With most predicting he will go down in defeat, Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold earned compliments from his former GOP ally, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainSenate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record Why is the election so close? Experts say it's all in your head MORE, on Monday.
The Arizona senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee has campaigned hard for Republican Senate candidates this cycle while sharply criticizing their Democratic rivals, such as Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerSenators seek to boost women in international forces Overnight Energy: Senate approves Flint aid | Union chief backs Dakota pipeline White House proxy fight breaks out on Senate floor MORE (Calif.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems call for better birth control access for female troops US wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU Senate Dems unveil new public option push for ObamaCare MORE (Wash.) But McCain saved kind words for Feingold (Wis.), with whom he worked on landmark campaign finance reform legislation eight years ago.
Asked on Fox News if he feels bad when his Senate colleagues lose, McCain said, "Yes, and if I may say so, I've grown to have the greatest respect and affection for my friend, Russ Feingold. He's an honest man, a man of great integrity, and I've grown to appreciate him more than ever. And it looks like he might be a casualty tomorrow."
McCain has taken his lumps from critics ever since his presidential campaign for moving to the right instead of championing his bipartisan work in the upper chamber with members like Feingold.
Now the three-term Wisconsin senator is poised to lose to upstart GOP candidate Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonSenate rivals gear up for debates The Trail 2016: Trump seizes on Charlotte violence The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, who leads by high single digits in most polls.
Johnson did not receive an endorsement from McCain, nor did the Arizona senator donate to his campaign.
McCain in January decried the Citizens United Supreme Court decision for knocking down much of the law he passed with Feingold. But so far he has not signed on to legislation requiring greater disclosure for corporate and union political spending.