Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’
© Getty Images

Vice President Pence spoke at the Capitol on Friday, where the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us MORE (R-Ariz.) is lying in state.

“The president asked me to be here on behalf of a grateful nation to pay a debt of honor and respect to a man who served our country throughout his life, in uniform and in public office,” said Pence, who was representing President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE, who was not in attendance.

“As President Trump said yesterday, we respect his service to the country,” he added. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Before his death, McCain requested Trump not attend his funeral. The two had a combative relationship, with Trump often publicly criticizing McCain and McCain frequently opposing Trump's policies.

Pence praised McCain’s service during the Vietnam War, during which he was captured and tortured after refusing early release.

“Americans marveled at the iron will of John McCain. But captivity did not diminish John’s sense of calling, or his commitment to mission,” he said.

After serving in the Navy, McCain represented Arizona in Congress, first in the House, from 1983 to 1987, and later in the Senate, beginning in 1987.

“In every generation, there are those who put country first, who prize service ahead of self, who summon idealism from a cynical age,” Pence added.

McCain died Saturday after being diagnosed last year with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He is survived by his mother, wife and seven children. He was 81 years old.