Sen. John McCain, a member of a bipartisan group pushing a comprehensive immigration reform package in Congress, on Tuesday faced angry opposition to his plan at two town-hall meetings in his home state of Arizona. In a scene reminiscent of the Tea Party protests that erupted in town halls across the country in 2009, McCain was assailed by a man identified as Kevin Smith for stealing Americans' Social Security and failing to "build the dang fence," as McCain famously promised he would do when running for re-election in 2010. "Cut off their welfare and all their stuff, and they'll go back," Smith said.
McCain, for his part, gave as good as he got. "You're not telling these people the truth," McCain said. "[Immigrants] mow our lawns, they care for our babies." Still, the back-and-forth is a reminder of the perils the GOP faces in tackling the issue. McCain's career is indicative of the tortuous path reform-minded Republicans have had to take: He nearly lost the 2008 nomination over his position on immigration, then took a hardline stance during a 2010 GOP primary battle, before recently emerging, once more, as a reformer.
Watch another video of McCain's town-hall fight here:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
Subscribe to the Week