Would McCain-Kennedy pass in a McCain administration?

On Meet the Press just now, John McCain was asked by Tim Russert if he would sign into law the legislation he wrote with Ted Kennedy on immigration reform. Note: the legislation, McCain-Kennedy, continues to serve as a framework for comprehensive immigration reform. McCain responded by alluding to the fact that the people don't necessarily want it. Perhaps he hasn't seen the polls.

Many remember the most recent attempt in the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put in the time and effort to try to get a good bill passed, but Republicans in the Senate blocked any good legislation from going forward. To this day, many wonder why John McCain distanced himself from the battle inside Congress until he appeared at a press conference with his colleagues in the Senate to try to save the bill.

The particular part of the transcript is below. Take a look at it and offer your thoughts on McCain and immigration in the context of the 2008 campaign.

MR. RUSSERT: If the Senate passed your bill, S1433, the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...would you as president sign it?

SEN. McCAIN: Yeah, but we--look, the lesson is it isn't won. It isn't going to come. It isn't going to come. The lesson is they want the border secured first. That's the lesson. I come from a border state. I know how to fix those borders with walls, with UAVs, with sensors, with cameras, with vehicle barriers. They want the border secured first. And I will do that, and, as president, I will have the border state governors secure--certify those borders are secured. And then we will have a temporary worker program with tamper-proof biometric documents, and any employer who employs someone in any other circumstances will be prosecuted. That means a lot of people will leave just, just normally because they're not going to be able to get their job. Then, of course, we have to get rid of two million people who have committed crimes here. We have to round them up and deport them. As far as the others are concerned, we were in an ongoing debate and discussion when this whole thing collapsed, and part of that, I think, has to be a humane approach. Part of it has to be maybe people have to go back to the country that they came from for a period of time while we look at it. But the principle that the American people want, secure the borders, reward no one ahead of someone who has either waited or has come to this country legally because they have broken our laws to come here. But I'm confident--look, there's, there's humanitarian situations. There's a soldier who's missing in action in Iraq. His wife was here illegally. America's not going to deport her. We have humanitarian circumstances. America's a generous Judeo-Christian valued nation, and we can sit down together. The--all leading Republican candidates now just about agree that with--using those principles that I just articulated, we can fix it. But secure the borders first.

MR. RUSSERT: But you would sign your bill...

SEN. McCAIN: It's not going to come across my desk.

MR. RUSSERT: It won't pass.

SEN. McCAIN: I--if pigs fly, then--look...

MR. RUSSERT: So it's dead.

SEN. McCAIN: The bill, the bill is dead as it is written. We know that. We know that. And the bill is going to have to be, and I would sign it, securing the borders first and articulating those principles that I did. That's what we got out of this last very divisive and tough debate. And we have to get those borders secured. That's what Americans want first.