While John McCain was inside the Island Hotel in Newport Beach yesterday rallying funds for his general election war chest, three—count 'em, three!—separate rallies, uh, rallied outside.
Let’s start with the obvious: Orange County, presidential candidate who stops short of proposing mass deportation of Mexicans—yup, you guessed it, the Minutemen were there!
National rally spokesman Raymond Herrera and his grumpy gaggle of troublemakers actually seemed to hate McCain even more than they detest Democratic candidates, branding his position with the scarlet letter of nativists everywhere: A, as in “amnesty.”
The group passed out bright yellow fliers that read, "Boycott Mexico!!! Do-not give your tourist dollars to Mexico! Spend them in the beautiful American Southwest." Herrera explained that John McCain is lying to the public about his views on immigration. If he is elected, McCain will open the borders and grant amnesty, Herrera insisted.
“Hopefully Mitt Romney will come back in few years then we will have a president for the people,” Herrera said.
Anti-Iraq War protesters were on the other side of the hotel chanting, “stop the war.” Ed Garza, one of the anti-war activists, got into a lively exchange with Laura Bekeart Dietz, who worked for the Republican National Committee in the '70s. Here's what Garza had to say:
Dietz, who had arrived with a group of McCain supporters (rally No. 3) who had mostly left the scene by that time, maintained that the Minutemen were way off in their assessment of McCain's immigration stance.
"He's not for open borders," she said. "He understands the importance of getting the wall up."