I have even less sympathy for the people demanding his attention now. These are the same activists who convinced McCain that he could ride a Hispanic wave of support if he only adopted their policies. McCain fought with his own party to do so, and most of them abandoned him for Obama. Now they want to harangue them into taking up their cause again. I don’t blame McCain a bit for responding, in essence, by telling them to stuff it and start whining to Barack Obama instead.
Yid with Lid says another demographic should be paying attention to this lesson, as well:
Other Obama supporting interest groups should be aware what can happen when you vote against the candidate who works so hard for your cause and vote for the candidate who will harm your interests (like the 78% of the Jewish Vote).