by Jim Nintzel
U.S. Sen. John McCain tells David Gregory of Meet the Press that Gov. Jan Brewer is wrong when she says most illegal immigrants are drug mules, but that she's right when she says the violence along the border has increased because of the drug cartels.
He also says that kidnappings in Phoenix are out of control. The numbers may indeed be high, but it's important to keep in mind that the high number of kidnappings doesn't stem from people being snatched off the streets and held for ransom; instead, illegal immigrants are held against their will by their smugglers until their debt is paid off, which leads to kidnapping charges when the drop houses are busted. It's hardly a good situation, but it gives a false impression about the dangers of Phoenix—which isn't good when it comes to our tourism industry.
Here's the message Republicans are sending about Arizona: There are gun battles in the street and you could be snatched by a drug cartel if you dare to visit. If I were on the East Coast, I'd be planning my western vacation in California or Las Vegas. And if I were in the tourism business, I'd be worried that my industry was being throttled by the GOP.