In this file photo, John McCain gives the thumbs up after speaking to the press with US President George W. Bush (R) in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 5, 2008 in Washington, DC.
Former President George W. Bush described Sen. John McCain as “a man of deep conviction” in a statement tonight.
“He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. And to me, he was a friend whom I’ll deeply miss,” he said.
Read his full statement:
“Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order. He was a public servant in the finest traditions of our country. And to me, he was a friend whom I’ll deeply miss. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Cindy and the entire McCain family, and our thanks to God for the life of John McCain.”
Former President George H. W. Bush released a statement on Sen. John McCain’s death, calling him a “patriot of the highest order, a public servant of rarest courage.”
Read Bush’s full statement below:
“John McCain was a patriot of the highest order, a public servant of rarest courage. Few sacrificed more for, or contributed more to, the welfare of his fellow citizens — and indeed freedom love people around the world. Another American maverick and warrior, General George Patton, once observed: ‘We should thank God that men such as these have lived.’ To that I can only add my gratitude to John’s wife Cindy, his wonderful family, and the people of Arizona who permitted this great and good man to serve with such distinction in the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
World leaders took to Twitter to share their condolences and remember Sen. John McCain’s legacy.
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said McCain’s sacrifices and public service inspired millions of people.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison described McCain as a “man of great courage and conviction.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon mourned the loss of an “American hero.”
Gov. John Kasich called Sen. John McCain “an iconic American hero, patriot and statesman without compare.”
Sharing a photo of himself with McCain alongside a statement in a tweet, Kasich said he will “miss his straight talk and unfailing good humor, his steadfast resolve and absolute devotion to public service.”
Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to send condolences to Sen. John McCain’s family.
“We honor his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life. His family and friends will be in our prayers,” Pence said.
Read his tweet:
Dr. Kelli Ward, who’s running to fill Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat, said Sen. John McCain’s “decades of service will not be forgotten by the men and women of Arizona.”
Ward has been critical of McCain as she campaigns for Flake’s seat.
Sen. John McCain was a naval bomber pilot, prisoner of war, conservative maverick, giant of the Senate, twice-defeated presidential candidate and an abrasive American hero with a twinkle in his eye.
The following current and former defense officials remembered McCain’s fighting spirit and dedication to public service. Here’s what they said:
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
“Senator McCain exemplified what it means to be a warrior and dedicated public servant. Both as a naval officer and as a member of Congress, he was a lifelong and tireless advocate for the men and women of the U.S. military. He traveled the world to meet personally with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, to hear what they had to say, and to see firsthand our military in action on the front lines. Senator McCain recognized the sacrifice and hardships military members and their families can experience and proudly served as their champion in Congress. He visited our nation’s wounded warriors around the country to offer encouragement and to thank them for their service. Through his tenacious and selfless leadership in the Senate, he fought hard to ensure our Armed Forces remained strong and had the support and resources needed to succeed when placed in harm’s way. While we mourn Senator McCain’s passing, we are eternally grateful for his distinguished service to our nation, his advocacy of the U.S. military, and the incredible example he set for us all.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis
“We have lost a man who steadfastly represented the best ideals of our country. As a Naval Officer and defiant prisoner of war, John McCain stood with his brothers-in-arms until they returned home together. Passionately committed to our country, Senator McCain always put service to the Nation before self. He recognized that for our experiment in democracy to long endure, people of action and passion must serve. In this he represented what he believed, that “a shared purpose does not claim our identity—on the contrary, it enlarges your sense of self. His was a life well lived, one whose actions epitomized the motto of his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy: non sibi, sed patriae—“not for self, but for country. On behalf of all of the men and women of the Department of Defense, we will remain forever grateful for the life, the passion, and the example of Senator John McCain. Our sympathy and kindest wishes are with Cindy and his family.”
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates
“No one in modern times had greater physical and political courage defending the United States and its values than John McCain. A true American hero has left us. During my years as Secretary of Defense, Senator McCain and I were usually allies, occasionally not. But I never doubted on any issue that he sought an outcome that was best for our country. For his entire career, the national interest consistently outweighed political, parochial and personal interest. John McCain was a great American whose legacy of patriotic service will long outlive him. In these difficult times, we will greatly miss his integrity and his courage.”
Here are several photographs of John McCain throughout his life and career in the Senate.
Sen. John McCain, his son, Jack McCain, and his wife, Cindy McCain, attend a baseball game in Arizona in 2009.
McCain and his daughter, Meghan McCain, at the 100th Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2014.
McCain ran for president with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin against Barack Obama in 2009.
Here’s McCain, chair for the Senate Armed Services Committee, during a Nov. 2 confirmation hearing for the secretary of the US Army.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared a photo of Sen. John McCain while paying tribute to his “courage and conviction.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch joined the “millions mourning” McCain’s death.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called it a “privilege to serve beside John in the Senate.”
Sen. Tim Scott hailed McCain as “an American Hero.”