With an estimated 9.2 million Hispanic voters poised to play a critical role in November, John McCain and Barack Obama each pledged Saturday to make immigration overhaul a priority as they courted influential Hispanic leaders whose votes could be pivotal in key swing states like Florida.
''It'll be my top priority yesterday, today and tomorrow,'' McCain said.
Speaking an hour later, Obama credited McCain with championing immigration reform that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but accused his rival of abandoning the cause as he courts the conservative base of the Republican Party. The rivals both support comprehensive reform, though McCain has lately emphasized a need to first secure the nation's borders.
''What [McCain] didn't mention is when he was running for his party's nomination, he walked away from that commitment,'' Obama said. ``If we are going to solve the challenges we face, we can't vacillate, we can't shift depending on politics.''
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