© Greg Nash
GOP Sen. Ben SasseBen SassePresident of newly recognized union for adult performers boosts membership Romney blasts Biden over those left in Afghanistan: 'Bring them home' Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal MORE (Neb.) joked on Tuesday that GOP Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (Ariz.) affectionally referred to him as a "stupid bastard" on "a regular basis."
Sasse added that he was "convinced that he didn't use the term 'stupid bastard' lightly -- he reserved it for those he really cared about."
Sasse was one of nearly 20 senators who took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to remember McCain, who died on Saturday after battling brain cancer for more than a year.
Many of McCain's colleagues have humorously recounted McCain's well known temper and his penchant for giving people he liked otherwise negative sounding nicknames.
GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump-backed challenger to Cheney decried him as 'racist,' 'xenophobic' in 2016: report State Department spokesperson tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers fret over wild week of deadlines MORE (S.C.) separately referred to himself from the Senate floor as McCain's “political wingman, code name little jerk.”
Sasse recounted during his speech how McCain talked about how he and fellow prisoners would tap out messages to each other at the "Hanoi Hilton," the prison where McCain and others were held during the Vietnam War.
"I said 'how long did it take to do that,'" Sasse said about the code system. "And he looked at me like I was just a complete idiot. And he said 'what did I care? What the hell did it matter to me, we had infinite time.'"