SALT LAKE CITY — A clip of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain went viral in the immediate hours after his death.
The 2008 video shows the late senator defending his then-presidential campaign opponent Barack Obama from a McCain supporter, who shared a racist conspiracy theory that Obama was an “Arab.”
“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, um, he’s an Arab,” a woman told McCain in the video clip.
But McCain, who died one day after his family said he would discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer, seized the microphone and defended his opponent.
“No, ma'am,” he said. “He’s a decent family man (and) citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what the campaign’s all about. He’s not (an Arab).”
Watch the clip below.
Politico reported at the time that McCain’s defense inspired boos from the crowd at the town hall meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota.
But, according to The Hill, the clip was cheered and praised on social media over the weekend. Author Stephen King called it McCain’s “finest moment” while singer-songwriter Bill Madden called it a moment of “decency.”
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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 26, 2018
I'll always remember one John McCain's finest moments: In a packed auditorium full of Republican bigots, a woman w/the mic said abt Obama: "I have read abt him ... he's an Arab."— Bill Madden (@activist360) August 26, 2018
McCain said "No, ma'am ... He's not."
Something Trump would've NEVER had the human decency to do.
RIP Senator McCain. No man is perfect but you had more class & civil service in your pinky than Trump' whole body. In an era where tweets & rallies are so gross & awful, I fondly remember the day McCain stopped a lady from calling Obama an Arab & stood up for empirical truth.— Stephanie Mickus (@smickable) August 26, 2018