McCain, Obama Court Latino VotersBy VOA News
28 June 2008

Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, speaks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Washington, 28 June 2008U.S. presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama Saturday courted Latino voters, a critical voting bloc in the race for the White House.

The candidates addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials during the organization's annual conference in Washington.

Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, said, "This election may well come down to how many Latinos turn out to vote."

He added that immigration reform will be a top priority if he is elected president. Obama said the country must secure its borders and provide a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million illegal immigrants already living in the United States.

McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, also vowed to make immigration reform a top priority.

Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, speaks to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Washington, 28 June 2008The Arizona Senator said he will bring both parties together to pass immigration reform that secures the U.S. borders. McCain said, "I want to assure you that we will address this in a humane and compassionate fashion."

On Friday, Obama and his former rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, joined forces in an effort to unite a party fractured by a long and bruising contest.

During a joint appearance in the symbolically-chosen town of Unity, New Hampshire, Clinton urged her supporters to help elect Obama president.

On Friday, McCain told supporters in Ohio that he still hopes to win over some former Clinton supporters who may hesitate to back Obama. voa news