Tuesday, June 21, 2011

McCain Tries to Snuff Firestorm Over Illegal Immigrant Remark

Sen. John McCain clarified his incendiary comment that illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border had set wildfires burning in Arizona. Appearing this morning on NBC's "Today" show, the Arizona Republican said he was not talking about the current fires burning in his home state.

"I was not referring to the Wallow fire," McCain said, adding that he was briefed by U.S. Forest Service officials, who told him illegal immigrants sometimes are responsible for the fires.

"We all know that people who come across our border illegally, according to the Forest Service, according to Border Patrol, according to the local sheriffs and law enforcement agents, [and] that these fires are sometimes, some of them, have been caused by this," McCain said on NBC's morning talk show.

McCain's initial comment on the subject ignited outrage among Hispanic-Americans.

"I'm puzzled over that there should be any controversy since the Forest Service is on record as saying what I just repeated because I had been briefed on that just an hour or so before the press conference that we held," McCain said.

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