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 AyotteFive possible successors to Mattis Mattis resigns, says views aren't in line with Trump's Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (R) on Sunday mourned the death Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Mark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally 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 TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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.