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 AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (R) on Sunday mourned the death 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.), 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 TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' 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.