Former President Barack Obama has delivered his tribute to Senator John McCain who died on Saturday at age 81. Obama praised his 2008 Republican presidential election opponent as a man who made sacrifices for the greater good.
McCain was faithful to “something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed,” Obama said.
For all their differences, Obama said he and McCain both viewed their political battles as a “privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home and to advance them around the world.”
He observed that few people have been tested as much as McCain was but that “all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own.”
Also, former Vice President Joe Biden honored McCain as well, saying he had been a friend and spoke on his contributions to the U.S.
“John McCain’s life is proof that some truths are timeless. Character. Courage. Integrity. Honor,” Biden said in a statement. “A life lived embodying those truths casts a long, long shadow. His impact on America hasn’t ended. Not even close. It will go on for many years to come.”
“To me, more than anything, John was a friend,” he added. “America will miss John McCain. The world will miss John McCain. And I will miss him dearly.”
Read the full statements from Obama and Biden below:
Barack Obama’s Comments on the Death of John McCainJohn 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.
John McCain was many things – a proud graduate of the Naval Academy, a Senate colleague, a political opponent. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend. He will be missed dearly.