Out of bounds! McCain-Palin misdirect blame for immigration flop

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 12, 2008 

Throw the flag against: The McCain-Palin campaign.

Call: Illegal shift.

What happened: The campaign Friday launched a 30-second Spanish-language television ad charging that Democrat Barack Obama and his Senate colleagues torpedoed meaningful changes in immigration laws.

"The press reports that their efforts were 'poison pills' that made immigration reform fail," the ad charges. "The result: No guest worker program. No path to citizenship. No secure borders. No reform. Is that being on our side? Obama and his congressional allies ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead."

What that's wrong: Media accounts cited two votes as effectively killing immigration reform last year — and Obama was on the same side as McCain in both.

On June 7, supporters failed by 15 votes to cut off a filibuster. McCain and Obama voted to limit debate. The Politico headline the next day: "Senate immigration compromise collapses."

On June 28, another effort to limit debate failed by 14 votes; CNN called it a "crushing defeat." Obama and McCain again voted to cut off debate, but it was largely Republican senators who led the filibuster.

In its review of the 2007 Congress, Congressional Quarterly cited both votes as crucial to killing the immigration measure.

Penalty: Set the McCain-Palin campaign's credibility back five yards.

ON THE WEB

To see the June 28, 2007 cloture vote.

To see the June 7, 2007, cloture vote.

To read the CNN account on the June 28 vote

To read the Politico account of the June 7 vote.

To see the vote on the Obama amendment.

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