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 McCainMeghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' Democrats seek to counter GOP attacks on gas prices Biden nominates Jeff Flake as ambassador to Turkey 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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix 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 ObamaEmergency infrastructure needed to keep Americans safe: Public media Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Congress is to blame for the latest ruling on DACA MORE and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Jill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Obama to adapt memoir 'Dreams From My Father' for young readers 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 ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Biden hits new low in Gallup poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand MORE and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand 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.