Obamas on McCain's death: 'We are all in his debt'

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHave our enemies found a way to defeat the United States? Millennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Biden's Cuba problem: Obama made a bet and lost MORE and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSimone Biles takes herself out of fifth Olympic event Michelle Obama to Simone Biles: 'We are proud of you and we are rooting for you' Obama setting up big bash to celebrate his 60th MORE paid tribute to Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to produce 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' MORE (R-Ariz.)  on Saturday after the announcement of the senator's death, writing that "we are all in his debt."

“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own," the Obamas wrote in a statement. "At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”

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The Obamas said that, despite differences in their political viewpoints, both they and McCain were united in fighting for America’s values.

“[W]e shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed," they wrote. "We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”

McCain died Saturday afternoon following a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 81 years old.

McCain, a giant of the Senate, survived years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to become a leading actor on the political stage for decades.