McCain: No Republican Can Win In 2016 If We Block Immigration Reform


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) warned Tuesday that if Republicans block immigration reform they’ll lose the presidency in 2016 no matter who they nominate.

“I agree with Mr. [Tom] Donohue, the head of the Chamber of Commerce. It doesn’t matter who we nominate. We’ll [lose],” the party’s 2008 presidential nominee told a few reporters in the Capitol, in response to a question from TPM.

Donohue told a crowd last month that “if the Republicans don’t do it they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016. I mean, think about that. Think about who the voters are.”

McCain, despite co-authoring the immigration reform bill in the 2006-2007 push, lost two-thirds of Hispanic voters to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential contest. After turning sharply against reform ahead of his 2010 reelection bid, he went on to become a leading author of the sweeping immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June 2013. House Republicans have vowed not to bring it up.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.