WASHINGTON - Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Eliseo Medina held a conference call today to respond to John McCain's speech at NCLR, and call for straight talk from the GOP candidate on his promise of a third Bush term and contradictions on immigration reform.
To listen to the remarks from the conference call, click on the link below:
The following are excerpts from the call:
Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) (0:37)
"In terms of Senator McCain's remarks to the National Council of La Raza, we were hoping to find out which face of John McCain we'd see today, and we learned that we saw both faces. This is an individual politician who has become very good at sending different signals, depending on which audience he's addressing. At the National Council of La Raza I think he left probably more ambivalent feelings than anything else. It sounded like he might be in support of the Dream Act, but we've heard him say he hasn't been for the Dream Act; to try to help young Latino and other immigrant students make it into college.
"We find that he continues to be out of touch on issues relating to the economy, and certainly with regard to Iraq. We know that on immigration he has flip-flopped too many times to count, and at the end of the day this, to me, boils down to an issue of trust. For Latino voters, the issue of who will become the person who can deliver after eight years of seeing the serenades of President Bush and the Republicans, Latinos are very anxious to see someone who will deliver on the commitments to improve their economy, their job prospects, opportunities for good schools for their kids, healthcare, and certainly opportunities to become vibrant Americans, who are former immigrants. And so what we learned today, from John McCain in his presentation to the National Council of La Raza is that we didn't learn anything. We continue to see the two faces of John McCain, and we're trying to figure out which one we can trust, it's hard when you have someone who's flip-flopping on the issues."
Eliseo Medina, SEIU Executive Vice President (2:37)
"It seems to me that Senator McCain has had three opportunities, first with NALEO, second with LULAC, and third with NCLR to make his case of why the Latino community ought to support him for President of the United States. And I think that the Latino community more than anything else was hoping for some straight talk from the Senator, but I actually think after listening to him three times that we got the exact opposite. And it seems to me that the Senator is trying to have it both ways. First he says to our community that he appreciates our contributions to this society and that we are God's children, but at the same time, when it comes down to actually taking action to...match his words with acts, he fails. He walked away from McCain-Kennedy, the bill he helped to introduce, and carried his name. He walked away from the DREAM Act as the Congressman said. And at the same time, while doing all of these things, he wants us to believe that he's on our side and I think he's having a really hard time making it clear which side he's on."