From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
You know it's summer, with all this talk of flip flops.
While trade has been the dominant topic today with McCain speaking in Canada on the topic (and both campaign criticizing each other), the Obama campaign also took time out to hit McCain on a meeting he had with Hispanic leaders and various other perceived "flip flops" this week.
Politico reports McCain assured Hispanics that he would push for comprehensive immigration reform. To that, Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs dubbed today, "The end of pander week aboard the Double Talk Express."
Gibbs said his stance on immigration reform is a contradiction from what he said at the Republican debate at the Reagan Library where he said, "No I would not" vote again for the comprehensive immigration reform package he had voted for the previous year. In New Hampshire, McCain called that vote a mistake after an outcry from the right.
Gibbs went on to cite McCain's positions on off shore oil drilling and abortion. On Tuesday, McCain proposed lifting the moratorium on off shore drilling, but in 1999, "championed the off shore oil drilling ban in California," Gibbs said. Gibbs added that McCain's new position was a pander to the oil executives McCain was speaking to in Houston where he proposed lifting the ban.
McCain said that with gas prices at record highs it was imperative to expand energy options.
Gibbs also cited McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina telling Clinton supporters in a conference call, per Newsweek, that McCain has never signed on to efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade. But McCain has been staunchly anti-abortion rights and, per Gibbs, McCain said in 2007, "I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned." He also has reassured conservative groups that "he'd appt pro-life judges," Gibbs said.
This week shows McCain is "quite comfortable saying one thing to one audience and another thing to another audience," Gibbs added.
The campaign insisted that the charges of flip-flopping by McCain were different from its own candidate foregoing public general election funds despite having said he is for a public finance system. The campaign further insisted there was a meeting between its attorney, Bob Bauer and the McCain camp's Trevor Potter about public funding.
Despite Potter saying yesterday that no specifics or "negotiations" were discussed or made, Gibbs said Obama would have entered the public finance system if "McCain tightened the loopholes on governing the finances of general elections. Despite what Trevor Potter says, they sat down and they obviously had no interest in doing any of that."
On the issue of Latino outreach, at least two reporters expressed either frustration or cast doubt on how much of an effort was being made by the Obama campaign.
"There seems to be a disconnect between the way that the campaign articulates the message of change" and outreach to the Latino community, one said. The reporter went on to say that she had "not seen much" of the Obama campaign canvassing or interacting online with bloggers. Another said she agreed and added that she has "had a frustrating time" getting access to the candidate for interviews.
Gibbs defended the campaign's efforts and the candidates' stances on issues specific to Latinos.
"I don't think there's been a campaign in the history of the United States to reach out, especially online to every part of the American electorate," Gibbs said. "That's something we'll continue to do, particularly in the Hispanic community."
He added that when Latinos take a look at issues from immigration to foreign policy to the economy, "they'll decide on changing Washington and vote for Barack Obama."