Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

Pence: ‘John McCain served his country honorably’

On Saturday, speeches by his daughter Meghan and two former presidents - Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama - remembered McCain as a patriot who could bridge painful rivalries.

Over the years, Trump, who did not serve in the military, has demeaned McCain's status as a former prisoner of war, implied he gave up information to his captors and mocked injuries he sustained as a prisoner.

"And so let me say to all those gathered, and his beloved family, on behalf of a grateful nation, we will ever remember that John McCain served his country".

He says McCain embodied basic values including fairness, honesty and respect.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also put wreaths around McCain's casket representing the House and Senate.

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Biden paid tribute to the two-time Republican presidential candidate, who died on Saturday from brain cancer at age 81, during a 90-minute memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church, the latest in a string of commemorative salutes to the Vietnam War hero and venerable politician.

And Sen. Patrick Leahy said that he is glad Pence and his wife are able to visit "the most lovely state in the country, & I hope they enjoy their time in VT". "We had a hell of a lot of family fights", Biden said to laughter from the 3,500 or so mourners packing the auditorium.

Observers on Twitter were certain Meghan McCain was channeling some of her anger at Trump in Pence's direction as he spoke. They were both "cock-eyed optimists", Biden said, and he would trust John with his life.

The disease that took John's life - that took our friend Ted Kennedy's life, that took my son Beau's life - is brutal, relentless, unforgiving. "He believed in the American people".

Biden said their close personal bond abided even when the senator from DE was chosen as the running mate for McCain's Democratic rival in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama, who defeated McCain.

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"John was a hero", Biden said, citing McCain's character, honor, courage, and integrity. McCain "could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country", Biden said. Bottom line was, I think he believed in us.

He also said that McCain's legacy would continue to influence leaders of the future.

McCain spoke out several times against Trump, including after the president's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which Trump appeared to side with Putin instead of USA intelligence officials on the issue of election interference.

Biden appeared to hold back tears as he concluded his speech by borrowing a quote from "Hamlet": "To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again".

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