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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Flags at the White House are flying at half-staff Saturday night in honor of Senator John McCain.
Senator John McCain died Saturday at age 81 surrounded by his family at his home in Arizona.
Now reaction to his death is pouring in from across the political world.
“Senator McCain was a fighter,” said Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey about his republican colleague. “He fought for his country in Vietnam. He fought for his brothers in arms while being held prisoners of war. And for more than 30 years Senator McCain fought for Arizonans in the Senate. Most importantly, Senator McCain was not afraid to fight for what he thought was right, even when it was unpopular.”
President Trump tweeted, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement about his long-time colleague from the Senate, “John McCain’s life is proof that some truths casts a long, long, shadow. John McCain will cast a long shadow. His impact on American hasn’t ended.”
Speaking outside of his Delaware home on Sunday, Senator Chris Coons spoke of Senator McCain as his mentor and friend.
“I knew that he wouldn’t be with us much longer and even though we’ve known for a year that this was coming, it’s still quite a shock,” said Senator Chris Coons.
The two first met when Senator Coons was sworn into office in 2010.
“He was every bit of feisty and engaging and forceful as ever,” said Senator Coons.
McCain, a naval pilot, took Coons with him to Vietnam to visit the prison where he was a prisoner of war.
“We’re at a moment in American history where we frankly need someone of his credibility and his character and his leadership more than we have in my lifetime,” added Senator Coons.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez added on Twitter, “Tonight we lost an American hero who put patriotism over partisanship and whose legacy in the U.S. Senate will last generations. From immigration reform to foreign policy, it was a privilege to work with John McCain. Rest in peace my friend. America is a better place because of you.”
Former President Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in 2008, remembered him writing, “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.”