BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker praised John McCain as a “quintessential American” after the Arizona senator’s family announced Friday that he would forego further treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.
McCain died on Saturday afternoon surrounded by his family. He was 81.
Keller @ Large: John McCain’s Important Role In Massachusetts Politics
On Saturday, the Republican governor said he has great admiration for McCain’s service to the country.
McCain’s wife Cindy tweeted Saturday that her family has been “overwhelmed” by the support from around the world.
A six-term GOP senator, McCain would have turned 82 on Aug. 29. The war hero and 2008 presidential nominee had been away from the Capitol since December.
In more than three decades in Congress, McCain became known as a political maverick willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders — an independent streak that has drawn a mix of respect and ire.
Most recently, he has been a thorn in the side of President Donald Trump, keeping up his criticism of the White House even while undergoing severe medical treatment in Arizona.
In July, he issued a searing rebuke of Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a “tragic mistake” and “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
The strained relationship between Trump and McCain dates back to 2015, when Trump suggested the Vietnam veteran, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison after his Navy plane was shot down, was not a war hero.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)