A viral 2008 clip of then-Republican presidential nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain criticizing a supporter for calling then-Democratic nominee and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama “an Arab” is resurfacing in the wake of comments made this week by President Donald Trump.
But while the left is celebrating McCain now, they treated him very differently when he was running for president.
Trump has been feuding this week with “the squad,” which consists of four progressive freshman lawmakers: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
Democrats and the establishment media criticized Trump for a series of tweets Sunday that appeared to take aim at the four lawmakers.
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” the president tweeted.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” he added.
Trump has since doubled-down on those comments, while the four congresswomen have relentlessly attacked him and referred to his remarks as “racist.”
Fuel was added to the fire when Trump supporters started chanting during a rally on Wednesday, referring to Omar, “Send her back.”
Trump has disavowed that chant, saying, “I disagree with it.”
But that hasn’t stopped many on the left and in the establishment media from hearkening back to “the good old days” of Republicans like McCain.
They’ve particularly pointed to an instance from 2008, in the midst of the presidential campaign, when a McCain supporter told the senator at one his rallies: “I can’t trust Obama.”
“I have read about him and he’s not — he’s not — he’s an Arab,” the woman added.
McCain responded, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”
“And that’s what this campaign is all about,” McCain added.
A clip of the viral moment was tweeted out Thursday by the progressive news outlet NowThis:
Watch John McCain shut down conspiracy and xenophobia during the 2008 campaign pic.twitter.com/M8kuN4QABs
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 18, 2019
Many on social media expressed how much they “miss” McCain, who died last year.
Senator McCain was a good man who challenged and corrected the flame-throwers in his audiences. President Trump fans the flames and encourages their racist chants–and then pretends he didn’t. https://t.co/il6lPbbvHO
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 18, 2019
I really miss John McCain right now ? #ThursdayThoughts
— Belle (@BellSchmid) July 18, 2019
On weeks like this, on day like this, I miss John McCain the most.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 18, 2019
“The only way President Trump will stop is when Republicans on the other side have the honor, the decency, the courage to tell him to stop, and all we hear is silence and diversions from [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday. “This is a moment. There’s no John McCain anymore.”
Chuck Schumer: “The only way Pres. Trump will stop is when Republicans on the other side have the honor, the decency, the courage to tell him to stop, and all we hear is silence and diversions from Leader McConnell … This is a moment. There’s no John McCain anymore.”
Via ABC pic.twitter.com/YNr3xCZfDZ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 18, 2019
But those on the left who are praising McCain this week seem to have selective memories.
Back in 2008, when McCain was running for president, he was smeared as a racist — or something very close to it — by liberals and the establishment media.
“Is McCain Resorting To Racial Attacks?” read the headline of an NPR transcript from October 2008.
“McCain’s Racist Surge,” a 2008 HuffPost headline blared.
Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, meanwhile, invoked the segregationist former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in criticizing McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.
“What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history,” Lewis told Politico. “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.”
The point is that while they’re celebrating him now, the left had no issues suggesting McCain was a racist back when he had a chance at becoming president.
The Washington Examiner’s Jay Caruso pointed out the hypocrisy in a Thursday tweet.
I see John McCain is trending. A bunch of people waxing poetic about how “There’s no John McCain anymore.” Hollow words from the same people who called him a racist in 2008 or didn’t object when others did.
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) July 18, 2019
“I see John McCain is trending,” Caruso wrote. “A bunch of people waxing poetic about how ‘There’s no John McCain anymore.’ Hollow words from the same people who called him a racist in 2008 or didn’t object when others did.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.