Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.AP
- Sen. John McCain died on Saturday, one day after his family announced he would be discontinuing his brain cancer treatment.
- Former presidents, world leaders, and Congress mourned his passing and offered their condolences for his family.
Sen. John McCain died on Saturday, one day after his family announced he would be discontinuing his brain cancer treatment.
McCain, a six-term US senator, earned both praise and criticism during his long tenure. But despite political differences, he earned the respect from his colleagues for his storied military service and plain-spoken views.
Former presidents, world leaders, and Congress mourned his passing and offered their condolences for his family.
Here’s what they had to say:
Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama
“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.
We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.
Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
Former President George W. Bush
“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.
He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. And to me, he was a friend whom I’ll deeply miss.
Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Cindy and the entire McCain family, and our thanks to God for the life of John McCain.”
Former President Bill Clinton and former secretary of state and first lady Hillary Clinton
“Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day.
He was a skilled, tough politician, as well as a trusted colleague alongside whom Hillary was honored to serve in the Senate. He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do.
I will always be especially grateful for his leadership in our successful efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Cindy, his mother, Roberta, his children, and his entire family.”
Former President Jimmy Carter
REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM)
“John McCain was a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word.
Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate.
Rosalynn and I extend our sincere condolences to Senator McCain’s family and to the people of Arizona whom he represented so forthrightly for so many years.”
President Donald Trump
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!,” Trump said on Twitter.
Sen. Lindsey Graham
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
“America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of McCain’s closest friends, said on Twitter. “And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.”
“I will need some time to absorb this, but I want Cindy —and the entire McCain family — to know they are in my prayers,” Graham added.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York
“As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them.
His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller – never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare. The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain.
Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
“Today is a deeply sad day for the Senate and for our nation. Elaine and I join all Americans in mourning the passing of our dear friend and colleague Senator John McCain.
In an era filled with cynicism about national unity and public service, John McCain’s life shone as a bright example. He showed us that boundless patriotism and self-sacrifice are not outdated concepts or clichés, but the building blocks of an extraordinary American life.
Generations of McCains have served in our great Navy. John followed their example with distinction. And from his cell in Hanoi to the halls of the Senate, he never stopped fighting with courage and determination – first for his country, then for the people of Arizona, and always for the ideals he believed in most.
It is fitting that this war hero and history-changing legislator should leave us as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. John was a constant advocate for his fellow veterans and those currently serving in uniform, standing up for the benefits and care they so earned by defending our freedom. His dedication to them is just one reason among so many why he earned the utmost respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
It’s an understatement to say the Senate will not be the same without our friend John. I will treasure the many memories we’ve shared together through the years.
The nation mourns the loss of a great American patriot, a statesman who put his country first and enriched this institution through many years of service. The Senate is keeping Cindy, the McCain family, all John’s friends and staff, and the people of Arizona in our prayers at this tremendously difficult time.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
“Senator John McCain was a patriot, and an extraordinary American war hero.
Born into a storied Navy family, he spent his entire life in service to his country, including 22 years in the Navy, five and a half of which were spent under the boots of North Vietnamese communists in a Hanoi prison.
First elected to Congress during the Reagan Revolution, he championed the strong national defense that he knew would help ensure the survival of freedom and liberty across the globe. He did things his way, and conducted two campaigns for President of the United States with honor and integrity.
Today, the State of Arizona, and our entire nation, have lost a great public servant. He was larger than life. Although he and I sometimes disagreed, I was deeply privileged to serve with him and proud to call him a friend.
Heidi and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Cindy, and to the entire McCain family, as they grieve the loss of a loving husband, father, and grandfather. May he rest in peace.”
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
“John McCain’s sacrifices to his country are immeasurable. With his passing today, America has lost more than a leader and more than a senator. We have lost a true American hero.
As a colleague in the Senate and a friend, I drew personal inspiration from his leadership, intellect and moral courage. He set the standard for what we should expect from our soldiers and from our public servants of all levels.
In this time of grief, I hope John’s family finds comfort in knowing that this extraordinary man touched countless lives, and his memory will continue to set the standard of leadership and moral resolve for future generations.”