Former Presidents Barack Obama & Bill Clinton Remember Senator John McCain

Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. leaves a closed-door session on Capitol Hill in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite  AP

Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. leaves a closed-door session on Capitol Hill in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite AP

November 2, 1982: Upon leaving the military, McCain, recently remarried after divorcing his first wife, is elected to an Arizona seat in the US House of Representatives. A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam. "We encourage all Americans to take the opportunity to remember Senator McCain and his family in their prayers on this sad occasion". But he and running mate Sarah Palin lost to Barack Obama.

McCain would be the 13th former senator, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

President Donald Trump said, via Twitter, his "deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain". He earned a reputation as a party maverick by advocating campaign finance reform, lending his name to the bipartisan McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, and supporting overhauling the nation's immigration system over the years.

McCain a year ago was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same aggressive cancer that had felled his friend, Sen. It's the same type of tumor that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2009.

He also wrote an opinion in the Washington Post warning Mr Trump to stop his relentless attacks against the media, saying journalists are not the enemy of the people as the president has continued to repeat.

The Arizona lawmaker, who was absent from Washington, D.C.in the last months of his life, was known as someone willing to stand up to his own party, usually through words and sometimes through votes.

Meanwhile, new Aussie PM Scott Morrison shared his own message on Twitter, writing: "Senator John McCain was a true friend of Australia who was committed to strengthening the alliance between our two nations".

McCain's condition worsened last fall, and he has been in Arizona since December.

John is survived by his wife, Cindy, and seven children, among them political commentator Meghan McCain.

He is a long-term survivor of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

McCain, 81, died at his ranch in Arizona after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

But for years prior, Australian prime ministers, foreign ministers, defence ministers, ambassadors, diplomats and members of our defence forces knew of Senator McCain's commitment to the US-Australia relationship, made manifest through his stewardship and influence as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, ensuring other US legislators would also devote time and attention to the US-Australia relationship. "No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant", McCain said after the summit.

Former Presidents Obama and George W Bush are expected to give eulogies. "He will be missed dearly".

"No person this century better exemplifies the great qualities of patriotism than John McCain", said Mitt Romney, former MA governor and Republican candidate for Hatch's seat. His heroism inspires, his life shapes our character.

Former vice president Al Gore - who served under Democrat Bill Clinton - said "I always admired and respected John from the opposite side of the aisle, because he thrived under pressure, and would work to find common ground, no matter how hard".

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