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 mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
Subscribe to the Week