Former President Obama praised Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ 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 TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE was not invited to the service, but his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpHard choices in training Americans for AI workplace of future Ex-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events MORE and her husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE attended, along with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges 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.