Biden marks one-year anniversary of McCain's death: 'A political giant, and a genuine American hero'

Biden marks one-year anniversary of McCain's death: 'A political giant, and a genuine American hero'
© Camille Fine

Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Top Sanders adviser: 'He is a little bit angry' Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE remembered the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Biden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE on the one-year anniversary of Arizona Republican's death, calling him a “genuine American hero” who lived by a code “from another era.” 

“One year ago, we lost a political giant, and a genuine American hero—my friend, my frequent opponent—John McCain. We still feel keenly his loss in our public life,” the former vice president said in a statement on Sunday. 

 “John lived by a code that sometimes seemed to be from another era, where honor, courage, character and integrity mattered. But in truth, John’s code was ageless—an American code, grounded in decency and basic fairness and an intolerance for the abuse of power. A code neither selfish, nor self-serving.”

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Biden also encouraged Americans to “engage in acts of civility,” in honor of McCain.

It’s the same plea McCain’s family, including his wife, Cindy McCain, have made, asking Americans to reach out to people they often disagree with in honor of the late senator. 

“John believed so deeply and so passionately in the core values of our nation, that he made them seem more real, and he made it easier for the rest of us to believe in them too. He made us proud of ourselves,” Biden said. 

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“He believed in us, his fellow Americans, and today, on the anniversary of his passing, we must all remember his final instruction to us: ‘believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.’’

Despite Biden’s political differences with McCain, he spoke at the senator’s funeral. He started his eulogy saying, “My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat. And I loved John McCain.”

McCain died on Aug. 25, 2018, just ahead of his 82nd birthday after suffering from brain cancer.

Biden earlier this month vowed to cooperate with Republicans should he be elected president, saying he successfully worked across the aisle as vice president.

“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there,” he said at a Massachusetts fundraiser. “I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

Similar comments have infuriated progressive activists searching for a candidate who can effectively fight against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE and the GOP’s agenda.