Pence praises McCain in speech to American Legion

Pence praises McCain in speech to American Legion
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Vice President Pence on Thursday praised the legacy of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAdvice for fellow Democrats: Don't count out Biden, don't fear a brokered convention McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad Eleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix MORE (R-Ariz.) in a speech to the American Legion, just days after the veterans group knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE for the White House's response to McCain's death.

The Washington Post reported that Pence spoke to a national conference of the American Legion in Minneapolis, where he highlighted McCain's service.

“He came from a long line of service in uniform,” Pence said. “He served in the Vietnam War. He spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war, and he did not yield.”

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Pence went on to highlight McCain's work in the Senate, where the vice president said he was “one of the most unwavering advocates of our armed forces to ever serve."

“I can assure you, America will always remember and honor the lifetime of service of United States Senator John McCain,” Pence said. “By honoring him, we also honor all of you.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Pence's remarks received a standing ovation.

The vice president spoke of McCain as the former GOP presidential nominee was being mourned and celebrated at a memorial service in Phoenix.

The White House was widely criticized for its handling of McCain's passing on Saturday. The flags outside the building were raised from half-staff less than 48 hours after the senator died, prompting pushback from lawmakers and veterans' groups.

The American Legion, the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, urged Trump "to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain's death and legacy of service to our nation."

Trump issued a proclamation late Monday afternoon expressing "respect" for McCain's service and saying he would send top members of his administration to attend memorial services.

Pence is scheduled to speak at a memorial event at the Capitol on Friday. Former Presidents Obama and George W. Bush will deliver eulogies at the National Cathedral on Saturday, and McCain will be buried Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.