Sen. John McCain called on Donald Trump to “respect the decision of the majority” on Election Day, pointing to his own loss to President Obama in 2008 as an example.
“I didn’t like the outcome of the 2008 election,” McCain said. “But I had a duty to concede, and I did so without reluctance. A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility.”
McCain, R-Ariz., is running for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate and has been critical of Trump, revoking his endorsement earlier this month after Trump was heard making lewd comments about women on a leaked video tape from 2005.
McCain noted in his statement that there are “irregularities in our elections, sometimes even fraud,” but said he believes it never changed the outcome of an election.
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McCain did not name Trump in his statement and said he doesn’t know who will win on Nov. 8.
“I do know that in every previous election, the loser congratulates the winner and calls them, ‘my president,'” McCain said in the statement. “That’s not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It’s the American way. This election must not be any different.”
Trump would not pledge to accept the results of the election when asked about it during the final presidential debate Wednesday night.