Why We Love John McCain—"McCain Called Me A Racist In Front Of Hundreds"
March 03, 2008, 11:40 AM
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At his Citizen Lobbyist blog, Craig Nelsen recalls:
During the 2000 primary season, I made it a point to ask each presidential candidate in person the following question at least once:

Current immigration policy is doubling US population within the lifetimes of today’s children. Since you support this policy, will you at least say when we should stop?

One billion people? Two billion? Three? ...

Vice President Al Gore’s campaign event in New Hampshire was tightly controlled. It required a bit of creativity even to get in. There was no question and answer period, so I had to shout out my question as Gore was striding off the stage. He froze. He turned. He strode back to the podium. A hush fell over the auditorium as the vice president leaned into the microphone. With his Tennessee accent booming out over the loudspeakers, Al Gore said, and he said it firmly, "Diversity is our strength." And the crowd went nuts. They cheered wildly as he marched triumphantly off stage and back to his waiting limousine. The Secret Service collared me, holding me at the auditorium exit while the Gore campaign decided whether to have me arrested. As the audience members filed out, a few shot me dirty looks, but not a single person commented on the fact that I was being detained by guys with guns for participating in my democracy without permission. Live Free or Die, my ass. ...

I caught up with the Straight Talk Express in Darlington, SC. McCain finished his stump speech and said he’d take some questions.

My hand shot up. He pointed to me. I stood up and asked [my standard question]...

McCain’s eyes narrowed, and his head drew down into his shoulders. �You and I, sir,� he began slowly, emphasizing each word and glaring at me as if I were a poisonous insect, �obviously have differing views on immigration.

"But let me make one thing perfectly clear," he continued, his voice rising, "there is no room in the Republican Party for bigots, xenophobes, or racists."

I’ll say this for South Carolina Republicans as compared to New Hampshire Democrats: no one applauded McCain.