by Jim Nintzel
Sen. John McCain sat down yesterday for a lengthy (for TV, anyway) interview with the PBS News Hour. As we noted in The Skinny last week, McCain appears to be moving back from right-wing fringe and back to the moderate middle.
On immigration: "If we do not act on this issue, I think we are in fundamental agreement on one aspect of it, and that is you leave 11 million people in a limbo status in one respect, and you have de facto amnesty in the other respect, because you're not going to round up 11 million people and send them out of the country." Later in the interview, he says that if the GOP blocks immigration reform, "I see further polarization of the Hispanic voter and the demographics are clear that the Republican Party cannot win a national election."
On the debt-limit fight: "One of the reasons we have such low approval is Americans get tired of this brinksmanship, workers maybe getting laid off or the Grand Canyon being shut down, all of the consequences of this as we near the edge again. I believe we will reach an agreement. I don't know exactly how now."
On the idea of using the debt-limit to get rid of Obamacare: "I think it's a non-starter, clearly."
On the comeback of the "GOP moderate": I think there's a comeback among GOP senators who see the low approval ratings that we have, that see the disapproval and almost contempt that people hold us in because of our failure to act, and I think it's not so much moderate—some of the people who have been in these negotiations are the most conservative. It's not so much moderate as it is people who are results-oriented."
On the future of the GOP: "You can't just go to the electorate and say, 'We blocked everything that President Obama was trying to do.' I think you have to show them some positive results and some positive vision for the future."
McCain's comments about his relationship with President Barack Obama is worth watching.