On a conference call today (link via this), Matt Lewis of Townhall asked John McCain about his Hispanic outreach director Juan Hernandez, a former cabinet level official with the Mexican government who worked directly with Vicente Fox. He's also appeared on several cable TV shows promoting a "free flow" of people between the U.S. and Mexico, and more or less promoting Mexico's agenda.
Unfortunately, Lewis asked an extremely weak question:
Can I ask you about Juan Hernandez, not so much about Townhall where I write, but a lot of conservative bloggers have a lot to say about him... You never know what is accurate, but from what I read he has some very controversial things to say...about Mexico first, about essentially having a completely open border....Are we getting misinformation? or What is the disconnect there? Why are you taking advice from someone if he has made these outlandish comments?
McCain's response included:
I would be glad to examine any statement from any supporter of mine... I don't even know if he is quote or what he has specifically... I'll be glad to look at it... I'll be glad to look at anything anybody has said that may be offensive or wrong. But I may have disagreements with an issue with lots of people... and if we have strong enough disagreements, I will ask them to withdraw their support.
Certainly, I understand how one might want to pretend to stammer and ask it in a sly way, but Lewis did not cover the fact that Hernandez used to work for the Mexican government.
In addition to mentioning that major issue, the natural follow-up is to now read back some of Hernandez' statements and directly ask McCain whether he "strongly" disagrees with them or not:
"he said this, do you strongly disagree or do you agree?"
"OK, he also said this. Do you strongly disagree or do you agree?"
Note that McCain hasn't even promised to look into Hernandez' statements on his own: he expects others to point them out to him. Based on McCain's slippery responses to most questions, the questioner would have to spell out that they're asking a specific question about whether there's a disagreement and that they expect a specific response to the question.
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Politics · Wed, 06/04/2008 - 10:32 · Importance: 1