"He was angry," one source said. "He was over the top. In some cases, he rolled his eyes a lot. There were portions of the meeting where he was just staring at the ceiling, and he wasn't even listening to us. We came out of the meeting really upset."
McCain's message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama's pace on the issue. "He threw out [the words] 'You people -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,' " the source said. "It was almost as if [he was saying] 'You're cut off!' We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that."
In 2006 and 2007, McCain was a leader on immigration, but his efforts ran aground largely because his legislation included what many Republicans derisively characterized as "amnesty," a pathway to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants if they took a series of steps to earn legal status.
Having stuck his neck out in the past, McCain apparently is in no mood to do so again for an ethnic group he seems to view as ungrateful. On NBC's Meet the Press on March 29, McCain repeated his message that the ball is in the Democratic president's court. So far, the senator said, he has not seen much on immigration from the Obama White House, although the president recently met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and set the goal of launching the debate in the fall, a senior administration official said.
It would be perfectly reasonable for a Latino voter to say "John McCain bucked his party to support a position I care intensely about, and thus I'm voting for him." It would be equally reasonable for that voter to say "I'm glad John McCain voted the way he did, but that's one issue and on a host of others, we have fundamental disagreements. At the end of the day, I'm closer to Obama than McCain." It'd also be reasonable to say "I like McCain fine, but the Republican Party has gone crazy and I'm not comfortable putting them into power -- even with McCain as the leader." The notion that they owe him something is ridiculous.