'This Week' Transcript: McCain

HUNT: I just don't think the politics are there to load the dockets will all that. And I think now it's being brought up not because there's any legislative chance -- there is none -- but it is to frame the debate for the November elections. And I think the -- Obama hopes that this will energize and get back some of that 12 percent that he's lost among Hispanic voters. The Republicans are counting on the anger of people out there.

I must say, John McCain, in his interview with you, Jake, that was extraordinary to say that crime is up there. He's talking about Mexico. Crime is down in Arizona. Every single academic study that's been done shows that immigrants commit fewer crimes.

RAMOS: That's right.

HUNT: We have a system where there are now three-and-a-half-fold more illegal immigrants than there were 20 years ago. It's a system that's broke. And for John McCain to say that there's been a dramatic change just simply is not the case.

TAPPER: Dan, Republicans say that the president is bringing this up for cynical reasons, to drum up Hispanic voters.

SENOR: Right. Well, if he were serious about immigration reform, he would provide some real specifics, a real plan. He didn't do that the other day. It was just sort of platitudinal.

And -- and particularly against the backdrop of what Senator McCain said and others have said, President Obama absolutely played politics with this issue in 2007 when he was facing a Democratic primary. And John McCain and Ted Kennedy worked out a deal to keep out all these amendments that could have destroyed the entire McCain-Kennedy package, amendments from the Democrat -- extreme Democrats and extreme Republicans, and Obama effectively, you know, contributed in blowing -- contributed to blowing that up.

And so for him now to be lecturing Republicans about not playing politics for this issue -- with this issue -- they view it as a little disingenuous. The reality is -- let me -- the reality is, the best thing for Barack Obama's chances for success on immigration reform is the Republicans actually winning majority in Congress. He will lead that...


(UNKNOWN): ... never get it done.

(UNKNOWN): The Democrats will never pass a bill.

HUNT: Dan, you're very smart. You could not be more wrong. The Republican Party has been taken over by the nativists, by the anti-immigrant.

TUCKER: Absolutely.

HUNT: You cannot -- Mitt Romney did a 180 because you cannot look at John McCain today, the politics, they are nativist. And that's...


SENOR: ... majority of Democrats...


HUNT: ... Lindsey Graham -- Lindsey Graham is an ally. I'm not defending the Democrats...


TAPPER: Hold on one second. We only got a minute left. Paul, then Cynthia.


KRUGMAN: The -- the Republican Party for these past 30 years has been kind of a coalition between a cultural right, which is also basically anti-immigrant, and an economic right, which is kind of favorable to immigration reform. What's happened in the last year is that the cultural right has taken over. The economic right no longer calls the shots. And that's why we can't get immigration legislation.

TAPPER: Cynthia, quickly?

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