McCain: Inadequate border security a result of 2008 election loss to Obama

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) attributed Washington's failure to provide "proper security" along the United States-Mexico border to his losing the 2008 presidential election.

McCain was asked about securing the border and providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants during an interview with the Arizona Daily Star.

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"If I were president, I would have come forward with a proposal. And people keep coming to me and saying what's your proposal? I say look, I lost the election. Hello. You know, I'm reminded of that every day," McCain said.

The Tucson paper's editorial board noted that he represents a border state affected by Washington's inaction.

"Yes. Yes. I do. But so does the senator from New Mexico and the senators from California and all the border states all along. But it seems to me that the proposal should come, it's the obligation of the president of the United States to come forward with what he thinks is a proposal and then maybe we can all work together and get it resolved," he said. 

"So what have I done?" he added. "Not enough."

Still, McCain said he expects to hold hearings on border security when the Senate reconvenes next week.

"We hopefully will get some better indication what the administration is going to do or not to or whatever their plans are," he said. "I do know that Janet Napolitano takes [the recent death of an Arizona rancher] very seriously, she is very concerned about it. They did say they were going to have like a mini surge of sending customs and border people down here. So she is not oblivious to the impact of this murder. And we have a very good relationship. Talk about partisanship, we have an excellent relationship. And I think she is doing a good job."

McCain's primary opponent accused him of being unwilling to take action on border issues.

"As a Senator he holds the power to introduce bills, to bring solutions to problems, and to rally support," former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) said in statement. "I don't think he's powerless to get anything done, I think he's unwilling. He doesn't want to lose that darling status."