Senator John McCain, "who says he will court the African-American vote this year and campaign in places Republicans often shun," spoke in Memphis on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
But his speech was met with boos and interruptions from many in the audience, as he apologized for repeatedly opposing the creation of a holiday to celebrate King's legacy.
(The image of a black man holding an umbrella over McCain's head while he gave the speech didn't exactly complement the moment.)
Take a look:
McCain voted against the creation of a holiday honoring King in 1983, a vote which was supported by a large number of Republicans. McCain claimed this week that he was largely unaware on the importance of King's work at the time, due to his Vietnam-era service overseas. Speaking on Thursday to reporters, he explained that his conversion occurred around 1990:
"I voted in my...first year in Congress against it and then I began to learn and I studied and people talked to me. And I not only supported it but I fought very hard in my home state of Arizona for recognition against a governor who was of my own party."
But McCain's voting record since 1990 doesn't support this explanation. In addition to voting to oppose a state holiday in 1987 (which he later supported) and a federal holiday in 1989, McCain voted in 1994 to cut funding for the commission that promoted King's holiday.