McCain's New Spanish-language Ad: Seeing Fraud in Your Neighbor's Eye

It seems in this campaign there’s no end to the lanzamiento de barro (mud slinging in Spanish.)

The McCain campaign has launched a new Spanish-language ad which, according to the Washington Post, is running in the “Hispanic battleground” states of Colorado and New Mexico. In it the Republican campaign levels the same charge against Barack Obama that was the theme of a previous commercial: that he and “his allies in Congress” sunk the comprehensive immigration reform bill of two years ago – a charge that, as we’ve said, is not based on what actually happened in the Senate in 2006.

But this time, the voice-over also claims that Obama’s Spanish-language ads on immigration have been called “unfair, absolutely mistaken and fraudulent” by the press.

What it doesn’t say is that the press heavily criticized both campaigns for their misleading ads on Spanish-language television, as we’ve written before. A New York Times editorial two weeks ago harshly chided Democrats and Republicans for first “ignoring immigration” and then “lying about it to voters.”

Here’s the ad:

The commercial also says Joe Biden called Mexico “a dysfunctional society” and ends, “They’ve said no to us too many times. This election, let’s tell them no.”

According to the Washington Post,

Joe Biden called Mexico a “dysfunctional society” back in Dec. 2007 while speaking with Iowa voters. The vice presidential candidate — then running his own presidential campaign — said that solutions to the American immigration issue should start with changes to the Mexican economy.

“They’re being irresponsible. This is the second-wealthiest nation in the hemisphere — we’re not talking about Sierra Leone.”

“This is a dysfunctional society,” Biden added.

Including this quote in ads is likely to rile quite a few Mexican-Americans. But the Republicans’ central claim on Spanish-language ads continues to be related to the failed immigration bill of 2006. This seems a bit surprising, since McCain himself has backed away from that bill, which he co-authored with Sen. Ted Kennedy. During the Republican primaries McCain reversed his position, and said he would not support the bill were it to come up for a vote again.

Here’s a clip from the Republican presidential debate on Jan. 30, where McCain said he wouldn’t vote for the bill:


  1. It’s interesting that while both campaigns are spending lots of money mudslinging each other with competing video ads.

    The problem I see is that while both attempt to paint the other as having the least desirable position on immigration, no further discussion is taking place on how they intend to resolve the problems of immigration.

    It surprises me to no end that the topic of immigration has been completely absent from both the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. As a matter of fact Latin America as a whole has not been mentioned in the debates.

    Actually, I take that back, Palin did mention the, “Castro Brothers”, and I thought it was some new comedy team, but seriously does a reference to Cuba’s present and past dictators really count as the inclusion of Latin America in the Presidential debates?

  2. John Rudolph

    Tony, thanks for your comment. We’re still waiting for the subject of immigration policy to come up in one of the debates. With two left I’m not sure what the chances are. But if it does, we’ll be blogging about it.

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  4. Pingback: War of Accusations on Immigration Reform Continues in the Parallel Dimension of Spanish TV « Feet In 2 Worlds

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