McCain Reaches Out to Latino Small Business Owners

John McCain goes Español in his latest ad campaign.


Matt Yglesias calls the ad “shrewd,” noting that Latinos tend to vote based on their interests rather than as a bloc, that McCain needs to distance himself from the “I hate immigrants” wing of the party, and that “given the tendency of small business owners everywhere to love the GOP a specific focus on small business seems smart.”

True on all counts, I think, even if the ad itself is rather dull. I’m not sure I’d have devoted the most prominent visual to a guy standing by a tree, though.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2008, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    James,

    Can you point to anything more than MSM conventional wisdom that would indicate that there really is a “I hate immigrants” wing of the GOP? I know there is a large part of the party that doesn’t like illegal immigration, but I don’t see much of that wing of the party having a problem with legal immigration.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I don’t see much of that wing of the party having a problem with legal immigration

    The problem is that most of the animus is hard to explain in purely “oh, it’s about the lawbreaking” terms. The visceral reaction to the cultural and linguistic aspects of illegal Mexican immigrations applies just as much to legal Spanish-speaking immigrants, especially those lower on the economic totem pole.

  3. Michael says:

    I know there is a large part of the party that doesn’t like illegal immigration, but I don’t see much of that wing of the party having a problem with legal immigration.

    The official stance of the politicians is that they are only against illegal immigration. However, listening to the people at large, you hear them insulting people based on their ethnicity, not their legality. That doesn’t even touch the number of people I’ve heard suggest we should just march troops into Mexico City. The politics is anti-illegal, but the support is anti-Mexican.

  4. floyd says:

    I too have heard the the same diatribe …..from the LEFT!

  5. Michael says:

    I too have heard the the same diatribe …..from the LEFT!

    About Mexicans?

  6. c. wagener says:

    I would personally like to see increased immigration, but based on competitiveness and the needs of the country not based on survivors of a desert crossing. I would guess we could actively pull in large numbers of engineers, chemists, mathematicians, physicists, musicians, etc. I’m not sure we need to displaced low skilled Americans with low skilled foreigners.

    In California lack of any enforcement creates a situation where business owners are forced to break the law to stay in business. It’s not just lower wages they pay to illegals, they also don’t pay workers comp. or and benefits. The cost of health care often ends up being foisted on hospital emergency rooms. Much like a professional athlete, a business owner can follow the rules (and the athlete can not take drugs) and they will quickly find themselves unemployed.

    There isn’t any perfect solution, but you don’t have to be anti-Mexican to want increased control of our borders.

  7. brainy435 says:

    So requiring assimilation is now racist?

    If that’s true, then I should be speaking Hungarian. Guess my granparents wasted their time trying to join the “melting pot” that so inspired them to come here in the first place.

  8. yetanotherjohn says:

    James,

    I’m still looking for something other than MSM drivel. The fact that students do better learning English rather than being segregated into bilingual classes is not ‘animus’. One of the requirements for citizenship for legal immigrants is that they learn English.

    It is the left who tends to mix illegal and legal immigration into the same pot.

  9. Michael says:

    One of the requirements for citizenship for legal immigrants is that they learn English.

    It is?

  10. Anon says:

    One of the requirements for citizenship for legal immigrants is that they learn English.

    It is?

    If not, it should be. I don’t care what you speak at home, but if you are going to be a US citizen, you should know English.

  11. DL says:

    So what other laws of the country are morally good to break? why stop at one?

    Now it is a moral good to disparage anyone who says that laws shouldn’t be broken?

    To call people racists or bigots because they disagree is about as biased as it gets.

    It does require a special ability to read their hearts and souls though.

  12. Michael says:

    If not, it should be. I don’t care what you speak at home, but if you are going to be a US citizen, you should know English.

    I’m sure you’ll make exception for the deaf, right? What about immigrants who are not capable of learning another language? And why English anyway, just because our initial colonies were British?

  13. yetanotherjohn says:

    Michael, In what possible reality do you live in that would question why it would be a good thing for a legal immigrant to this country to learn English? Or do you think we should ghettoize legal immigrants.

    Here are a couple of quotes out of the guide to naturalization.

    English and Civics
    According to the law, applicants must
    demonstrate:
    • “An understanding of the English
    language, including an ability to read,
    write, and speak…simple words and
    phrases…in ordinary usage in the
    English language….”

    and just for you Michael,

    What if I cannot meet the English or
    civics requirements? Certain applicants,
    because of age or disability, have different
    English and civics requirements.

    Disability — If you have a physical or
    developmental disability or a mental
    impairment so severe that it prevents you
    from acquiring or demonstrating the required
    knowledge of English and civics, you
    may be eligible for an exception to these
    requirements. To request an exception, you
    must file a “Medical Certification for
    Disability Exceptions” (Form N-648). If
    you believe you qualify, contact a licensed
    medical or osteopathic doctor or licensed
    clinical psychologist who will need to
    complete and sign your N-648.

  14. Michael says:

    Michael, In what possible reality do you live in that would question why it would be a good thing for a legal immigrant to this country to learn English?

    It wasn’t so much a moral question as a scientific one. Is English somehow better for us as a society than Esperanto?

    Or is it like the Metric/Imperial systems, where we choose to stay with what we know, rather than transition to something different, regardless of the merits of each?

  15. James Joyner says:

    Is English somehow better for us as a society than Esperanto?

    Or is it like the Metric/Imperial systems, where we choose to stay with what we know, rather than transition to something different, regardless of the merits of each?

    Are you seriously suggesting that 300 million people switch to a new language — away from the lingua franca of international business, incidentally — because a few million immigrants have come in, mostly illegally, and not yet assimilated to that language?

  16. Michael says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that 300 million people switch to a new language — away from the lingua franca of international business, incidentally — because a few million immigrants have come in, mostly illegally, and not yet assimilated to that language?

    No, I’m asking why English in particular is a prerequisite for attaining American liberty. I’m not suggesting that anybody change anything, I’m just asking for a better rationalization than “Everybody else is doing it, so you should too”.

  17. James Joyner says:

    I’m asking why English in particular is a prerequisite for attaining American liberty.

    It’s not. But it’s the language we speak here and, certainly, we should do everything reasonable in our power to encourage people to learn it. It’s really a non-factor for later generations, as they always learn it, but it’s to everyone’s advantage to hasten it for those who immigrate.

  18. Michael says:

    It’s not. But it’s the language we speak here and, certainly, we should do everything reasonable in our power to encourage people to learn it. It’s really a non-factor for later generations, as they always learn it, but it’s to everyone’s advantage to hasten it for those who immigrate.

    So it’s to everyone benefit that we all speak a common language, so ease communication among our fellow citizens. That I can agree with. That it is more efficient to have new immigrants learn English than to have all current English speakers learn a second language, I can also agree with.

    I just don’t like people treating English as somehow superior or more preferable by some inherit virtue. If the majority of American citizen were bi-lingual, fluent in both English and Spanish, there would be no logical reason to require all new Spanish-speaking immigrants to learn English before becoming citizens.

  19. James Joyner says:

    If the majority of American citizen were bi-lingual, fluent in both English and Spanish, there would be no logical reason to require all new Spanish-speaking immigrants to learn English before becoming citizens.

    And, indeed, if a pig had wings, it could fly. It’d need pretty big wings, though.

  20. Michael says:

    And, indeed, if a pig had wings, it could fly. It’d need pretty big wings, though.

    No they wouldn’t. They’d just need to be going really really fast.