Tags: McCain | Still | Haunted

McCain Still Haunted by Illegal Alien Issue

Sunday, 15 Jun 2008 04:56 PM

By Special from Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. McCain Still Haunted by Illegal Alien Issue
2. Bloomberg Casting Around for a Big Job
3. McCain and Hillary Have a 'Special Friendship'
4. Obama Crowds Dwarf McCain's
5. We Heard: Mel Gibson, Spitzer, Laura Ingraham, More
 

1. McCain Still Haunted by Illegal Alien Issue

Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain supports a $250 million-a-year program to pay the hospital bills of illegal immigrants — a move likely to be viewed negatively by many conservatives.

The program would reimburse hospitals for the cost of treating illegals and has the support of many Republicans, as well as Democrat Barack Obama.

But Sen. McCain's association with the program "underscores his rift on immigration with the right wing, which sees him as championing amnesty for illegal immigrants," The Hill newspaper reports.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, said: "It's another reminder that he's 'Amnesty John.'"

McCain sponsored legislation with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy offering a path to citizenship to many illegal immigrants. The bill did not pass, but McCain's backing of the bill hurt his credibility with conservatives, and they "do not trust him on the issue," according to The Hill.

Hospitals and ambulance services in Southwest border states gave more than $200 million in free emergency care to illegals in 2000, a congressional study found.

Congress agreed to reimburse a portion of these costs in 2003, and McCain supports extending the program, which is due to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

A letter signed by McCain, Obama, and 13 other senators and sent to congressional leaders maintained that the funding "is vital to our states' healthcare safety net."

But according to Krikorian, immigration hard-liners view McCain's support as a case of, "There he goes again."

Editor's Note:


2. Bloomberg Casting Around for a Big Job

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't announced what he plans to do after leaving city hall next year, but few observers expect him to disappear entirely from public life.

Recent reports have had him considering a run for governor of New York, or assessing voter attitudes about lifting the current term limits restriction that bars him from seeking a third term.

But sources have told The Washington Post that neither possibility is likely. As governor he would have to live at least part time in Albany, the state capital — a prospect he is not likely to relish. And Rudy Giuliani tried and failed to lift the term limits restriction when he was mayor.

The Insider Report disclosed two weeks ago that Bloomberg, an independent, is on Republican John McCain's "short list" of possible running mates, and the billionaire businessman is even being considered as a potential vice presidential candidate on Democrat Barack Obama's ticket.

The Post points to another possibility: "A former aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested Bloomberg would be a good fit in a Cabinet position in Washington, perhaps as Treasury secretary."

The aide said: "He could be invited to join a Democratic or Republican administration. He could run the World Bank."

Another aide said: "I think he's open to lots of different things. He's casting around."

Bloomberg's spokesman Stu Loesser said the mayor is "definitely thinking about staying in public life," but added: "Public life doesn't necessarily mean politics."

Editor's Note:


3. McCain and Hillary Have a 'Special Friendship'

During the presidential primary campaign Hillary Clinton's attacks on presumptive GOP nominee John McCain were for the most part conspicuous by their absence.

The reason: The two senators share a "special friendship," sources told Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times.

Hillary surprised many observers in April when she touted McCain over Democrat Barack Obama, saying during a campaign stop in Ohio: "Senator McCain brings a lifetime of experience to the campaign. I bring a lifetime of experience. And Senator Obama brings a speech he gave in 2002."

During the final weeks of the primary season, neither Clinton nor McCain took a shot at the other, according to Malcolm.

McCain even stated: "Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage . . . As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend."

After Hillary gave a speech conceding the Democratic race to Obama, McCain blogger Michael Goldfarb wrote on the senator's Web site that Clinton "didn't mention John McCain once during her speech . . . It's clear that John McCain and Hillary Clinton respect each other — and there is a genuine affection for her here at McCain HQ."

The two became friends back in 2001 when Clinton first entered the Senate and McCain took it upon himself to welcome her and show her around. "They really hit it off," a friend of the two told Malcolm, who added, "They found they could work together across the aisle as committee members and enjoyed each other's company on fact-finding trips around the world."

Considering that relationship, Malcolm wondered what might have happened if McCain and Clinton had wound up as their party's nominees: "Would we have seen a more civil campaign for a change?"

Editor's Note:


4. Obama Crowds Dwarf McCain's

The disparity in the size of the crowds presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain attract is striking, with the Democrat packing in supporters by the thousands and the Republican numbering his crowds in the hundreds.

In the final weeks of the Republican primaries, McCain never drew more than about 1,000 people, and most events were held in restaurants and other small venues, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The crowds have not grown since McCain sewed up the nomination, and his campaign sometimes sets up ballrooms or other venues so that chairs fill only part of the space to avoid empty seats.

Obama, on the other hand, has attracted about 20,000 people to a dozen rallies, and addressed 75,000 people at an outdoor rally in Portland, Ore.

McCain himself marveled at Obama's drawing power, remarking to reporters in February: "Did you see the crowd Obama drew in Seattle today? Wow. Very impressive. If I had a crowd like that, I'd be thrilled."

McCain strategist Charlie Black cautioned that attracting large crowds at political rallies doesn't always presage success at the polls.

"What it is indicative of is celebrity, charisma, and a great interest in seeing and hearing him," he told the Journal. "That doesn't necessarily translate into votes."

But McCain is not only attracting smaller crowds than Obama, he's also drawing less attention from the media.

Newsmax's graphics department has found that for the last few months, press agencies have made available thousands of photos of Obama in a wide variety of settings, while there are surprisingly few shots of McCain on the campaign trail.

Editor's Note:


5. We Heard . . .

THAT a major Hollywood player says it's not true Mel Gibson has been ostracized for his drunken anti-Semitic rant two years ago.

One source told the New York Post's "Page Six" column that Gibson is "a pariah in Hollywood" and studios have refused to distribute his next movie, "Edge of Darkness."

But the producer of the movie, Oscar-winner Graham King, told the Post the only reason he didn't sell the movie to a studio is that he needed a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) waiver to shoot the movie and "if I had a distribution deal with a studio, I never would have gotten the waiver."

SAG is expected to go on strike on June 30, and shooting for "Edge of Darkness" is scheduled to begin on August 18.

Asked if there is a boycott of Gibson films, King said, "I don't think so."

THAT a Newsmax reader created a special Newsmax icon for use with Apple's iPhone.

The iPhone employs icons as "bookmarks" that link to users' favorite sites. The Newsmax icon can be found here.

THAT former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is seeking to set up a "vulture" fund to invest in distressed real estate assets.

The New York Sun reported that Spitzer recently met with Washington, D.C.-based labor officials who could invest pension funds in his venture.

Citing a source, the Sun said Spitzer is "determined to take his father's real estate company to the next level."

Spitzer's multimillionaire father Bernard built one of New York City's largest real estate firms.

Eliot Spitzer resigned his governor's post in March in the wake of revelations about his relationship with a prostitute.

THAT Barack Obama has added four more advertising agencies to his presidential campaign.

The newcomers are Murphy Putnam Media in Washington, D.C.; Squier Knapp Dunn Communications, which handled Bill Clinton's second presidential campaign; Shorr Johnson Magnus in Philadelphia; and Dixon Davis Media Group in Washington, Advertising Age reports.

The Obama team continues to be lead by AKP&D Message and Media in Chicago, and GMMB in Washington.

THAT Obama will greet supporters at a fundraising dinner hosted by Ethel Kennedy on Martha's Vineyard. Price per person: $28,500. Kennedy also recently hosted a party for Obama at her historic Hickory Hill home in McLean, Va.

THAT conservative radio host Laura Ingraham will host the 5 p.m. hour on Fox News Channel beginning this week.

Ingraham will be the first of a "rotating series of people" Fox will use in that time slot, according to The New York Times, which observed: "Fox appears to be grooming Ms. Ingraham, who often fills in for Bill O'Reilly, as a new host."

Other hosts will have trial runs in the slot before Fox makes a decision about giving Ingraham the 5 p.m. hour full-time.


Editor's Note:

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