John McCain called for respect for his presidential opponent and eventual victor, President Barack Obama back in a widely-circulated 2008 video. Many considered his defense of former president Obama one of the most highly respected moments of McCain’s political career.
In response to a man who claimed that many people were “scared” of Obama becoming president, McCain had nothing but praise for his opponent and assured the crowd that they had nothing to be afraid of if Obama were elected.
“He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as President, and you do not have to be scared,” McCain said earlier in the video. “If I didn’t think I’d be one heck of a better President I wouldn’t be running, and that’s the point. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments, I will respect him. I want everyone to be respectful, and let’s make sure we are. Because that’s the way politics should be conducted in America.”
A woman then came up to McCain at a rally and said, “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, he’s not — he’s an Arab.” Her comment prompted McCain to immediately shake his head, take the microphone and politely correct her.
“No ma’am,” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
Senator McCain passed away last Saturday following a year-long battle with a rare form of brain cancer, Glioblastoma. After announcing that he would be discontinuing medical treatment, he declined quickly and inevitably lost his battle with cancer within the day. McCain died on August 25, surrounded by his wife Cindy and his family.
Shortly after his diagnosis in July 2017, Obama joined other politicians in his support for McCain, tweeting that “John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known. Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.”
Several twitter users considered McCain’s defense of Obama during his bid for president one of the finest moments in his career.
“John McCain’s finest moment (for me) came in 2008, when a woman at a rally referred to Obama as an Arab. “No, ma’am,” McCain replied. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with.” That’s manning up,” author Stephen King wrote.
Another wrote: “Godspeed [Senator John McCain]. Yes, I didn’t agree w you on a lot of issues. But, during this time of hyper partisanship and lack of civility, you are reminder of service to country — with dignity, courage, and honor.”
Before his death, McCain decided against having President Trump at his funeral, but made sure to invite former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who are expected to speak.