Hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech to the nation on Thursday night claiming that the presidential election had been stolen, the 2008 concession speech of the late Senator John McCain became public.
McCain, who lost to former President Barack Obama 12 years ago, began his speech by congratulating Obama on his presidency.
“We have come to the end of a long road. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly,” McCain said. “Some time ago I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country we both love.
Despite the booing from the crowd, McCain continued with his speech, not only accepting defeat but also congratulating Obama on his campaign to inspire Americans to vote.
“Obama] managed to [win]by raising the hopes of so many millions of Americans who once mistakenly believed they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president,” he said.
The senator recognized the historic significance Obama’s victory had for African Americans and vowed to do everything in his power to help Obama lead the country during his presidency.
“Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans, and please believe me when I say that no association has ever meant more to me than this,” McCain concluded.
By 23:15 ET, the video had been viewed more than 5.2 million times.
Watch John McCain’s remarkable concession speech from the 2008 pic.twitter.com/FcUc48IDDe election
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 5, 2020
McCain’s words in 2008 contrast to what many heard from the White House on Thursday night.
Although votes are still being counted in several states in the presidential race, the race is narrowing in key swing states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, and Democratic candidate Joe Biden appears to be favored to win the 270 votes needed to win the election.
However, the Trump campaign went on the offensive and claimed victory, arguing that the ballots yet to be tabulated were cases of widespread voter fraud.
The campaign has filed lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania to stop the counting of ballots and has requested a recount in Wisconsin. Trump’s team has also filed lawsuits for absentee ballots in Georgia, where the president is now ahead by less than 2,000 votes.
On Thursday, Trump broke his recent silence in a speech in which he addressed the ongoing vote count.
“If you count the legal vote, I win easily. If you count the illegal votes, they may try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that are late, we will take a very close look at them. Many votes were late,” he said.
Trump continued, “I have talked at length about the postal vote. That really destroyed our system. It is a corrupt system. And it has made us corrupt, even though we are not corrupt by nature. It is too simple. You wait and wait and you see that on election night.”
A number of prominent Republicans pledged not to support the president’s re-election, citing McCain’s well-known campaign message of “country first.
McCain and Trump clashed in the past, with Trump even once calling the former prisoner of war a loser.
“He lost, so I never liked him so much after that, because I don’t like losers,” Trump said in 2015, adding that McCain was “not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who have not been captured”.
In September, McCain’s widow Cindy Biden endorsed him as president and tweeted: “My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans first and foremost. In this race there is only one candidate who stands for our values as a nation, and that is Joe Biden.
Cindy McCain ran on behalf of the former vice president in virtual events for veterans and military families. McCain’s daughter Meghan and 131 former employees of the former vice president also supported Biden’s candidacy.
Washington Newsday turned to the McCain Institute for comment, but did not hear a response before publication….