In a nod to their relationship, which crossed partisan lines, Biden opened his speech with the line, “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat. And I love John McCain.” Biden added, “I always thought of John as a brother. We had a hell of a lot of family fights.”
"My name's Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat. And I love John McCain." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/VdEIZocrlK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 30, 2018
Elsewhere in his speech, Biden noted that McCain died from the same form of brain cancer that also took the lives of their Senate colleague and friend, Ted Kennedy, and Biden’s own son, Beau. As NPR notes, Biden called the disease “brutal, relentless, unforgiving. It takes so much from those we love — and from the families who love them — that in order to survive we have to remember how they lived – not how they died.”
“He loved my son Beau, and my son Hunt,” Biden added of McCain. “As a young man, he’d come up to my house, he’d come up to Wilmington, and out of this came a great friendship that transcended whatever political differences we had or later developed.”
Despite numerous policy disagreements during their decades together in the Senate, Biden said his friendship with McCain endured because they both understood the same thing: “All politics is personal.” He continued, “It’s all about trust. I trusted John with my life. And I would. And I think he would trust me with his. We both knew then from our different experiences as our life progressed we learned even more that there are times that life can be so cruel, pain so blinding, it’s hard to see anything else.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 30, 2018
McCain died August 25th after a nearly year-long battle with glioblastoma. He was 81. Following today’s memorial in Phoenix, McCain’s funeral will be held this Saturday, September 1st, at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — both of whom defeated McCain in his two presidential bids in 2000 and 2008 — will deliver eulogies. Neither Sarah Palin, McCain’s 2008 running mate, nor President Trump were invited to any of the memorial services.