Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spoke out recently at a “Politics on Tap” event co-hosted by CNN and The National Journal regarding his views on the 2016 presidential election. McCain urged the Republican Party to take action on immigration reform, stating that he believes it is integral to their defeat of Hillary Clinton, whom he feels to be the favorite in the 2016 race for the White House. McCain indicated how pivotal a topic he believes immigration reform will be in what should be a hotly contested election.
“We’ve got some very successful governors that have done very well in their states that I think once exposed to the American people could be very competitive,” McCain said at the event. “I expect it to be very competitive, except if we don’t enact some kind of comprehensive immigration reform, I do not see a way for us to really win a general election.”
Indeed, immigration reform should be a defining facet of the next presidential election. A recent Gallup poll showed that currently one out of six Americans believe that immigration reform is the most pressing issue facing the nation. That demographic (17 percent) is up dramatically from 5 percent in June and is the highest that the issue has ranked in Gallup polls in nearly a decade. Immigration reform has become a divisive issue in the last year as the GOP-led House of Representatives has refused to act on a comprehensive reform bill approved by the Senate. Simultaneously, tens of thousands of unaccompanied child immigrants are crossing into America after leaving their home countries.
McCain reiterated his sentiments near the close of the event, indicating that the Republican Party will only harm their odds of winning the presidency by waiting on immigration reform.
“I think as the 2016 presidential campaign gets closer that my colleagues will recognize … that we are marginalizing the Republican Party,” said McCain.