Politicians, leaders react to Sen. John McCain's death

McCain, who had been battling brain cancer, dies at 81

Sen. John McCain makes remarks after receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center on Oct. 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Sen. John McCain makes remarks after receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal from former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Constitution Center on Oct. 16, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images) (William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Flags are flying at half-staff and politicians and leaders in Florida and across the nation are reacting after it was announced Saturday that Sen. John McCain died at age 81.

Here are a few of their statements:

Gov. Rick Scott: "My wife, Ann, and I are deeply saddened to hear the news about Senator John McCain. Senator McCain was a true American hero. As a Navy man myself, I've always had immense respect for Senator McCain. A lot of folks talk tough, but he was the real deal.

"From one Navy family to another, we extend our sincerest gratitude for his strength and perseverance. John will always be a beacon of hope and perseverance for America. He was a true fighter and fought every day for this country. We will miss him dearly but take comfort in knowing his legacy will live on forever."

Sen. Bill Nelson: "John McCain was my friend and one of my heroes. He devoted his life to duty, honor and country. He shall always be a role model for me."

Sen. Marco Rubio: "John McCain's sacrifices to his country are immeasurable. With his passing today, America has lost more than a leader and more than a senator. We have lost a true American hero. As a colleague in the Senate and a friend, I drew personal inspiration from his leadership, intellect and moral courage. He set the standard for what we should expect from our soldiers and from our public servants of all levels. In this time of grief, I hope John's family finds comfort in knowing that this extraordinary man touched countless lives, and his memory will continue to set the standard of leadership and moral resolve for future generations."

President Donald Trump: "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

First Lady Melania Trump: "Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation."

Former President Barack Obama: "John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher -- the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed. We saw our politics 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. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible -- and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family."

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs: "I join the nation and world in remembering U.S. Senator John McCain with awe and appreciation. His fierce courage and endless commitment to the principles of democracy will never be forgotten. I join millions worldwide in mourning his passing, and share my prayers and condolences with his family, friends and military colleagues. May they find comfort in their treasured memories, as well as our remembrance of John McCain - a true American hero."

Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture: "America lost one of her bravest defenders today. In a cockpit, an enemy prison, or the Senate chamber, John McCain fought for our nation's values and freedoms, and sacrificed much in the journey. May God welcome him home and give comfort to his family."

Rep. Ron DeSantis: "RIP Senator John McCain, a man who sacrificed so much for our country and was a true Navy legend."

Rep. Stephanie Murphy: "I am stunned at this loss for our nation, and my thoughts are with @SenJohnMcCain and his family. I am eternally grateful for his service and sacrifice. I'll also treasure the memory of the Senator and I talking in Vietnam about our experiences - and how special America truly is."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations offered condolences to the family and loved ones of McCain. In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: "The American Muslim community joins all Americans in mourning the death of Sen. McCain, a man of principle who served our nation with honor and dignity for so many decades. American Muslims particularly recall Sen. McCain's rejection of bigotry, his courage in the face of adversity and his unwavering opposition to the use of torture. He modeled the art of respectful disagreement. We offer sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. 'To God we belong and to Him is our return.'"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: "For John McCain, his country was his life. He was tireless in its service. Courage, determination, and relentless drive made him a great leader.

"To me, having served with him in the Senate for 20 years, his support for President Bush's surge in Iraq at a time when things had been going badly and public support had eroded, was one of the most dramatic, important, patriotic, and selfless actions I had the honor to witness in that body. His presidential aspirations were entirely set aside. He totally deployed his considerable strength and energy to what he believed was best for his country -- and in service to those then fighting valiantly for the mission the nation had given them. It was a very contentious debate. His personal dedication and leadership moved a very uncertain decision to a favorable outcome.

"His ferocious tenacity for his country was unmatched. America has lost one of its greatest patriots."

Anna Eskamani: ‪”After ten years of advocacy I have evolved from an 18-year-old who wanted to do nothing but defeat Senator John McCain, to a 28-year-old who was shocked and grateful for his last minute vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act, among other maverick decisions. Yes, I was never happy with all of his votes. But life is full of contradictions and it’s too short for grudges. I wish nothing but peace for McCain, and for his family.”

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