Both friends and opponents honour John McCain
Both opponents and allied pay tribute to Senator John McCain who died on Saturday at the age of eighty-one. Even US President Donald John Trump, whom McCain despised, shows his respect.
Former US President Barack Obama believes all Americans owe a big debt to McCain for his loyalty to the fundamental values of the United States of America.
– John McCain and I were from different generations, with completely different backgrounds and competed in the highest spheres of politics. But in spite of everything we disagreed on, we shared the allegiance to something higher – the ideals that the generations of Americans and immigrants have fought, marched and sacrificed for, Obama says about the man he defeated at the 2008 election.
– Few have been as tried as hard as John once was, or has been demanded more courage from. But we can all strive to have the courage to place the common good before our own, Obama believes.
Man with principles
Former President George W. Bush, who was McCain’s rival in the Republican Party and defeated him in the 2000 nomination campaign, calls McCain a man with deeply rooted principles and a patriot of the first degree.
Even President Donald Trump has sent his deepest condolences and respect to McCain’s family in Arizona.
«Our heart and our prayers are with you», he tweets.
When it became known on Friday that McCain had terminated the treatment for serious cancer he suffered from and probably was at death’s door, and there were sympathetic statements sent to the family, Trump remained silent at Mar-el-Lago.
Trump not welcome
McCain never hid that he detested the property magnate, which he believed represented totally different values than himself.
One of McCain’s very last wishes while fighting against the brain cancer was crystal clear: Trump is not welcome at the funeral.
Trump, who himself dodged the draft on several occasions blaming a bad foot, during the election campaign attacked the former fighter pilot McCain for being captured, saying that it was the only reason why he was considered as a war hero.
– I like people who are not captured, he said in a comment that was severely condemned, including by US veterans.
Mattis pays tribute
The senator was a principled politician who even many of his opponents perceived as a very decent man. Even within the Trump administration, he is tributed by several, among them the Minister of Defense, Jim Mattis.
– We have lost a man who unwaveringly represented our country’s best ideals, he says.
Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, asked for a minute’s silence for McCain in his own party headquarters in Kentucky, where he mentioned McCain a being a fascinating man and a unique American.
On the Democrats’ side, Hillary and Bill Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden expressed their admiration for McCain. The Clinton’s praised him for seeking interdisciplinary cooperation when it really meant something, and Biden called him a friend.
– John McCain’s life is proof that some truths are eternal. Character. Courage. Integrity. Honour. A life that contains these truths throws a long shadow, said Biden who has been together with McCain in the Senate for many years.
Other homages to McCain
Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, also joins in the tribulation of McCain.
– He will be remembered both in Europe and North America for his courage and character and as a strong supporter of NATO, says Stoltenberg.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives), mentions McCain as a strong advocate for transatlantic cooperation, saying that the United States of America has lost a significant and respected politician who was staunchly an advocate for democratic values.
– His work in words and actions shines far beyond the borders of the United States and ought to be an inspiration to us all, she writes.on Facebook.
The Vice President of the EU Commission, Frans Timmermans, calls McCain an inspiration to all, while German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, comes with a snide remark aimed at Trump in his memorial of McCain.
– He stood for a reliable America who is a close partner, who takes responsibility for others and, in difficult times, upholds their values and principles, says Maas.
Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, calls McCain an important voice and a person guided by principles.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describes him as an American hero who inspired many and who sacrificed himself for his country and devoted his life to the general population.
Facts about John McCain
- John Sidney McCain III was born August 29th, 1936, on a military base in the Panama Canal zone, which at the time was occupied by the USA. Both his father and paternal grandfather were admirals.
- Married to Cindy. Has seven children, three of them from his first marriage.
- Trained officer and fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. Shot down during a bombing raid in 1967 and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war.
- Worked for a while in management in his father-in-law’s beer distribution company, before entering into the politics.
- Member of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 1987, and a Senator for Arizona since 1987.
- In 1999, he attempted to become the presidential candidate for the Republicans but lost to George W. Bush.
- Became the party’s presidential candidate in 2008, but lost the elections to the Democrat Barack Obama.
Was operated for a brain tumour in July 2017. On Friday, the family announced that he had chosen to abort further treatment and on Saturday he died.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today