McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Civil Rights
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Today's McCain Myth: John McCain will be able to reach out to African American communities WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John McCain's campaign has suggested that he is a different kind of Republican who can reach out to voters his party traditionally ignores. To prove the point, the campaign is planning what it calls a "Compassion Tour," which will include courting African American voters in places like Alabama and inner city neighborhoods. In reality, no campaign tour can gloss over McCain's dismal record on civil rights issues throughout his 25 years in Washington. Time and time again, McCain was on the wrong side of key debates when it mattered most. In addition to his opposition to a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., McCain was the deciding vote against overriding President Bush's veto of the 1990 Civil Rights Act -- the first defeat of a major civil rights bill in a quarter of a century. To make matters worse, just last weekend McCain defended the vote by equating it to "quotas," even though the bill had nothing to do with quotas. With a record like that, no wonder McCain is working so hard to reinvent himself for the general election. McCain Voted Against Civil Rights Act of 1990 -- Which Failed By One Vote. McCain voted to uphold President Bush's veto of the 1990 Civil Rights Act. The veto override fell one vote short of the necessary 67 votes, and thus the legislation died -- the first major civil rights bill to be defeated in the last quarter century. It would have expanded the reach of several discrimination laws that had been narrowed or overturned by the Supreme Court, as well as authorizing monetary damages under title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents employment discrimination. McCain had also twice previously voted against the conference report version of the bill. [1990 Senate Vote #276, 10/16/1990; 1990 Senate Vote #304, 10/24/1990; 1990 CQ Almanac, p. 60-S] McCain Uses Loaded Term "Quotas" to Defend Vote. "WALLACE: You're here today at the Civil Rights Museum, but it has come to our attention that in 1983 you voted against the federal holiday for Martin Luther King. You voted in 1990 against civil rights legislation. Isn't it going to be hard to reach out to all those groups given your history and the history of the party? MCCAIN: Well, let me say in 1983 I was wrong, and I believe that my advocacy for the recognition of Dr. King's birthday in Arizona was something that I'm proud of. The issue in the early '90s was a little more complicated. I've never believed in quotas, and I don't. There's no doubt about my view on that issue. And that was the implication, at least, of that other vote." [Fox News Sunday, 4/6/08] Bill Would Not Have Created Quotas. "Proponents of the bill contend that it essentially would have restored the law of employment discrimination that had been in force for nearly two decades, prior to six recent Supreme Court rulings that made it more difficult for minorities and women to win discrimination suits. They strongly dispute the contention that the new law would result in quotas." [Washington Post, 10/23/90] Quota Opponent Says Bill Was Not a Quota. "Thomas Homburger of the Anti-Defamation League, noting the strong opposition Jews historically have had to numerical preferences and quotas of any type, said, 'this act is simply not a quota bill.'" [Washington Post, 10/23/90] After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth. Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. SOURCE Democratic National Committee Damien LaVera of the DNC, +1-202-863-8148
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