GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary
© Getty Images

An absent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBudowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 Conservative group cuts ties with Michelle Malkin Democratic debate at Tyler Perry's could miss the mark with black voters MORE brought both sides of the aisle together Thursday at a Capitol screening of a soon-to-be-released HBO documentary about the Arizona Republican.

“You rarely meet great people … Great human beings — few. He’s one of them,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (D-N.Y.) told an audience of lawmakers, staffers, friends and family gathered at the Capitol Visitor Center for the screening of “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

“His story is a story of American heroism personified,” Schumer said of the Vietnam War prisoner of war, who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. When he thinks of his colleague McCain, Schumer quipped, “I think of his steadfastness, which could also be called stubbornness. His biting sense of humor, which could also be called cantankerous.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Eighty-one-year-old McCain agreed shortly after his July 2017 cancer diagnosis to participate in the HBO film, which premieres on the premium cable network on Memorial Day.

“We all miss him very dearly. We wish his speedy recovery,” Schumer said of McCain, who is in Arizona. “And with all due respect to the doctors who are treating him, I look forward to seeing John again soon in the flesh.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (R-Ky.) also heaped praise on the six-term lawmaker and former GOP presidential nominee.

“Each of us who’s served with John McCain can remember a time when he was our fiercest ally, and a time when he was our most maddening opponent,” McConnell said.

“His side-splitting jokes, his big smile, and the fact that he always did what he truly thought best for the country would never fail to win you back in the end — even if you had been in a big fight,” McConnell said.

“I miss our friend,” added McConnell — who said he visited McCain and his wife, Cindy, last Sunday. “I’m glad he’s being honored with this film.”

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Report on alleged surveillance abuse in 2016 to be released Dec. 9 McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest friend in Congress, said, “I always say, ‘I’ll be short,’ and John says, ‘Well, you are.’ ”

“The reason our colleagues are here is because they respect John,” Graham said of the bipartisan show of force, “and if you have not been on the other side of John, that means you didn’t do much in the Senate.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Minn.) jested that it was a “real badge of honor” among Democrats to “be called a Socialist or to get a call from [McCain saying,] ‘You were pretty good on TV, for a Communist.”

Among those eyed at the screening: the senator’s 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain; his brother, Joe McCain; daughter Sidney McCain; Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowOvernight Energy: EPA delays board's review of 'secret science' rules | Keystone pipeline spill affecting more land than thought | Dems seek probe into Forest Service grants tied to Alaska logging Democrats ask for investigation of Forest Service grant related to logging in Tongass National Forest Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda MORE (D-Mich.); Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' Senators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy MORE (D-Ill.); Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonHundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Veterans face growing threat from online disinformation Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid MORE (R-Ga.); John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.); Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Senators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill MORE (R-Miss.); Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenProgressive group to spend as much as M to turn out young voters On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows MORE (D-N.H.) and Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (R-Tenn.) having a bipartisan pow-wow and cracking jokes at a reception table outside the Congressional Auditorium; CNN’s Dana Bash, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Mass.); Tammy Haddad; Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president MORE (D-Colo.); Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidySchumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria MORE (R-La.); Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Impeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day MORE (R-Alaska); Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSondland testifies quid pro quo in Ukraine was real and widely known Dem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens Former Bush aide defends Vindman, criticizes GOP congressmen for 'defaming' him MORE (R-Wis.) chatting with Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule MORE (R-Mo.) and “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff; and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Tenn.).