Paul Closer to McCain, Immigration Reform Even Farther Away

Paul Closer to McCain, Immigration Reform Even Farther Away

Paul got a little closer to John McCain last week, well, relatively speaking. He was on the home grounds of The Maverick for Arizona fundraisers as well as for one noted stop at the Goldwater Institute. The old school GOP hawk and Tea Party favorite haven’t always shared the same views especially over foreign policy. Immigration reform is a bit of a bust too. Paul wants to get one thing straight though: There are issues that they do agree on.

[Paul suggested that] the media likes to focus on conflict and amplify discord in general, which he said helps explain why he and McCain are often portrayed as being at odds.

“We don’t always agree, but because we disagree on things, people don’t point out things we do agree on,” Paul said. “He’s been an advocate for getting rid of government waste, including even waste in the military-procurement process, and doggedly fought for a lot of those things that I agree with.” (The Arizona Republic)

The rest of the time, they can agree to disagree. Sure, McCain has accused Paul of stirring up “the libertarian kids” or grouped him with a particular set of ‘birds’, but it’s politics, folks. Despite all the political fireworks, the two have “a good personal relationship,” Paul told The Arizona Republic.

McCain reciprocated by telling The Republic that “Rand Paul is a very forthright and effective senator. We certainly have our disagreements, but I have a very high regard for him.”

(Although he didn’t exactly throw Paul’s name out as a 2016 potential during his Tonight Show appearance last week. He may have said…Christie. I wonder if he still thinks that this week. Still, it’s ok. At least he’s not like the other guy.)

One of the more pertinent splits between McCain and Paul (yes, yes, I realize this isn’t exactly emphasizing the bromance) was last year’s immigration bill. Paul voted against the “Gang of Eight” bill which is now up for debate in the House.

“But I am for immigration reform,” Paul told The Republic. “For anybody who wants to work, I think we can find a place for them. And that means even those who are already here.”

“Paul said he ultimately opposed the “Gang of Eight” bill because it would set limits on visas for foreign workers in the agricultural and construction sectors that are too low. And the senators who supported the package would not consider making changes, he said.”

“I’m probably more pro-having a big work program than the bill was, and that was part of the problem for me,” Paul said.

A major part of the legislation included a pathway for citizenship pushed by McCain, one of the eight behind the bill, which is a firm “nonstarter for most Republicans.” It’s not flying for those who see it ‘as amnesty’ and as a doorway for “a future wave of illegal immigration”.

While Paul supports legal immigration, he does see a problem with border security and, according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports, most voters see the same problem.

Immigration reform is on the 2014 agenda so we’ll have to wait and see what House Republicans announce later this month.

(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, via Flickr Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)



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