Exercise caution. There’s only one source, she’s a member of the Minutemen and thus perhaps inclined to look too skeptically at what Maverick says on this subject, and this wouldn’t be the first time in the past few days where the media’s exaggerated something he said at a town hall. Even so, we got a bunch of e-mails this morning about the AP wire report on last night’s “private meeting” in Chicago showcasing this quote from attendee Rosanna Pulido:
“He’s one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he’s a different John McCain in front of Hispanics,” complained Rosanna Pulido, a Hispanic and conservative Republican who attended the meeting.
Pulido, who heads the Illinois Minuteman Project, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, said she thought McCain was “pandering to the crowd” by emphasizing immigration reform in his 15-minute speech.
Jake Tapper must have gotten some e-mails too because he called her this morning to follow-up. Quote:
[S]he went to the meeting, a room full of 150-200 people. “Sure enough,” Pulido says, “his mantra at the meeting was comprehensive immigration reform.’ And there were cheers and applause whenever he mentioned comprehensive immigration reform.”
“Then he said, ‘I bet some of you don’t know this — did you know Spanish was spoken in Arizona before English?’ And the crowd roared. I was appalled,” Pulido said. “He was pandering to these people — that’s what they wanted to hear.”…
“He was telling one group of people one thing and the Hispanics another,” says Pulido. “I’m a conservative and I think he’s throwing conservatives under the bus.”…
As Allahpundit correctly notes, this isn't the best sourced story out there and its veracity should be regarded somewhat skeptically. Heightening one's skepticism is this quote:
"This was not a secret meeting," said Rafael Rivadeneira, a vice chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois, who was among more than 150 Chicago-area Hispanic leaders who attended. "There was nothing he said that they wouldn't want people to hear."
What makes this story so troubling is how easy it is to believe. McCain had been building some degree of goodwill among conservatives over the past few days with his evolving-in-the-right-right-direction energy policies but it is very much like him to bristle at conservative support and turn around and bite us in the ass as his version of "You're welcome." We can only hope that the story is mis-characterizing the meeting and that McCain is smart enough to realize that roundly kicking your core constituents every now and then is not the smartest road to the White House. The lack of trust conservatives have over his position on illegal immigration is something he needs to overcome not to reinforce.