Former President Obama praised Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMegan McCain knocks Trump over comments honoring POWs Esper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response MORE's (R-Ariz.) ability to transcend partisan fights at his funeral on Saturday while blasting the "bombast and insult and phony controversies" of the current political climate.

Obama praised McCain, his 2008 presidential rival, during a eulogy at his funeral service in Washington, saying the longtime Arizona senator called on Americans to be "bigger" than politics based on "fear."

"So much of our politics, public life, public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast, and insult, and phony controversies, and manufactured outrage," Obama told those gathered at the Washington National Cathedral.


"It's the politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear," Obama said. "John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that."

During his remarks, Obama recalled how the senator would sometimes visit him at the White House for private discussions on policy.

"Our disagreements didn't go away during these private conversations," Obama told attendees. 

"Those were real and they were often deep. But we enjoyed the time we shared away from the bright lights, and we laughed with each other, and we learned from each other," he added.

The former president said that, despite their political differences, he always knew he and McCain were acting out of a shared desire to do what was best for the country.

"We never doubted the other man's sincerity or the other man's patriotism or that, when all is said and done, we were on the same team," Obama said.

"John was a pretty conservative guy. Trust me, I was on the receiving end of some of those votes. But he did understand that some principles transcend politics. Some values transcend party," he added.

Obama joined former President George W. Bush and McCain's daughter Meghan McCain in delivering speeches eulogizing the former senator, who died last weekend at the age of 81 after a battle with brain cancer.

Various public figures, dignitaries and lawmakers from both parties attended the funeral services Saturday.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE was not invited to the service, but his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpPrivate equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE and her husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure to pass federal privacy law Hillicon Valley: Google bans Zoom from its work computers | Dem cautions White House against using surveillance to fight virus | Lawmakers push House leaders on remote voting MORE attended, along with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisDebrief — America needs a 'ferociously bipartisan' coronavirus commission Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump House Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis MORE and White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, among others.

The former senator will be laid to rest Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy, his alma mater, in Annapolis, Md.