By Reg Chapman


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota’s senior Senator, released a heartfelt statement Saturday night regarding the death of John McCain.

The two shared many special occasions. In 2009, Klobuchar visited the Hanoi Hilton with Sen. McCain, the place where he was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years.

They also stood side by side in Lithuania in 2016, when McCain called for sanctions against Russia for its alleged attempt to influence the United States presidential election.

Klobuchar says McCain was a mentor to so many Senators, and he taught them all how to work with leaders on the world stage. She says he also taught them how to work with each other regardless of party back at home.

Klobuchar and her husband did visit McCain and his wife while he was fighting brain cancer. She remembers him pointing to a sentence in his new book: “Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself.” She says that is what McCain’s entire life was about.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. John McCain (credit: CBS)

He proved the dignity of America was a cause greater than himself, which was exhibited during his speech when he accepted the Republican Nomination for president at the Republican National Convention held in St. Paul in 2008.

“I’ll ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me in my administration. We’ll set a new standard for transparency and accountability with hard work, strong faith and a little courage,” McCain said. “Great things are always within our reach. Fight with me fight for what’s right for our country.”

Here is Sen. Klobuchar’s full statement:

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend and colleague, Senator John McCain. In the Navy, he exemplified heroism and bravery. In the Senate, he was a mentor to so many senators: he taught us how to work with leaders on the world stage, and he taught us how to work with each other regardless of party back at home.

This past month my husband and I got to visit John and Cindy at their ranch in Arizona. While battling brain cancer, he continued to be engaged in the issues of our time, always a man of grit. My last memory of John was something that happened on that visit. He pointed to a sentence in his new book and told me ‘that’s all that matters.’ The sentence was this: ‘Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself.’

That’s what Senator McCain’s entire life was about. He taught us that as a POW in Vietnam when he made the decision to not allow others to be released before him so he didn’t get special treatment. Supporting his fellow soldiers was a cause greater than himself.

He showed it as a senator when he voted to maintain health care and stood up for immigrants. Those were causes greater than himself and party politics.

He showed it as a candidate for President when he publicly disagreed with a woman in my state at a rally who questioned the patriotism of his Democratic opponent Barack Obama. He defended his opponent. The dignity of America was a cause greater than himself.

Finally he loved his family so very much.

He has always been surrounded by strong women—his wife and my friend Cindy, his mom, and his daughters. I know that they—along with the rest of his family—are all grieving tonight, as is our entire country. Our country owes a lot to John McCain and we will greatly miss him.

Several other Minnesota politicians expressed their grief Saturday over McCain’s passing.

Minnesota Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz released this statement Saturday evening:

Senator John McCain was a humble hero and an American patriot. He emanated bravery. All the days of his life, he fought for – and represented – the values we hold dear as Americans.

From his selfless service in uniform to his time in Congress fighting for those who serve and have served, Senator McCain dedicated his life to this nation and his fellow citizens. His deep and enduring love for his country and his family fueled his public service, and it is no secret his voice will be deeply missed in the United States Congress.

It is an honor to have been able to call Senator McCain my colleague and I am even more proud to have been able to call John my friend. Gwen and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and Senator McCain’s entire family. We can honor his legacy by working to return decency and dignity to our politics and fighting every single day for the democracy we love.

Reg Chapman

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