McCain, circa January 2007: “I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.” McCain, two days ago to Univision:

-You voted for the construction of the wall between Mexico and the United States. However, the Mexican Government has just confirmed that every year, at least half a million Mexicans come to the United States. How exactly are you planning to secure that border? Every single minute there is an immigrant coming into the United States illegally.

-I didn’t vote for, I am not sure what you are talking about, but we can secure…

-…about 700 miles.

-I say we can secure our borders with walls and/or fences in urban areas, and then virtual fences, vehicle barriers

-But, you did vote for the wall.

-I didn’t vote for an…, I don’t know what you are exactly what you are referring to. What my plan was, and what our proposal was, that we secure our borders, and we can secure it, not necessarilly with walls and fences. Although that is important in populated areas, in the deserts of Arizona vehicle barriers, cameras, and sensors, all of those things, can be used. By the way, on the Arizona Border, common practice today, drug dealers send a group of illegals across the border, the drug dealers call cartels, call the border patrol that they round them up and leave and the drugs go behind them. So, don’t try to separate that issue, because they are inextricably tied, my friend.

Where could the interviewer have gotten the idea that Maverick supports a “goddamned fence”? Ah, right — from his vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, as this immigration blogger reminds us. Remember that? 700 miles of fence along the border? Remember how the blogosphere rejoiced — except for one dour skeptic who had the last laugh a year later when her warnings about what an egregious sham it was proved only too true? McCain’s playing it off here as though what he really voted for was the virtual fence, which the bill did indeed provide for — and which, predictably, ran into delays and technological problems on the ground — but there was a bit more to it than that. Read Section 3 for yourself.

Incidentally, in the same Univision interview, he promises to present a new comprehensive immigration bill to Congress “in the first day” he takes office — which isn’t the first time he’s said that, his many empty soundbites about securing the border first notwithstanding. Exit question: You do understand we’re going to see amnesty with President McCain in office, right? And Vice President Palin’s likely to be cheering all the way.