The Last Word | February 20, 2013
>>> why didn't the arm y go down there and stop them? because the only thing that stops them, i'm afraid to say, it is too darn bad, is a gun, that is what will stop them.
>> that is where john mccain found himself in arizona , the place that used to be mexico.
>> we're not allowed to have an armed militia on our borders. that is what our founding fathers wanted. your problem is with them, not with me.
>> john mccain and the other senator, flake, are part of a bipartisan group to produce legislation by the end of march.
>> most of the people that come across the border are illiterate, they don't speak english, and they're a dependent class. so here is what we have. a large group of dependent people that are going to want to be citizens. they are going to be on medicare, welfare, get food stamps .
>> you know, again -- again.
>> what is going to happen is --
>> again, sir, you're not telling these people the truth. they -- they mow our lawns, and care for our babies. they clean o -- they -- the work that those people do, you're wrong again.
>> you are saying build the darn fence, where is the fence?
>> in case you missed it, that is a fence, we put up a banana with about $600 million worth of appropriations we have. sir, you're entitled to your opinion, you're not entitled to your facts.
>> you say banana, i say fence, the old john mccain was on display yesterday. the one who was not afraid to say what people didn't want to hear.
>> obviously, they're not here to assimilate, into our society, they're here doing the things they need to do to make their life better at home, now, the question --
>> sir, some have been here as long as 40 years. they are serving in our military.
>> as senator john mccain was leaving the event, he tried to downplay his audience's negative reaction to immigration reform .
>> somewhere around 70-something percent of the american people believe there should be a path to citizenship, as long as they pay a fine, pay taxes.
>> would you say 70%?
>> i would say the majority, sure, what is your problem?
>> i don't have a problem.
>> yeah, you do, you keep thinking this was not a typical town hall meeting , it is.
>> joining me now, and maria hinojosa , john mccain doesn't get elected by the american people , he gets elected in arizona where this is obviously a pretty tough subject to handle.
>> yeah, you know, but he did say let's talk about facts. he continued to bring it up. that is what i want to talk about. for me to watch this scenario, i feel this people's pain in a sense. because i see that they are very fearful, they are scared about what is happening in their state. and frankly in the country. so in this face of fear, i think facts are really important. so this notion of you know, they're all on welfare, and they're you know, overrunning our country and not speaking english. no, the fact is, that actually if we were -- if there was a process to legalize people, it would actually be a boon to the american economy . states, texas has shown that. arkansas has shown that. economists are talking about that. so one of your producers -- i said i feel like i want to hug one of these people and say come on, guys, all the anger, sheriff arpaio's anger, no, it is going to keep changing. and frankly we know the numbers crossing the border are flat right now, the numbers are not playing out really.
>> let's take a look at more of the people that need a hug from maria, let's take a look at another one.
>> there are people who have been here illegally for 50 years. or 40 years. am i then telling them to become guest workers ? no, you can't do that. why can't you do that? because we're a judeo -christian principled nation, that is why you can't do that. again, we just have a difference of opinion.
>> jonathan, so much for that judeo -christian-principle nation stuff. they actually said no, no, no, when he said that.
>> yeah, the beautiful o --
>> the judeo -christians.
>> yeah, the beautiful thing about what senator mccain did, and this gets to what maria was saying in terms of the hug, this fear of immigrants, the undocumented workers has been allowed to fester, because all the things that have been said, nobody of any stature has been willing to push back on this and say no, this is the case, listen to me. i'm your elected official, you sent me to washington to focus on this. and you know, john mccain when he ran for re-election a couple of years ago, he said build the dang fence. he played to the crowd. what we saw just now was a john mccain who was basically giving this guy a hug and saying no, i understand your fear, but your fear is misplaced. here are the facts, this is the way it is. we need to see more of that john mccain . and we need to see more of that kind of john mccain in all the other states and all these other elected officials who face town halls like that, where people are pushing, throwing falsehoods at them. and then to be able to say no, no, no, here is what the facts are, and why you don't need to be afraid. and why we actually need to do something about this to settle your fears.
>> well, let's listen to more of that john mccain .
>> and --
>> that is the problem.
>> see what i mean, you're just making my point.
>> you don't listen to us, that is the reason i'm like this.
>> you know something, again? i have gone to town hall meetings for 30 years, people are happy i have town hall meetings and i listen to them and get back to them. and that is what this is all about. but occasionally i get a jerk like you here.
>> oh, yes, that is -- a jerk like you.
>> look, the reality is that what we know, the numbers show that more than half, more than 70%, depending on the polls, of american people believe that it is time to do something about this issue. they realize that it is not just one person who is cleaning your garden lights. it is the kids who are friends with your kids. so suddenly, johnny's best friend , he had to leave the country. why? because his mother was deported, and he is going wait a second, they're good people, they worked at the local deli. so the reality is that the majority of american people understand this. they understand it from an economic place. they understand it from a constitutional place and from a heart place. so when you -- in arizona you are going to have this group of people who i applaud for being engaged in democracy, good for them.
>> and when you have been there, what is the heat of this subject -- what is it like down there?
>> it is hard to pinpoint, i can tell you most recently when i was down there in june, and there was a protest in front of joe arpaio , i went to be there, i am a journalist, i understand their perspective, the anger was so intense. i tried to speak to them like hi, can i ask a question. i asked the sheriff, i said why are you always yelling? why are you so angry, just tell me. i have to yell, it is just like -- this is in fact the future. because if you look at the demographics of our country, this is in fact, the futuro.
>> it was also the past of that region. they were here first. these people who you're saying don't belong here anymore.
>> well, yes, but these folks, the folks in the tape that you showed, in john mccain 's town hall forum, they don't care about that. they care about the here and now. they care about their present, and they certainly care about their future. and their future does not recognize that the undocumented workers , the latinos who are there in arizona , who they are fuming against, that that is the future of their state and that is the future of this country. and if they want to get over the fears that they have they need to come to terms with it.
>> maria hinojosa , thank you both, for joining me tonight.
>>> coming up, why joe biden suddenly decided to become a salesman for shot guns.
>>> and in the rewrite, why did cpac decide to invite mitt romney ? and what did he say to those people.