Report: Furious McCain Lashed Out at Hispanic Leaders During GOP "Outreach Meeting"

Human Rights

The Republicans have a major problem with Latino voters, which is a structural problem for the party given that they represent the fastest-growing group of voters in the country, and many are distributed in hotly contested swing states (see this report (PDF) if you have a hankerin' for some hard data).

Republican leaders are rightly concerned -- theirs is a party with a rapidly shrinking base made up largely of white, married people who identify themselves as Christians (almost 80 percent of the electorate in the 1950s, that demographic made up a little more than  40 percent of voters in the 2000s, according to political scientist Alan Abramowitz).

For several years now, party leaders have talked quite a bit about reaching out to Latinos (as well as African Americans), but with little success. They're caught between a demographic rock and the hard place represented by not only the party's stunning failures while in power, but also by the right-wing bloggers and radio squawkers whose over-the-top rhetoric on immigration continues to send Hispanics -- many of whom might be tempted to vote Republican based on social issues like abortion -- fleeing to the Dems in droves.

Last month, according to a report in the National Journal (via ThinkProgress), key GOP members, McCain among them, sat down with a group of  Hispanic activists in an attempt to bridge their differences. It didn't go well, with McCain showing his legendary temper and, according to several sources who attended the meeting, going into "you people" mode ...

John McCain sounds angry and frustrated that, despite the risks he took in pushing immigration reform, Hispanic voters flocked to Democrat Barack Obama in last year's presidential contest. McCain's raw emotions burst forth recently as he heatedly told Hispanic business leaders that they should now look to Obama, not him, to take the lead on immigration.

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