As he campaigned across Florida this week, Sen. John McCain gave a Latino audience in Orlando a version of his stump speech that differed significantly from speeches he gave to other Florida audiences.
Speaking at a town hall meeting at the Asociación Borinqueña de Orlando, a Puerto Rican group, McCain told the audience that he would make immigration reform one of his, “first priorities,” if he is elected president.
But in another Florida appearance yesterday, in Jacksonville, the Republican candidate remained mum about the subject. Beth Reinhard and Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald report,
Once pummeled for backing what critics tarred as ”amnesty,” McCain has talked little about immigration during the general election campaign. He did not raise the issue Monday in Jacksonville, reliably Republican turf where he began a two-day tour that wraps up Tuesday in Tampa.
But Orlando offered a different audience. Central Florida is home to a fast-growing Hispanic community coveted for its political independence, unlike the staunchly Republican Cuban-American voters who have dominated Miami-Dade politics.
Earlier this week we reported on other instances where McCain has offered different messages on immigration policy depending on the composition of his audience.