WASHINGTON: US Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran unsuccessfully for president as a self-styled maverick Republican in 2008 and became a prominent critic of President Donald Trump, died on Saturday, his office said. He was 81.
McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona for over three decades, had been battling glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, discovered by his doctors in July 2017, and had not been at the U.S. Capitol in 2018. He also had surgery for an intestinal infection in April of this year.
Paying tribute to his onetime election opponent, Obama said in a statement that he and McCain, despite their “completely different backgrounds,” and political differences, shared “a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched and sacrificed.”
“We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world,” Obama wrote.
Defense Secretary James Mattis saluted McCain as a figure who “always put service to the nation before self,” and “represented what he believed, that ‘a shared purpose does not claim our identity – on the contrary – it enlarges your sense of self.” Reuters