Senator John McCain claims that he's received death threats over his immigration stance and Associated Press writer Steven Paulson, while noting that McCain "declined to elaborate on the threats" otherwise took him at his word and refers to the threats as "unprecedented". He probably isn't lying, but then again he's probably received such threats over the course of his career. They might have picked up due to the fact that many people are upset about this issue; with more people involved, there's a greater probability that those already predisposed to make such threats will actually make them.
Other than that, he's simply playing the victimization card, and doing so before a group of co-elites at the Aspen Institute. No doubt similar scenes have played themselves out all throughout history, as, for instance, those in the drawing rooms of St. Petersburg marveled at the beliefs of the serfs.
Like Lindsey Graham and other name-callers, he's simply trying to portray his opponents in as bad a light as possible. Back in June, Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times discussed other supposed threats, and, like Paulson he took the "Grand Bargainers" at their word. Kyrsten Sinema played the same game, as did a Mexican consul.
Continuing the righteous-victim-of-yahoos* theme:
McCain acknowledged that the immigration issue, along with his support for the war in Iraq, had cost him politically. "Look, I've got to do what I know is right for this country. These issues I have to take head-on," he said.
* "Y is for Yahoo" by William Kristol, 04/10/2006, link
Immigration2007b · Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:51 · Importance: 4