Ayotte: I hope McCain's death is a 'calling for more decency, integrity and honor in our politics'

Ayotte: I hope McCain's death is a 'calling for more decency, integrity and honor in our politics'
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Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteBottom line Bottom line Bottom Line MORE (R) on Sunday mourned the death Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's six best bets in 2016 Trump states Replacing Justice Ginsburg could depend on Arizona's next senator The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy MORE (R-Ariz.), saying that she hopes his death serves as “a calling for more decency, integrity and honor in our politics.”

Ayotte praised her longtime friend and Senate colleague on CNN's "State of the Union," noting that McCain "always stood up for what he believed in." 

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CNN's Jake Tapper pressed Ayotte on McCain’s frequent disagreements with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE.

"Whoever was in the corner office, he would disagree with them when he thought they weren’t acting in the best interest of America,” Ayotte said.

McCain often disagreed with Trump, criticizing him for his trade policies and attacks on the media. Trump, too, lashed out at the senator from his time on the campaign trail to his tenure in the White House.

“The thing I think about today is John and I hope that his passing is a calling for more decency, integrity and honor in our politics because that’s what John stood for and that’s really what his legacy is,” Ayotte continued.

News of McCain's death prompted an outpouring of tribute and sympathy from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Throughout his decades-long career, McCain built respect and friendships among colleagues in both parties.

McCain died Saturday at age 81 after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. His family had announced Friday that he had chosen to discontinue treatment for the cancer.

He survived years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before rising to become a giant of the Senate and a leading actor on the political stage.