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Sen. Schumer: Trump's handling of 'send her back' chants was no John McCain moment

The Senate Minority Leader recalled what then-presidential candidate John McCain did in 2008 when 'racism emerged at his town hall meeting.'

Schumer compares Trump's handling of 'send her back' chants to John McCain 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer chastised President Donald Trump's handling of his supporters chanting "send her back" after he assailed a young Democratic congresswoman who he's suggested should leave the U.S.

"There is no John McCain anymore. When this type of bitter racism emerged at his town hall meeting, he rejected it publicly," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "When somebody used it against then-candidate Obama. It went down as history as one of his finest moments, where are the fine moments of my colleagues?" 

He urged people to call their senators "and tell them to tell President Trump to stop this. Argue the merits, argue the issues, stop this appeal to the worst instincts." 

Schumer was referring to a Oct. 2008 campaign event when then-presidential candidate McCain took the microphone from a supporter after she said she couldn't trust Obama because "he's an Arab."

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"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 is all about," McCain responded. 

Trump said Thursday he was unhappy with his supporters chanting "send her back" and claimed he tried to stop the chant by "speaking very quickly." Video from the rally showed the president paused his remarks, appearing to take in the uproar but did not directly address the chant. 

"I was not happy with it," Trump said a day later as some prominent Republicans criticized the chant at the president's re-election event. He said he "would certainly try" to stop the chant should it return at a subsequent rally. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)