CNN's Bennett falsely said McCain "hasn't recanted his position on ... McCain-Kennedy" immigration bill

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Bill Bennett stated: "On the issues, the immigration debate, a lot of people thought would derail John McCain. He hasn't recanted that position. He hasn't recanted his position on McCain-Feingold or McCain-Kennedy." In fact, McCain stated during a Republican primary debate that he would not vote for the immigration reform bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Ted Kennedy.

During CNN's September 4 coverage of the Republican National Convention, CNN contributor Bill Bennett stated: "On the issues, the immigration debate, a lot of people thought would derail John McCain. He hasn't recanted that position. He hasn't recanted his position on McCain-Feingold or McCain-Kennedy." In fact, McCain stated during a Republican primary debate that he would not vote for the immigration reform bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). While McCain previously took the position that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective, he has since reversed himself, now saying that "we've got to secure the borders first."

Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted examples of the media falsely using immigration reform as an example of McCain breaking with Republicans, without mentioning his reversal.

From CNN's September 4 coverage of the Republican National Convention:

BLITZER: You heard Carl Bernstein say, Bill, that the John McCain that we're going to see tonight, that we've been seeing recently, is not the John McCain that so many reporters and others knew over the years. You want to respond to that?

BENNETT: Yeah. I would like to, thanks. First, I think they need to get the message -- the critics need to get the message clear. Is John McCain in a full embrace of the Republican conservatives and George Bush, or all are they all mad and yelling at him like, you know, [Sen.] Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and George Bush? Because I think probably John McCain has been yelled at and had more temper tantrums with Republican leadership than anybody else. But on the issues, the immigration debate, a lot of people thought would derail John McCain. He hasn't recanted that position. He hasn't recanted his position on McCain-Feingold or McCain-Kennedy. John McCain's last name, conservatives were saying, is causing a lot of trouble.

Remember Gary Bauer? Family Research [Council ex-president] and all of that. When he dropped out of the 2000 race, who did he endorse? He endorsed John McCain. John McCain has been pro-life all his life. He is not in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I think it's been pretty consistent.

CAMPBELL BROWN (CNN anchor): Well, but he's refined his position on immigration during his -- during the campaign.

BENNETT: He's emphasized securing the borders.

BROWN: During -- building the wall first --

BLITZER: Marsha Blackburn is a congresswoman from Tennessee. Let's listen to her.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Bill Bennett
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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