Politicians from both sides of the political aisle mourned the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Saturday while honoring his legacy as a lawmaker and war hero.
The 81-year-old Vietnam veteran died one day after his family announced he would be ending his treatment for brain cancer. McCain was diagnosed in July 2017 and spent most of the following year receiving treatment in Arizona, while continuing his work as a senator.
McCain was a longtime Republican and conservative, but he earned respect as a lawmaker from both Republicans and Democrats, even as he feuded with President Donald Trump.
Reacting to news of McCain’s death, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted, “America and Freedom have lost on of her greatest champions.”
Graham added, “I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised McCain’s drive to speak the truth.
“His dedication to his Country and the military were unsurpassed,” Schumer wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was McCain’s running mate during the 2008 presidential election, had a strained relationship with the senator after he admitted he regretted picking her to be his vice presidential candidate.
On Saturday, however, Palin said McCain was her friend and vowed to “remember the good times.”
Below, see how political figures paid tribute to McCain:
Former President Barack Obama
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
Ryan also issued a longer statement:
This is a sad day for the United States. Our country has lost a decorated war hero and statesman. John McCain was a giant of our time—not just for the things he achieved, but for who he was and what he fought for all his life. John put principle before politics. He put country before self. He was one of the most courageous men of the century. He will always be listed among freedom’s most gallant and faithful servants. Our hearts are with his wife, Cindy, his children, and his grandchildren. This Congress, this country mourn with them.
Former Vice President Al Gore
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R)
Former President Jimmy Carter
U.S. Naval Air Forces
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)
John Weaver, McCain’s former chief strategist
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.)
Former President George H. W. Bush
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