POLITICS

Arizona Sen. John McCain's website message differs in English and Spanish

The wording of Arizona Sen. John McCain’s English-language campaign websites is substantially different from his Spanish-language website when it comes to the topics of immigration and homeland security.

McCain’s English-language site puts a heavy emphasis on the Arizona lawmaker’s stance on border security and his history of working to "reform our broken immigration system,” while the Spanish-language site focuses on McCain’s bipartisan  "work on a humane migratory reform that is sensitive to the needs of the immigrant community."

The differences were first pointed out by the Washington Post, which said that “[d]ifferences in translation between English- and Spanish-language campaign websites are nothing new, but are usually subtle to deal with differences in vernacular… In the case of McCain, it’s not so much differences in translation, but instead of emphasis.”

The newspaper continued: “The contrasts could spark accusations from Democrats that McCain is trying to be all things to different groups of people on the issue of immigration, an especially sensitive topic in Arizona.”

Lorna Romero, the McCain campaign’s communications director, strongly denied that the Arizona lawmaker was pandering to one set of voters in English and another in Spanish. In a statement sent to Fox News Latino, Romero said that the Spanish-language site is a “condensed version of the main English-language website and was never intended to be identical.”

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“In fact, both the English and Spanish versions begin with the clear message that John McCain has led the efforts in Washington to ensure that the U.S. obtains control of its southwest border and to reform our broken immigration system,’” Romero added.

McCain has made immigration a major talking point while on the stump, including hinting at the possibility that in 2017 the Senate will again move forward with the immigration reform bill that in 2013 was left bogged down in the lower house with its conservative majority.

"Sooner or later, depending on the results of the election, we'll have to take up that subject again," McCain told Spanish news agency EFE. "You've seen what I have done," the war veteran said.

Besides immigration, however, there are other differences between the two webpages.

On education, the English-language site touts McCain’s endorsement by the American Conservative Union while the Spanish-language site highlights an endorsement by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Romero said that McCain is focused on the needs of everyone in Arizona and added that the senator has “always worked to advance the priorities of growing Arizona's economy, supporting small businesses, ensuring all children have access to a quality education, protecting our nation from terror threats, and reforming our broken immigration system."

McCain, first elected 30 years ago, is attempting this electoral year to stay in office for a sixth term as he battles Democratic rival Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. The RealClearPolitics average of polls currently has McCain ahead of Kirkpatrick by eight points, 44 to 36 percent.

The Latino vote is expected to be key in deciding who wins the Arizona senate seat. The state is 31 percent Hispanic.

One worry for McCain is the effect Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his divisive rhetoric will have on how Latinos in Arizona vote.

In a speech at a private fundraiser in Arizona in the spring, McCain, a Republican, said that the real estate tycoon’s alienating rhetoric toward Hispanics could be detrimental to his own re-election, according to Politico, which reports that it obtained a recording of the speech.

“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” McCain said, according to Politico. “If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I've never seen in 30 years.”

 

Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.

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