Trump, Obama others offer sympathy upon McCain’s death

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is offering his “deepest sympathies and respect” to the family of Arizona Sen. John McCain following the senator’s death.

The president’s statement comes after the two Republican leaders maintained a strained relationship since Trump suggested in 2015 the Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war was not a war hero.

Trump says on Twitter, “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

Trump has frequently criticized McCain for voting against a 2017 plan in the Senate to replace the so-called Obamacare law.

Other statements of condolence came from political figures from both parties

Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to his 2008 presidential rival. Obama says despite their differences, they shared a “fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.”

Obama says in a statement that the two political opponents “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 writes that they “saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”

Former President George W. Bush is calling McCain, his one-time political rival, a “man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.”

Bush says in a statement that McCain was a “public servant in the finest traditions of our country” and is calling him a “friend whom I’ll deeply miss.”

Bush defeated McCain in a hard fought Republican presidential campaign in 2000 and later backed McCain’s unsuccessful campaign to succeed him eight years later.

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