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11 years ago today, McCain congratulated Obama on historic nomination

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During the 2008 presidential campaign exactly August 28, 2008 — 11 years ago today — then-Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain put out a video congratulating then-Sen. Barack Obama on winning the Democratic nomination.

Obama became the first African-American candidate to accept the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

McCain, who represented Arizona in the US Senate and died of brain cancer in August 2018, took the night off to recognize his rival candidate’s huge milestone.

“Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America,” McCain said.

“Too often, the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say congratulations, how perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it. But tonight, Senator, job well done,” he added.

Read more: John McCain famously shut down a racist voter at a 2008 campaign event, now the video is going viral after Trump did nothing to stop racist chants at his rally

When Obama entered Democratic primary race in the winter of 2007, he was a little-known, less than one-term US Senator from Illinois going up against a powerful opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

While Clinton was heavily favored to win at first, Obama pulled off an upset in the primaries with victories in the crucial early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina. He ended up winning 33 states, securing the nomination.

McCain’s congratulating and acknowledging Obama wasn’t the only time the revered late US Senator spoke positively of his opponent on the campaign trail.

At 2008 campaign events, McCain famously rebuked attendees who spread fear or misinformation about Obama. In response to a man who said he “scared” of Obama, McCain assured him, “you do not have to be scared.”

And when another woman said she didn’t “trust” him, and falsely claimed that Obama was “an Arab,” McCain said, “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’s all about.”

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