In defense of John McCain's 2008 defense of Obama

Sen. John McCain was certainly not a man above reproach.

The storied, Republican Arizona lawmaker who passed away on Saturday leaves a long legacy filled with heroism, courage, and decency. At the same time, many of his critics believe he leaved a legacy of bigotry and racism, and he is not worthy of the posthumous praise.

Those critics tend to point to one particular moment during the 2008 presidential campaign, in Lakeville, Minn. One town hall questioner posited that then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama was “an Arab” or a Muslim.

“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, um, he’s an Arab,” one woman said to McCain, prompting him to shake his head and grab the microphone from her hands.

“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.”