In the weeks following former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett's death, several national news media outlets published stories praising the Utah politician for comments he made about Muslims and their acceptance in America, shortly before his death.
In late April the Deseret News reported about Bennett's battle with pancreatic cancer and a stroke. He told the Deseret News "I want to go to every Muslim and say thank you for being in our country…," and, like many other politicians, Bennett expressed his distaste in the tone and tenor of the Republican presidential race as he remarked "I want to apologize on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump."
The Daily Beast picked up on the Deseret News' interview with the Bennetts a few weeks after the former senator's death and followed up with their own interview with Bennett's family.
"He would go to people with the hijab (on) and tell them he was glad they were in America, and they were welcome here," Bennett's wife Joyce told The Daily Beast. "He wanted to apologize on behalf of the Republican Party.”
Quartz followed suit, citing the Deseret News and Daily Beast interviews with the Bennetts, and adding that Bennett's thoughts on the treatment of Muslims seemed to be frequently on his mind in the weeks and months leading up to his death.
NBC News echoed the report that in Bennett's last days he approached Muslims to offer his well-wishes to them — even going as far as to ask his son, Jim, if there were any Muslims in the same hospital as him so he could thank them for their residence in the United States.
An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bennett's faith was also at the forefront of his thoughts as cancer and a stroke left him partially paralyzed. Bennett "recognized parallel between the Mormon experience and the Muslim experience," The Week reported, and he "wanted to see these people treated with kindness and not ostracized."