Senator John McCain, who died earlier this week, is currently being remembered for a lot of reasons. However, there is one moment from his political career that has proven to be truly unforgettable.
One of the most famous political moments from his life is the incident where he cut off one of his supporters midway as he made a racist comment about Barack Obama, who was also running for office at that time.
Several of John McCain’s political moments during his election campaign back in 2008 came under media attention. However, one of the most famous ones was when he interrupted his supporter midway when she declared Obama as an Arab and expressed her mistrust for him.
John immediately interrupted her and stated, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign issue is all about.”
Watch a video of the interaction:
John McCain’s statement sparked worldwide appreciation, though he also got his fair share of hatred and lost some support. Now, after his death, many are remembering the incident, though the reactions are still mixed. Some are pointing out that it was unnecessary and insulting for McCain to assert that Obama was not an Arab, and that his statement was in fact racist itself.
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
In an age of political venality, cowardice & mediocrity, John McCain was a giant. A man whose principles prevented him from accepting release from torture – & whose principles survived the temptation of the highest office, when he publicly rejected false lurid claims about Obama.
— Sam McBride (@SJAMcBride) August 26, 2018
Tonight -we remember a true leader
May his dignity, courage & humility be a guide to us all.
Tonight- I remember a Presidential nominee defending his opponent bc it was the right thing to do #greatamerican@SenJohnMcCain Counters Obama 'Arab' Question https://t.co/DbK1JTQioo
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) August 26, 2018
RIP John McCain who called out his own supporters & defended his presidential opponent Barack Obama against bigotry and hatred… A politician with true class where many who see stirring up race hatred as a legitimate way of gaining a political advantage. pic.twitter.com/XMcgkJnE5D
— Britgirl Hates Brexit #FBPE???? (@MarieAnnUK) August 26, 2018
Many said he could have denied the woman’s aggressive statement without making it seem as if being an Arab is something that falls outside of the ambit of being decent and civil.
Incredible how that clip of John McCain saying that 'Obama isn't an Arab, he's a decent family man' is actually being portrayed as his finest moment lmao.
Here's Ben Affleck breaking down how McCain's response was actually pretty damn racist. pic.twitter.com/FtDofqjtzJ
— Umaar Kazmi (@UmaarKazmi) August 26, 2018
Let’s say John McCain wasn’t conflating being Arab with not being a decent family man in reply to the lady at the rally. Say it was a reflexive shut down of an Obama birther rant. When did common decency, the bare minimum, become the ultimate example of leadership and class?
— Jennine Khalik (@jennineak) August 27, 2018
I can't believe people are sharing that clip of John McCain defending Obama when he was accused of being an Arab when it was literally one of the most hurtful moments of my life.
— Diana Hussein (@heyadiana) August 26, 2018
McCain reportedly also asked for one of former presidents Obama or Bush to give a eulogy at his funeral.
In a statement released after McCain’s death, Obama’s regard for the senator was clear.
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own,” Obama wrote. “At John’s best, he showed us what that means.”