tv U.S. Senate Sen. Coons Hatch Pay Tribute to Sen. Mc Cain CSPAN August 28, 2018 1:19pm-1:46pm EDT
certainly a privilege as well to know the mccains and to look up to him as a role model, not only for this senator but for the entire country. mister president, i yieldthe floor . >> mister president, i come to the floor today to speak in honor and memory of our colleague senator john sidney mccain the third area i asked myself a series of questions as i was trying to prepare for today'scomments . first, who was john mccain? john was a man deeply in love with his country and its promise. a man optimistic that tomorrow would be better than today and the man grateful for the chance to serve a cause greater than himself.
his humor was rooted in that hopefulness, the sometimes sharp sting of his words in debate rooted in his passion for his cause and the love of the fight and his restlessness rooted in an impatience to get on with it, defending y, liberty or making a difference in the world, to help soften the burdens of millions not yet free. john was both a romantic and a cynic as some have said, with love and passion about the causes he fought for yet clear eyed about the long odds he often faced in our ideals. trying to summarize john, just reviewing a few of his titles fairly captures this complexity of this man. naval aviator, pow, captive, congressman, senator, chair of the commerce committee, chair of the armed purposes
committee, presidential nominee of his party. hero. john also treasure deeply plto titles rarely mentionedhere . president and father. he clearly loved his family and was every bit as privately passionate about them as he was publicly passionate about the causes he fought for here and around the world both to cindy and to all of john's family,thank you so much for sharing them with us , for sustaining him in his service over 60 years, his remarkable service to our nation. i was so honored to get to know john first as acolleague , then as a traveling companion and mentor and in recent years to be able to count him a friend. we didn't always agree or frankly, often agree on a wide range of policy and political issues one thing in
particular i deeply admired and followed his lead as best i could . john was convinced that what makes america great, what has always made america great is its values, its principles. that we stand for something in the world, not the example of our power but s,the power of our example. that only when we fight for those examples, when we fight for the values that define us apart from other powerful nations for human rights, freedom of speech and religious expression, open and fair elections, for the very foundations of democracy , only when we do that do we best use our power r. what impact did john mccain have? those of us in the senate and on our country? john commanded the chamber
when he spoke like few others i have known and he commanded it precisely because he called us to our better selves . to put down the tools of petty partisanship so often on display here and to work together, to fashion better solutions to the problems of our day. it was a great honor to be his cosponsor on his last immigration reform bill earlier this year . a bill owhich offered nonpartisan promises but a way forward, to fix our immigration system which has for far too long been badly broken. indeed, from immigration to health care, national security to foreign relations, john challenged us, pushed us to act in ways little worthy of this place in history as the greatest er deliberative body on earth, as a full equal to our executive the president, as a group and powered over longer-term to know each other, respect each other and engage with each other in a
hard work of advancing american values at home and abroad . what impact did john mccain have on me? junior senator from delaware? first, my predecessor former senator and vice president joe biden let me know my first day here, john was a treasure and a challenge. i would in serving alongside him have a unique opportunity to learn from someone who spoke of experience that was in many ways unmatched among our senate colleagues. i had the honor of traveling with john and seeing him at his best, seeing him show compassion for syrian refugees at a camp win jordan, hearing him confront foreign leaders and encourage our men and women in harm's way, memorably revisiting vietnam and showed a generous warmth. i first encountered john overseas on my first
congressional delegation, a trip just a few months into my first term in 2011. traveling with the senators mentioned, we had visited pakistan, jordan and israel and beirut, a memorable trip , particularly in afghanistan and pakistan. it was our last day in israel before anreturning home and i spotted joe lieberman of connecticut at dinner. he waved me over. he and mccain had just finished a long dinner and lieberman asked me to sit down and talk about our trip and our experiences and recent developments in pakistan and afghanistan. mccain barely acknowledged my presence and he seemed genuinely distracted and even annoyed as i was answering jo lieberman's questions. mccain looking around the room and barely paying any attention and after 10 minutes, john snapped to and asked me three pointed and
challenging questions, testing my observations and my conclusions, rattled, intimidated, i defended as best i could buy insights before hiswithering questions . he grunted back and stormed off and in the silence of the weight he left behind him, r joe lieberman leaned over and said i think he really likes you. how can you tell? i said. to which lieberman responded, he wouldn't bother asking you those questions if he didn't think you had something to say . there followed invitations to travel which i accepted less ha often than i should have, free trips on some of them and as i said after visiting a refugee camp in jordan where hundreds of syrians had just arrived, fleeing the butchery of assad's troops, john wept with compassion
about the children beingtaken from them. and john promised to fight for them and their claws relentlessly and he did . just after inauguration last year, at the north atlantic regional security conference in halifax canada, i got to see john command respect across the board from political and militaryleaders from a dozen countries and heard leaders from allies and partners across europe from the baltics to the balkans , our reassurance we would keep our commitment and stand by their young democracies in the face of russian aggression. during that trip, senator mccain once again reiterated his principled unequivocal stance against the use of torture, his unwavering commitment on that issue at that critical time . it was just one of the many ways that john nudged us closer toour ideals . finally on anunforgettable trip to vietnam , just last
june i got to visit the hanoi hilton with john to hear his undescribable descriptions of the aggravations of his long captivity and torture and got to see in person the high regard that people and leaders of vietnam had for him as a warrior and peacemaker, a statesman and healer of the wounds of that war. we admire john for all these things, but working with him in the senate, traveling within and many of us got to know him as not just a war hero but a colleague, even a friend. john's temper was quick and fierce and on more than one occasion i swear he peeled the paint off the wall behind me with a fiery stream of vanity laced invective , but he also more often than not later apologized, came around, and listen . he was that breed of senator, two rare today, who knewhow to fight passionately yet not make it personal . i could respect even when i
thought he was deeply wrong. he pushed merelentlessly to defend and explain my own positions and the vote . he showed unusual kindness to my children, father and stepfather and i was struck by the delight john took in visiting with schoolchildren and seniors, people of all kinds of backgrounds when they visited the capital. he also took wicked delight in teasing andtesting and working with the journalists , always letting them in on the joke or giving them a heads up when trouble was brewing. most importantly, senator john mccain was genuinely humbled. not a false modesty of a popular politician who knows he should feign indifference to the cheers of the crowd. john humility was real, a demonstrated humility of one who knows he is a long human as are we all and set about being open and accountable for his shortcomings. john remarkably for a modern
politician spoke about and acted on the ways in which he fell short . in an excellent hbo biography of him, for whom the bell tolls, mccain subject himself to accountability for chapters in his life i'm certain he would rather have left forgot in history. in talking about the 2000 presidential primary, rather than blaming his opponents and their dirty tricks for his loss, john took responsibility or his failure to stand up in south carolina against the practice of flying the confederate flag. john more strikingly rightly addressed his association with the keating five scandal. john mccain was cleared, but the view that scandal as part of the larger and growing problem with campaign-finance threatened the efforts of all serve here and rather than moving past it, the audit and acting on it, angering leaders in both parties by
working closely with senator feingold until they pass the mccain-feingold campaign finance reform bill . >> john also uses hardest er personal experience to make some of his most important contributions.an having himself to survive in ne present at the hands of his captors, captain mccain could easily have returned home after those five and a half harrowing years to serve out his time and retire in comfort. instead he continued his cause of serving our nation and while here worked tirelessly to champion those unjustly imprisoned around the world, dissidents and activists who spoke for freedom and against people who knew no more dedicated friend. we only human rights office intend to carry forward work. after 9/11 when our own country was engaged in enhanced interrogation techniques that can only be called torture. senator mccain was irate and exited the end of practice he knew was both a value and
both a means of tortured and torture. john's passion was just the pain of one who'd experienced it himself, the pain of someone who loves his country and felt deeply the shame of episodes like over a and work to address them. >> what will it mean as senator mccain is no longer here my fear and concern as we will not soon see another member of john's stature join us. after that john earned over decades of service and a willingness to a country over 40 and because over self . senator mccain earned his maverick title and it would serve all well to remember that even as his principal stands costing the support of many in his party and even homestay, he wanted release of many more here and millions abroad , delighted to see someone willing to risk reaching across the aisle and around the world those holding we will continue to fight for the
values that define americans. what should we do, what should we do to honor the memory and legacy of senator mccain? first, like the dreaddisease that took him from us. with my dear friend, beloved son of my predecessor , joe was taking too young. and with k kennedy and other great lands of the loss at the time was needed, both brain cancer has robbed us of our best and brightest and we must work harder to cure and end this disease. as is been proposed, i believe we should rename the great senate building in served for decades that we might keep his memory alive for future generations and strengthen and invest in thenational service . an caexpectation that all young americans would serve their country, military or civilian today effort in investment because of service as a young man helped john fall in love
with our nation. i can think of nothing greater to remind us of the spirit of service in which john lived his life and to make it possible for hundreds of thousands of young americans who want to serve. habitat for humanity, before or our military by expanding those opportunities for them to learn skills, commit herself to community and country andearn tuition funds . we must stay engaged internationally and lead by the power of our example. john would say this acquires us to advance not just america's interests but our purest values, sustained against authoritarian leaders from russia, china, north korea and iran, to stand with partners and allies like those in nato. >> last, we have to continue in john's. of working across the aisle. i was in his remarkable speech from philadelphia the national constitution center
where my predecessor, vice president biden movingly introducing him and senator mccain in introducing the award which should be mandatory viewing every high school in america. it was clear these two men who served decades alongside each other genuinely each other, knew each other's families and values, respecting each other even though they rarely ever agree. we must do that too. we have to demonstrate that we can work together. like john, be cheerful and grateful in our service. it caught my breath when i walked in this chamber to see john's death draped in black velvet and white flowers, rather than with his remarkable center, is punctuated speech and his dramatic called action that so often rang through this space. john, i won't soon meet another man like you and i only hope to someday deserve
the friendship you extended to a young and inexperienced senator and to follow your example of genuine humility, dedication and passion in tirelessly serving the greatest nation on earth and the best hope for freedomin our world . rest well dear friend, and got himself hold you in his hand and give peace to you and your family. thank youmister president, with that ideal before . >> i ask unanimous consent that i be able to complete my remarks for the day with mark . >> i rise today to pay tribute to an american hero. a powerful leader and a dear friend, senator johnmccain . after decades of dedicated service to this nation, john was taken from us over the weekend. the goodsenator from arizona for his battle with brain cancer as he did every battle
in his life . with toughness andtenacity, with good and with brace . this week i joined millions in mourning the passing of a beloved patriots. over a lifetime of selfless service, john came to embody the pinnacle of american virtue, courage commitments and integrity and sacrifice. these are the presets he lived by and by which he will always be remembered. no one is n.more worthy of the word hero than john mccain. the senate's instead and indeed i said nation -will miss the steady guiding presence of a singular statesman. by now the biographical details of senator mccain's life covered at length. the son of a four-star navy admiral, john new he had great expectations from an
early age. he was togo to the naval academy which he did . he was to forgo the comforts of civilian life and fight for freedom which he did. what's exceptional about john mccain is that we know not only met the heavy expectations placed upon, him, he exceeded them. if oyou have ever risen to the position of influence that john mccain did. fewerstill have done so and get their character intact . but senator john mccain did. indeed, he never parted from it. as a prisoner of war, john was offered release on multiple occasions, yet he refused each offer until the pows incarcerated with him were also released. no greater love than a man lay down his life for his country. john possessed such love, providing his willingness to lay down his life for his brothers in uniform. as a captain, john mccain personified selfless
sacrifice, offering himself as a bargaining chip to secure the freedom of his fellow countrymen. each day for more than 2000 days, he endured horrors that few of us could ever imagine. solitary confinement, fourth nation, repeated beatings and the constant threat of death. yet he stayed the course, finding strength and the lovely felt for his serviceman and most of all, a lovelyfelt for his beloved country . >> when john was release in the spring of 1973, he came home a living star of vietnam. the cartilage in his knees was all gone. the bones in his body and my endless beatings. he was a walking testament to the brutalities of torture and death. crap.
with the hellebore was not enough to stop john mccain from being a happy warrior . before his return he continued the same mission he started in vietnam, looking out for the safety and welfare of his fellow sailors. you remember that before john was elected to congress, he was the navy's senate liaison . it was in this capacity he and i first became friends. even then, john impressed me with his sense of mission, growing incredible lengths to ensure that our servicemen and women have the resources they need must say. he would carry that sentiment with him when he was elected to the house of representatives in 1982 and five years later when he joined us in the senate. the pentagon had no closer allies and john mccain. it also had no fears or credit. like an admiral who demanded
only the very best of his sailors, john went in to ensure that our servicemen were living to their full potential so he held our armed forces to the highest standard, never hesitating to callout bureaucratic complacency andourunaway spending and military ranks . our men and women were stronger, and our nation more safe because of his efforts. no one commanded more respect than john mccain as the chairman of the senate armed services committee . >> john constantly put others before himself as a prisoner of war. and he did the same as a senator. he was the kind of a pfriend that you can count on for help when you needed itmost . nearly 20 years ago, governor mitt romney went the time and then pass with salvaging the s summer olympic games, came to me with a pressing problem
with only months to go before the opening ceremony . yukon lacked the funding needed to pull off the olympic games. and in our moment of need returned to senatormccain . i took mick over to see him and we marched up to his office in the russell building. even though we came unannounced, senator mccain received us and together mitt and i made the case for emergency funding. withindays, we secured the resources we needed to move forward with the games , all thanks to senator john mccain. were it not for john's quick action, i can say the 2002 winter olympics would not have been a success. in fact, it would have been an embarrassment and he was not excited about putting up federal funds, either.
but all i have to do was ask and he said fine. we didn't hesitate to throw our support behind him in the 2008 residential election. senator mccain mounted an admirable campaign, refusing to salute stoop to the political mudslinging that all too often defines presidential contests d. i agree with the assessment of the late earl krauthammer. mccain ran a valuable race against impossible odds. he will be, he should be remembered as the most worthy presidential nominee ever to be denied the prize r. such a wonderful quote. we remember john for many things, for his courage as a sailor , for his dedication as a senator , and for his principal and principles as a statesman. we also remember how he embodied the best in us .
john mccain really was a man for all seasons. a voice of temperance and in incorrect times. and a marvel of civility and reason. >> tragedy of his passing is that we need more men like john mccain now more than ever before. i consider myself incredibly lucky to have known john and even luckier to have call him friend. here in the senate and across the nation we will miss him dearly. john, thank you for blessing us with your service and sacrifice. today, myprayers are with the people of arizona. the mccain family . >> i differed with john from time to time but we never had any acrimony between us. he was always open and he i needed the help here in the
united states senate as i would do for him.i can say it was a privilege to serve with him. i feel very deeply about john mccain and i'm really pleased that i can stand here as one of his friends who knew him well. and praise him. maybe not as good as i feel that good enough. >> you been watching senators a tribute to the late senator john mccain earlier today. tomorrow senator mccain will lie in state the state capitol rotunda in phoenix. his funeral will take place thursday, also in phoenix. friday senator mccain will lie and stay at the us capital in washington with another funeral service on saturday washington national cathedral, buried su a