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McCain Refers to Hispanics as "You People" During Meeting, Says National Journal Magazine

Senator John McCain grew visibly angry during a discussion about immigration issues with Hispanic business leaders, telling them "you people" made the choice in the presidential election, says a report by the National Journal Magazine.

A spokesman for McCain called the accusation a form of "character assassination," but the alleged quotes from the senator seem to speak for themselves:

 

"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."

Ironically, the meeting in the Capitol's Strom Thurmond Room was a Republican effort to "reach out" to Hispanics.

 

A quote from Republican Senator Mel Martinez of Florida seems to echo the allegation:

"What I saw... was John McCain saying, 'Look, I didn't get a lot of support from the Hispanic community,' which he deserved to have had," Martinez said. "It frustrated me. It frustrated him. [McCain said,] 'You guys thought this guy [Obama] was going to be your savior. Where is his leadership?' I sort of echo that. It's not like [the meeting] went badly, I don't think."

Didn't go badly? It's hard to imagine the meeting going worse without a guest appearance by Mesa State Senator Russell Pearce.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.