WASHINGTON (CBS) Sen. John McCain, one of the longest-serving senators, received messages of love and support from his colleagues on Capitol Hill after announcing Wednesday he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
McCain, one of the Senate’s most powerful senators and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was long known as the “maverick” of the Senate and received messages from Democrats and Republicans alike.
In a statement, the White House said President Trump and first lady Melania Trump send their “thoughts and prayers” to McCain, his wife Cindy and their whole family.
Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon. https://t.co/fONWVlmYyz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2017
Former President Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential election, called McCain an “American hero” and wrote he is “one of the bravest fighters I know.”
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, tweeted “I don’t always agree” with McCain, but she called him an “American hero.”
A sad day. I don't always agree w/@SenJohnMcCain, but count him as American hero and greatly respect him. Praying for him & family. https://t.co/bTFbUUk3EO
— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) July 20, 2017
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who served in the Senate with McCain for more than 20 years, tweeted that McCain has been his friend “for 40 years” and “he will beat this.”
John and I have been friends for 40 years. He's gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace. He is strong – and he will beat this.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 20, 2017
Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate in 2008, wrote on Facebook that he is a “tough fighter” and wrote that her family “continues to lift John and his family up in prayer.”
Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat served in the House of Representatives for 50 years, called McCain “a dogged ole S.O.B.” and “tougher than a $2 steak.”
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called McCain an “American hero.”
“He has never shied from a fight and I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life,” McConnell wrote.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a longtime fellow member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after a meeting to discuss health care that “this disease has never had a more worthy opponent.”
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called McCain a “warrior” in a statement, saying “all of us, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans, are behind him.”
2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who also served in the Senate with McCain, tweeted a statement calling McCain “as tough as they come.”
John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 20, 2017
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who is recovering from a gunshot wound, tweeted that he is “praying” for McCain, “one of the toughest people I know.”
Praying for my friend @SenJohnMcCain, one of the toughest people I know.
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 20, 2017
Also sending out a statement is former President George H.W. Bush, saying that McCain and his family will face this health challenge with “courage and determination.”
“The Hanoi Hilton couldn’t break John McCain’s spirit many years ago, so Barbara and I know — with confidence — he and his family will meet this latest battle in his singular life of service with courage and determination,” the statement read.