Interestingly, they're specifically not targeting McCain himself—they realize that with his primary challenge, he's going to be feigning patriotism for while. (Saying he'll defend the border, enforce the law, and a number of other things no sensible person would believe.)
W.H. woos GOP on immigrationOf course the problem for Republican Senators who might be willing to betray their party and their constituents over immigration is that with Bush gone, they don't have an excuse for voting for the amnesty, and can be punished by their constituents. If McCain were inÂ the White House, it would be different.
By Carol E. Lee & Kasie Hunt May 5, 2010
The White House is set to step up pressure on some key Republicans in hopes of winning support for comprehensive immigration reform.
But itâ€™s shaping up to be a struggle, based on interviews with the senators President Barack Obama has approached on the issue.
The administration is starting with a pool of 11 Republicans who voted for immigration reform in 2006. Subtract a few who are dead-ends â€” such as John McCain, who faces a tough primary in Arizona â€” and that leaves the White House zeroing in on several others, including Dick Lugar, Judd Gregg and Lisa Murkowski and a couple of newcomers: Scott Brown and George LeMieux.
Each got a call from President Barack Obama from Air Force One two weeks ago. And last Wednesday, Obama stressed that without Republican support immigration reform is a nonstarter.
Next up, White House staff will reach out to the senatorsâ€™ staffs to test out an outline of a Democratic proposal on immigration. Senate Democrats also have approached the White House about hosting an immigration summit to elevate the issue, an idea that came up during a meeting with immigration groups last Thursday, a person familiar with the meeting said. [More]