Republican Presidential Candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks at a Town Hall Meeting while on the campaign trail in the Toyota Arena August 12, 2008 in York, Pennsylvania.
William Thomas Cain—Getty Images
By Lisa Marie Segarra
July 20, 2017

In a widely-circulated video from the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain calls for respect for his then-opponent and eventual victor, President Barack Obama.

A woman 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 and take the microphone from 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.”

McCain continued to defend Obama during the event even as his supporters voiced their surprise in the background.

“He is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as Pf resident,” McCain said. “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.”

McCain was recently diagnosed with a form of brain cancer, it was announced Wednesday. Obama joined other politicians in tweeting 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.”

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