All living presidents honor McCain after his death

All living presidents honor McCain after his death
© Greg Nash

All living U.S. presidents issued statements honoring GOP Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (Ariz.) after the announcement of his death Saturday afternoon.

McCain, 81, died on Saturday after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.

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He survived years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before becoming a leading actor on the political stage for decades.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE shared his condolences with McCain's family, tweeting Saturday evening, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” 

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Obama spends Presidents Day at Ayesha Curry's San Francisco restaurant Government's misguided holiday to celebrate itself MORE and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaGOP pollster says Michelle Obama one of Democrats' best surrogates Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as frontrunner if she ran in 2020, poll shows Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies at 85 MORE also issued a statement saying 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," they wrote. "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.” 

Former President George W. Bush wrote that it was difficult to imagine McCain's death.

"Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” 

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump says he never told McCabe his wife was 'a loser' Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors For 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love MORE and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day The Memo: Bernie Sanders’s WH launch sharpens ‘socialist’ question Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE praised McCain's service, writing that the senator was "never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do."

“Senator John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day," the Clintons wrote.

"He was a skilled, tough politician, as well as a trusted colleague alongside whom Hillary was honored to serve in the Senate. He frequently put partisanship aside to do what he thought was best for the country, and was never afraid to break the mold if it was the right thing to do.”

Former President George H.W. Bush wrote that McCain was "a patriot of the highest order," touting him as a "public servant of rarest courage."

“John McCain was a patriot of the highest order, a public servant of rarest courage," George H.W. Bush wrote. "Few sacrificed more for, or contributed more to, the welfare of his fellow citizens – and indeed freedom-loving peoples around the world. Another America maverick and warrior General George Patton, once observed: ‘We should thank God that men such as these have lived.’”

Former President Jimmy Carter wrote that Americans would be "forever grateful" for McCain's military service and "steadfast integrity" while in office.

“John McCain was a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word," Carter wrote. "Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate. Rosalynn and I extend our sincere condolences to Senator McCain’s family and to the people of Arizona whom he represented so forthrightly for so many years.” 

Numerous other colleagues and politicians across the political spectrum took to social media to mourn McCain.