Ignoring McCain's reversal, Stephanopoulos let Lieberman claim McCain "was much more forward-leaning on immigration reform" than Clinton, Obama

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

On ABC's This Week, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman claimed that Sen. John McCain "actually stepped out and was much more forward-leaning on immigration reform than Barack Obama was -- Senator Clinton wasn't involved in those negotiations." Host George Stephanopoulos did not point out that McCain abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination.

On the March 30 edition of ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), "Can you name one other big issue aside from the war in Iraq, national security, where [Sen.] John McCain is closer to your view than the Democratic candidates?" Lieberman, who has endorsed McCain for president, responded, in part, "He [McCain] actually stepped out and was much more forward-leaning on immigration reform than [Sen.] Barack Obama was -- Senator [Hillary] Clinton wasn't involved in those negotiations." Stephanopoulos then concluded the interview without pointing out that McCain abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination. McCain said on January 30 that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate, and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. By contrast, Obama and Clinton both support comprehensive immigration reform.

McCain has also reversed his position on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have allowed "illegal immigrants under age 30 to remain in the United States and gain legal status if they attend college or join the military." Clinton, Obama, and Lieberman all voted in favor of the DREAM Act, and all three support the DREAM Act's enactment. Indeed, the issue section of Lieberman's website notes that he co-sponsored both of the aforementioned pieces of immigration legislation that McCain no longer supports: "Senator Lieberman co-sponsored legislation to achieve comprehensive immigration reform (the McCain-Kennedy legislation), to make it easier for young immigrants who graduate high school to attend college (the DREAM Act), and to make pregnant women and young children who are recent immigrants eligible for federal heath benefits (the Immigrant Children's Health Improvement Act)."

From March 30 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you name one other big issue aside from the war in Iraq, national security, where John McCain is closer to your view than the Democratic candidates?

LIEBERMAN: Well I can. Well, he's had the guts to come out and join me on climate change. That's part of why we have a chance to pass climate change. You can't do it with one party; you gotta do it with both. He actually stepped out and was much more forward-leaning on immigration reform than Barack Obama was -- Senator Clinton wasn't involved in those negotiations. He worked on the Gang of 14, which saved us from having the filibuster removed, and I think at least created some grounds within which the Supreme Court justice will be chosen. Hey, John McCain and I sponsored the lobbying and ethics reform bill. He was very active on that. We also sponsored the commission that created the 9-11 investigation -- legislation that created the 9-11 investigation commission and then passed the legislation that they recommended, which has made America more secure. So we've got a lot of agreements. We've got some disagreements, but that's the nature of our politics. And this man is ready to lead this country forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Lieberman thanks very much. Take care of that cold.

Posted In
Elections, Immigration
Network/Outlet
ABC
Person
George Stephanopoulos
Show/Publication
This Week
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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