After Sen. John McCain’s family shared Friday that McCain won’t continue with treatment for his brain cancer, fellow politicians and political voices are sharing words of encouragement for the senator.
McCain was diagnosed with a brain tumor last July. The tumor, known as a glioblastoma, is a particularly difficult form of cancer to treat; 90 percent of adults with the disease survive for less than 24 months after diagnosis.
“The progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict,” McCain’s family said in the statement. “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment. Our family is immensely grateful for the support and kindness of all his caregivers over the last year, and for the continuing outpouring of concern and affection from John’s many friends and associates, and the many thousands of people who are keeping him in their prayers. God bless and thank you all.”
Since the announcement, tributes for McCain have poured in from all quarters, including high-ranking Republicans who sometimes disagreed with his political stances, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and his 2008 presidential campaign running mate, Sarah Palin.
No man this century better exemplifies honor, patriotism, service,
sacrifice, and country first than Senator John McCain. His heroism
inspires, his life shapes our character. I am blessed and humbled by
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 24, 2018
Very sad to hear this morning’s update from the family of our dear friend @SenJohnMcCain. We are so fortunate to call him our friend and colleague. John, Cindy, and the entire McCain family are in our prayers at this incredibly difficult hour.
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) August 24, 2018
John McCain in his last days on earth. All Americans should put aside politics and honor this patriot.
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) August 25, 2018
John McCain personifies service to our country. The whole House is keeping John and his family in our prayers during this time.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 24, 2018
Prayers for @SenJohnMcCain and his family at this most trying time 🙏🏻 May comfort and peace envelope them. May my friend sense appreciation for his inspiration to serve something greater than self 🙏🏻🇺🇸 – Sarah Palin pic.twitter.com/5KbI3IpUel
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) August 24, 2018
John McCain has shown us all how to live each day with courage, passion and determination. He has faced his cancer in just that same way. My prayers are with John and his family.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) August 25, 2018
Democrats who don’t necessarily agree with McCain’s policies reached out to honor the senator too, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and human rights activist Andrew Stroehlein. Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, shared a photo of himself at age 16 alongside McCain. “Even when I worked against u, you were a role model,” Elleithee wrote in his tweet.
At 16, I got to meet my 1st term Sen.
Me: “I’m honored 2 meet u even though I disagree w/you.”
You: “Well, I’m honored 2 represent u even though u disagree w/me."
Even when I worked against u, you were a role model. Just want u to know that. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/5OitjNZofH
— Mo Elleithee (@MoElleithee) August 24, 2018
Though I disagreed with him on many things, John McCain will always stand out for me as a principled politician for two reasons: 1) his steadfast opposition to torture (of course); and 2) this moment, when he said – instinctively – no, there are places politics should never go. pic.twitter.com/PQRUdYxPsM
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) August 25, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with Senator McCain and his family. https://t.co/cqHXdjJntj
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 24, 2018
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy also praised McCain in a tweet, commending McCain for his apology for not taking a stronger stance about the confederate flag.
In the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain fudged his position on the confederate flag. It ate him up inside – he hadn't told the truth. So he came back to the state after he lost, and gave a simply remarkable speech. To know John, watch this clip:https://t.co/nz3kSIpHI6
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 25, 2018
And Mike Collier, who’s running for lieutenant governor of Texas, tweeted that McCain’s “heroism transcends politics.”
Every American needs to know the horror that John McCain endured for the love of his country. When his captors tried to release him because his father was an Admiral, McCain denied them the propaganda victory and refused. His heroism transcends politics.
— Mike Collier (@CollierForTexas) August 25, 2018
— Frances Townsend (@FranTownsend) August 25, 2018
We talk a lot about putting country over party in this campaign. Truth is, I learned a lot of that from watching John McCain over the years. We desperately need more like him and we should strive to follow in his footsteps. On behalf of a grateful nation, we salute you, Maverick.
— Joe Cunningham 🇺🇸 (@JoeCunninghamSC) August 25, 2018
Still, not everyone is honoring McCain’s political legacy. Notably, President Trump hasn’t tweeted a message of support for McCain, though he’s been quite active on Twitter in the past few days. As the Washington Post pointed out, Trump has previously said that McCain is “not a war hero.”
Things Trump has tweeted about about over the last 24hrs:
– his anger at Jeff Sessions
– Hillary Clinton's emails
– Vince McMahon's birthday
– the Trump Tower meeting
Things he hasn't mentioned:
– John McCain's announcement that he will stop receiving treatment for brain cancer
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) August 25, 2018
Fox News host Tomi Lahren also criticized McCain this week, calling him a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only.” Lahren hasn’t tweeted or commented about McCain since his family’s update about his treatment.
It sounds as if McCain is making the most of this time with his family, though, so he may not be worried about Trump’s lack of comment. Back in October, McCain appeared on The View, where he said that what he’s going through “does make you appreciate every minute of every hour of every day.”
“We should all thank God for every minute because we are blessed,” McCain said. “And we’re blessed to be in the greatest nation on Earth.”
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