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tv   Joe Biden at Sen. John Mc Cain Arizona Memorial Service  CSPAN  August 31, 2018 10:00am-10:32am EDT

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it bothers me that if everything is going so well outside, we that are actually doing the work in the government for the that. host: that is the last word from columbia, maryland. thank you for your calls and comments on this friday's washington journal. the journal is back again tomorrow morning for the saturday edition at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. we are live on the east front of the u.s. capitol. in half an hour the body of senator john mccain will arrive for the capital after a brief ceremony outside. he will be brought inside for the memorial ceremony. that will be at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. speakers are mitch mcconnell, chuck schumer, paul ryan, and vice president mike pence who is the president of the senate. the public is allowed to pay their respects.
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that will begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern time and go into the evening. then senator mccain's casket will leave the capital tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. eastern. they will head to the vietnam memorial where his life will lay a wreath at about 9:00 in the morning. then the funeral procession will head to the national cathedral for a memorial service for senator mccain. among those delivering the eulogies, two former presidents, george w. bush and barack obama. finally senator mccain will be buried sunday and he either ceremony in the grounds of the u.s. naval academy at annapolis, maryland. we will be live at all of this inside the rotunda of u.s. capitol, the majestic centerpiece of the capital. up next, tributes including this from his former senate colleague, democratic rival, former vice president joe biden.
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vice president biden: my name is joe biden. i'm a democrat. and i loved john mccain. i have had the dubious honor of the years of giving some eulogies for fine women and men i admired. i told lindsey, this was hard. the three men who spoke before me, i think captured john and different aspects of john in a way only someone close to him could understand.
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but the way i look at it, the way i thought about it was that i always thought of john as a brother. we had a hell of a lot of family fights. [laughter] we go back a long way. i was a young, united states senator. i got elected when i was 29. i had the dubious distinction of being put on the foreign relations committee. the next youngest person was 14 years older than me. and i spent a lot of time traveling the world because i was assigned the responsibility my colleagues in the senate, and , i was chair of the european subcommittee, so i spent a lot of time at nato and the soviet
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union. and along came a guide a couple of years later, a guy i knew of , admired from afar, your husband who invented prisoner of war and endured enormous pain-and-suffering -- and demonstrated the code, the mccain code. people don't think much about it today but imagine having already known pain that you are likely to endureand being offered the opportunity to go home, and saying no. as any sign of the navy will tell you last one in, last one , out, the saying goes. so i knew john. and john became the navy liaison officer in the united states senate.
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there is an office that then used to be on the basement floor. members of the military who are assigned to senators when they travel abroad to meet with heads of state or other foreign dignitaries, and john had recently been released from the hanoi hilton, a genuine hero, and became the navy liaison. for some reason we hit it off from the beginning. we were both full of dreams and ambitions an overwhelming desire to make the time we had there worthwhile, to try to do the right thing, to think about how we could make things better for the country we love so much. and john and i ended up
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traveling. every time i went anywhere, i took john with me or john took me with him. we were in china, japan, russia, germany, france, england, turkey, all over the world, tens of thousands of miles. and we would sit on that plane, and late at night when everyone else was asleep we would just talk, getting to know one another. we would talk about family, talk about politics, talk about international relations, talk about promise, the promise of america. because we were both cockeyed optimists. and both believe there is not a single thing beyond the capacity of this country. for real, not a single thing. and when you get to know another woman or man, you get to know their hopes and their fears, you get to know their family even
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before you meet them you get to , know how they feel about really important things. we talked about everything except captivity and the loss of family, which had just occurred, my wife and daughter. those were the two things we didn't talk about. but i found it wasn't too long into john's duties that jill and i got married. jill is with me here today. five years, i had been a single dad. and no man deserves one heavy toone great love, let alone and i met jill, and it changed , my life. she fell in love with him and hr with her. lindsay would call her jaililly. -- jilly. when they would get bored being
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with me on these trips, he said, let me take you to dinner. ad later learned they were at cafe at the port with dancers on top of cement tables drinking ouzo. [laughter] not a joke. jilly. [laughter] but we got to know each other well. he loved my son beau, and my son hunt. as a young man he came up to my house. he would come up to wilmington and out of this group great friendship that transcended whatever political differences we had or later developed. we understood the same thing. all politics is personal.
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it is 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 that -- and as large life's progress we learned even more -- that there are times when life can be so cruel, pain is so blinding, it is hard to see anything else. the disease that took john's life took our mutual friend teddy's life, the exact same disease nine years ago, a couple of days ago. three years ago it took my beautiful son beau's life. it's brutal. it's relentless. it's unforgiving, and it takes so much from those we love and the families who love them that in order to survive we have to
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remember how they lived, not how they died. i carry with me and image of cash an image of beau, sitting out on a little lake we live on, starting the motor of the boat and smiling and waving, not the last days. i'm sure vicki kennedy has her own image, seeing teddy looking so alive on that sailboat out on the cape. and for the family, you will all find your own images, whether it is remembering his smile or his laugh, or a touch on your shoulder or running his hand down your cheek. or just feeling like someone is ceilingand turning and
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-- seeing him smiling at you, just looking at you. or when you saw the sheer joy that crossed his face when he knew he was about to get up and take state on the senate floor and start a fight. [laughter] god, he loved it. [laughter] so to cindy and the kids, doug, andy, jack, jimmy, bridget, and i know she is not here but mrs. mccain, we know how difficult it is to bury a child, mrs. mccain. my heart goes out to you. and i know right now the pain you all are feeling is so sharp and so hollowing, and john's absence is all-consuming for all of you right now. it is like being sucked into a black hole inside your chest. it is frightening. but i know something else from experience.
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there is nothing anyone can say or do to ease the pain right now, but i pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared john with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of john's death. look around this magnificent church. look what you saw coming into the state capital yesterday. it's hard to stand there, but -- at least it beau standing in
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the state capitol, you know it was genuine. it was deep. he touched so many lives. i was called not just because people knew we were friends. not just from people around the country but leaders around the world calling. i am getting all of these sympathy letters. hundreds of them. tweets. character is destiny. john had character. while others will miss his leadership, his passion, even his stubbornness, you are going to miss that hand on your shoulder. the family is going to miss the man, this faithful man, as he was, who you knew would
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literally, not figuratively, give his life for you. for that, there is no balm but time. time in your memories of the life lived well, lived fully. i will make you a promise. i promise you the time will come -- what's going to happen is six months will go by and everybody is going to think think, well, it's past, but you're going to ride by that field or smell that fragrance, or see that flashing image, and you are going to feel you did the day you got the news but you know you're going to make it. when the image of your dad, your crosses your friend
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your mind and a smile comes to your lip before a tear to your eye. that's when you know. and i promise you, i give you my word, i promise you, this i know, that day will come. the day will come. you know, i am sure as my former colleagues and all who worked with john -- i am sure people have said to you not only now but the last 10 years, explain this guy to me. right? explain this guy to me. because as a look at him in one , sense, they admired him. but the way things have changed so much in america they looked at him as if john came from another age. lived by a different code, and
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ancient, antiquated code were honor, courage, integrity, duty -- that was obvious how john lived his life. the truth is john's code was ageless. is ageless. when you talked earlier, grant, you talked about values. it wasn't about politics with john. he could disagree but the underlying values that animated everything john did, everything he was you would come to a conclusion, but where he would part company with you is if you lack the basic ,alues of decency, respect
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knowing that this project is it your than yourself. john's story is the american story. that's not hyperbole. it's the american story grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness, the intolerance for the abuse of power. many of you have traveled the world. look out the rest of the world looks at us. we are naive. we are so fair, so decent. we are naive americans. but that's who we are. that's who john was. and he could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it. in whatever form, in whatever country.
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it was always about basic values with john. fairness, honesty, dignity, respect, getting hateharbor, leaving no one behind, and understanding as americans we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. for john, it was a value set that was neither selfish nor self-serving. john understood that america was first and foremost an idea, audacious and risky, organized around not tribe, but around ideals. think of how he approached every issue. the ideals that americans have rallied around for over 200 world -- andeal the
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idea enshrined in the constitution. it sounds corny. we hold these truths self-evident that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. to john, those words had meaning. as they have for every great patriot. -- every great patriot that ever served his country. we both loved the senate. the proudest years of my life were being a united states senator. i was honored to be vice president, but being a united states senator. they both lamented watching you change -- watching it changed. during long debates in the 1980's and 1990's, some colleagues around the would know i would go in sit next to john, next to his seat, or he would come to the democratic side in sit next to me. i am not joking. we would sit there and talk to
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each other. i remember the day i came out to see john and we reminisced about it. it was in 1996. we were about to adjourn for the caucuses. there was a luncheon once a week where all the democratic senators have us together and all the republican senators would have lunch together. we both went into our caucuse and we were approached by our caucus leaders with the same thing. joe, it doesn't look good, you sitting next to john all the time. [laughter] swear to god. the same thing was said to john and his caucus. that's when things began to change for the worse in america , and the senate. that's when it changed. what happened was at those times
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it was always appropriate to challenge another senators judgment, but never appropriate challenge their motive. when you challenge a motive, it's impossible to get to go. if i say you are doing this because you are being paid off, if i say you doing this because you're not a good christian, because your this or that, it's impossible to reach consensus. think about it in your personal lives. all we do today is attack the oppositions of both parties, their motives, not the substance of their argument. this was the mid-1990's. it began to go downhill from there. the last day john was on the senate floor, look what he
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was fighting to do. he was fighting to restore , to we call regular order start to treat each other again like we used to. the senate was never perfect. john, you know that. kennedyuld watch tenney and john eastman fight like hell and then go have us together down the senate dining room. john wanted to see "regular order" writ large, get to know one another. you know, john and i were both amused and i think lindsay was it one of these events where john and i received two prestigious awards. last year i was vice president and then one immediately after. for our dignity and respect we show to one another.
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we received an award for civility in public life. a college in allegheny county who puts out an award every year for bipartisanship. john and i would look at each other and say, what the hell is going on here? not a joke. i said to senator flake, that is how it is supposed to be. you are giving an award? i am serious. think about this. getting an award for your civility. getting an award for bipartisanship. , wesic john, one colleague got the award -- the senate was in session. he spoke first. as he walked off the stage and i walked on, he said joe, don't take it personally, but i just don't want to hear what the hell you had to say.
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[laughter] he left. one of john's major campaign people is now the senate, the governor of ohio. he said biden and mccain had a strange relationship. they always seemed at each other's back. whenever i was in trouble, john was the first guy there. i hope i was there for him. we never hesitated to ask each other for device. -- other advice. he would call me in the middle of a campaign and say what the hell did you say that for? it was not on an issue. he just read up, joe. i would occasionally call him. -- he just screwed up, joe. i would occasionally call him.
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look, i have been thinking this week about why john's death hit the country so hard. yes, he was a long-serving senator with a remarkable record. yes, he was a two-time candidate who captured the imagination of the american people. and yes, john was a war hero with demonstrated a string and the courage. i think of john and my sunlight of think of ingersoll's words. when on her scores to compromise with death, that is heroism. everybody knows that about john. but i don't think it fully explains why the country has been so taken by john's passing. i think it's something more intangible. i think it's because they knew john believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of
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america that he made it easier for them to have confidence and faith in america. his faith in the core values of this nation made them somehow feel it more genuinely themselves. his conviction that we, the country, would never walk away from the sacrifices generations of americans have me to defend liberty and freedom and human dignity around the world. it made average americans proud of themselves and their country. deep that, and it was , americans can do anything, withstand anything, achieve anything was both unflagging and ultimately reassuring.
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this man believed it so strongly. his capacity that we truly are the world's last best hope, that we are the beacon to the world, that there are principles and ideals greater than ourselves that are worth sacrificing for and if necessary dying for. americans saw how he lived his life that way, and they knew the truth of what he was saying. i just think he gave americans confidence. john was a hero. his character, courage, honor, integrity. but i think the things understated the most is his optimism. that's what made john special, made john a giant among all of us. but in my view, john didn't
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believe that america's future and fate rested on heroes. we used to talk about and i liked most about him is he understood what i hope we all remember. heroes didn't build this country. ordinary people being given half a chance are capable of doing extraordinary things. extraordinary things. john knew ordinary americans understood that each of us has a duty to defend the integrity, dignity, and birthright of every child. good communities are built by thousands of small acts of decency. that americans, as i speak today, show each other every single day. buried deep in the dna of this nation's soul lies a flame that was lit over 200 years ago that each of us
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carries with us and each one of us has the capacity, the responsibility, and we can screw up the courage to ensure it's not extinguish. it's a thousand little things that make us different. the bottom line was i think john believed in us. i think he believed in the american people, not just all the preambles, the constitution. he believed in the american people. all 325 million of us. even though john is no longer with us, he left us pretty clear instructions. "believe always in the promise and greatness of america, because nothing is inevitable here." close to the last thing john said took the whole nation as he knew he was about to depart. that's what he wanted america to
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understand. not to build his legacy. he wanted to remind them to understand. i think john's legacy is going to continue to inspire and challenge generations of leaders as they step forward, and john mccain's impact on america is not over. it's not hyperbole. it's not over. i don't think it's even close. cindy, john owed so much of what he was to you. you were his ballast. whenever i was with you both, i could just see how he looked at you. jill's the one when we were in hawaii, he first met you there, he kept staring at you and jill finally said, go up and talk to her. [laughter] and doug and ann, sidney, meghan, jack, jimmy, bridgette, you may not have your father as long as you would have liked but you got from him everything you
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need to pursue your own dreams, to follow the course of your own spirit. you are a living legacy, not hyperbole. you are a living legacy and proof of john mccain's success. now john's going to take his rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders in this nation's history who in their time and in their way stood for freedom and stood for liberty and have made the american story the most improbable and the most hopeful and the most enduring story on earth. i know john said he hoped he played a small part in that story. john, you did much more than that, my friend.


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