tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 30, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
from another age, lived by a different code, an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive. 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 on substance, but the underlying values that animated everything john did, everything he was, come to a different conclusion. he'd part company with you, if you lacked the basic values of
decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself. john's story is an american story. it's not hyperbole. it's the american story. grounded in respect and decency. basic fairness. the intolerance through the abuse of power. many of you travel the world, look how the rest of the world looks at us. they look at us a little naive, so fair, so decent. we are the naive americans. that's who we are. that's who john was. he could not stand the abuse of power. wherever he saw it, in whatever
form, in whatever country. he always loved basic values, fairness, honesty, dignity, respect, giving hate no safe harbor, leaving no one behind and understanding americans were part of something much bigger than ourselves. with 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 ideals. think of how he approached every issue. the ideals that americans rallied around for 200 years, the ideals of the world has
prepared you. sounds corny. we hold these truths self-evident, but all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain rights. to john, those words had meaning. as they have for every great patriot who's ever served this country. we both loved the senate, proudest years of my life were being a united states senator. i was honored to be a united states senator. we both lamented, watching it change. during the long debates in the '80s and '90s, i would go sit next to john, next to his seat or he would come on the
democratic side and sit next to me. i'm not joking. we'd sit there and talk to each other. i can remember the day when i came out to see john, we were r r reminiscing around it. it was '96, about to go to the caucus. we both went into our caucus and co-incidentally, 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. i swear to god. same thing was said to john in your caucus. [ laughter ] >> that's when things began to change for the worse in america in the senate. that's when it changed.
what happened was, at those times, it was always appropriate to challenge another senator's judgment, but never appropriate to challenge their motive. when you challenge their motive, it's impossible to get to go. if i say you are going this because you are being paid off or you are doing it because you are not a good christian or this, that, or the other thing, it's impossible to reach consensus. think about in your personal lives, all we do today is attack the oppositions of both parties, their motives, not the substance of their argument. this is the mid-'90s. it began to go downhill from there.
the last day john was on the senate floor, what was he fighting to do? he was fighting to restore what you call regular order. just have to treat one another again, like we used to. senate was never perfect, john, you know that. we were there a long time together. i watched teddy kennedy and james easton fight like hell on capitol hill then go to lunch together. john wanted to see, quote, regular order at large. get to know one another. you know, john and i were both amused and i think lindsey was at one of these events where john and i received two prestigious awards where the last year i was vice president and won immediately after.
for our dignity and respect we showed to one another, we received an award for civility in public life. there's a college allegheny county puts out this award every year for bipartisanship. john and i looked at each and said what the hell is going on here. no, not a joke. i said to senator flake, that's how it's supposed to be. we get an award? i'm serious. think about this. getting an award for your civility. getting an award for bipartisanship. classic john, allegheny college of hundreds of people, got the award and the senate was in session. he spoke first and, as he walked off the stage and i walked on,
he said, joe, don't take it personally, but i don't want to hear what the hell you have to say. [ laughter ] >> one of john's major campaign people is now with the senate with the governor of ohio, was on this morning and i happened to watch it. he said that he had a strange relationship, they always seemed to have each other's back. whenever i was in trouble, john was the first guy there. i hope i was there for him. we never hesitate to give each other advice. he would call me in the middle of the campaign, i'd say what the hell did you say that for? you just screwed up, joe. i'd occasionally call him, look,
i've 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 presidential candidate who captured the support and imagination of the american people and, yes, john was a war hero, demonstrated extraordinary courage. i think of john and my son when i think of ingersoll's words when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate and honor scorns 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 america. 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, as a country, would never walk away from the sacrifice generations of americans have made to defend liberty and freedom and dignity around the world. it made average americans proud of themselves and their country. his belief, and it was deep, that americans can do anything, withstand anything, achieve
anything. it was unflagging and ultimately reassuring. this man believed that so strongly. his capacity that we truly are the world's last best hope, the beacon to the world. there are principles and ideals more than ourselves 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. i think it is under stated when they say optimism. that's what made john special.
made john a giant among all of us. in my view, john didn't believe that america's future and faith rested on heroes. we used to talk about, 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 each of us has a duty to defend, integrity, dignity and birthright of every child. he carried it. good communities are built by thousands of acts of decency that americans, as i speak today, show each other every single day deep in the dna of this nation's soul lies a flame
that was lit over 200 years ago. each of us carries with us and each one of us has the capacity, the responsibility and we can screw up the courage to ensure it does not extinguish. there's a thousand little things that make us different. bottom line was, i think john believed in us. i think he believed in the american people. not just all the pre-ambles, he believed until the american people, all 325 million of us. even though john is no longer with us, he left us clear instructions. quote, 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 understand. not to build his legacy. he wanted america reminded, 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 america is not over. it is hyperbole, it's not over. it's not close. cindy, john owed so much of what he was to you. you were his ballast. when i was with you both, i could see how he looked at you. jill is the one, when we were in hawaii, we first met you there and he kept staring at you. jill said go up and talk to her. doug and ann, sydney, mac, kimmy, bridgette, you may not
have had your father as long as you would like, but you got from him everything you 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 is going to take his rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders in this nation's history. in their time and in their way stood for freedom and stood for liberty and have made the american story the most improbable and most hopeful and 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. to paraphrase shakespeare, we shall not see his like again. [ applause ] >> the second reading from 2 tim verse 4 6-8. the time for my departure is near. i have fought the good fight, i have finished the race. i have kept the faith. now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day, not only to me, but also to all
jesus, at the final meal shared with his friends, charge them, remember me. remember me in the breaking of the bread. bread has to be broken to be shared. we are celebrating, today, the life of a man who unselfishly was broken, that we might be one again. john mccain, our brother, jesus' brother. to remember to bring together
john mccain, i invite you to share the words of henry scott holland. laugh as we always laughed at jokes we enjoyed together. play. smile. think of me, pray for me. let my name be ever that household word that it always was. let it be spoken without effect, without a trace of shadow on it. we pray, lord, god, may john mccain's vision be in our eyes. his voice in our words and our tongue. his listening to the needs of
in this loss and in this sorrow, i take comfort in this, john mccain, hero of the he public, his little girl, awaits today to something more glorious than anything on this earth. today, he enters his true and eternal life, greeted by those who have gone before him. she writes, rising to meet the author of all things. we will grieve. we will mourn. but, i want you to think about her words. in this very moment, senator john mccain is in heaven. with god the father and jesus the son. no more cancer.
no more pain. no more sickness. no more burdens of this world. in fact, his biggest concern is probably what channel do i have to find in heaven to watch larry play on sundays? all joking alive, he is a free man and more alive than he's ever been. see, senator mccain professed christianity. here is the hope in what senator mccain believed. romans 3: 23. for all sin fallen short of the glory of god. romans 6:23. the wages of sin was death. the gift of god is eternal life through his son, jesus christ. the hope we have is senator john mccain believed this passage
from john 3: 16, that for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. who believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. when we grieve and when we mourn, understand that he has eternal life and he is with the father in heaven because of his faith in jesus christ. that is something to find comfort in. that is the reason why megan can write these words so beautifully. let us pray together. father, as we leave from this place, we ask you to give comfort to cindy and the family. as vice president, joe biden said, there will be days that the freshness of this loss hits
them hard, father. in those moments, lord, when they find themselves by themselves mourning this deep pain and sorrow, will you comfort them, god? will you give them the strength they need to walk every single day. god, as we mourn, as scripture says, we mourn differently with those who have hope because senator john mccain believes you sent your only son to walk this earth and live a sinless life, to die on the cross for our sins for the things we deserve. he believed jesus christ was put in the tomb and he rose again and he defeated death. that is a reason to celebrate and that is a reason for us to have comfort. it's in jesus name we pray, amen. i want to thank you all, again, on the behalf of the mccain family for being here and
♪ regrets, i've had a few ♪ but then again, too few to mention ♪ ♪ i did what i had to do and saw it through without exemption ♪ ♪ i planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway ♪ ♪ and more, much more than this, i did it my way ♪ ♪ yes, there were times, i'm sure you knew -- >> what a beautiful, beautiful
memorial service for a truly wonderful american hero. what a way to conclude this service with frank sinatra performing, "my way" because john mccain certainly did do it his way. you are holding back your tears, too. >> yeah, that was really moving. on many levels. what's so great about it was, if you didn't know a lot about john mccain, you do now because those were deeply personal testimonies. from his bad driving to his heroism, his honor, willingness to work across the aisle, his strength in vietnam, his love of family. you heard from people who truly, truly knew him in all aspects of his life and through anecdotes and these very colorful
tributes, i think you got a full sense of the measure of truly great man. >> certainly did live a life, david axelrod. >> oh, without a doubt. the vice president talked about loss. of course he experienced dramatic loss, the loss of a child but no one could say john mccain was cheated. he, least of all, would say that. he lived one of the great american lives. what was so impressive about this service, which i suspect will be the most personal of the three or several that we are going to see is, you got a sense of his courage, values, decency and humor. he was a guy who took public service very seriously, but didn't take himself too seriously. that was part of his great appeal. >> i also thought joe biden's eulogy was extraordinary because it seemed to me, it was on three
levels. it was a eulogy to comfort his family and his friends, a eulogy to celebrate the man and his legacy, but i also think it had a third audience, that was donald trump. so many of the things that he talked about, about john mccain, respect, dignity, civility, bipartisanship, they are just that much more potent in this day and age. >> it was a unique time and certainly vice president biden underscored the casket is now coming out of the church and will be placed into the hearse, then the motorcade will take the casket and the family, close friends to the phoenix sky harbor airport for the flight to
the people who knew him so well. it was, essentially, from my point of view, when they took him off the pedestal and told us who john mccain was, all his strengths and weaknesses. in the political world, most of the conversation will be about joe biden. that was a remarkable eulogy on his part. many in politics are wondering, is joe biden the right person? is he too old to be president? can he take it and handle it? this is the biggest speech he's probably going to make for at least the next year. he's going to have a lot of remembrance. in the beginning, he was -- i have not appreciated how much he contains his suffering. he is engulfed in grief with the losses in his life. there was a sense of a father figure out there. then in the middle, he came alive. there was a place he was speaking from deep conviction.
you said, that's the old joe biden, the energy, but the anger and almost the disgust. he didn't want to express in those words, but you could tell about his feelings, what's happening to the country. i thought that gave great power to his eulogy. >> certainly did. becky, you are a former mccain chief of staff. talk about that relationship john mccain had with joe biden. >> you know, senator mccain had a lot of personal, across the aisle relationships. there's been reference to ted kennedy. obviously, biden being here was a great symbol of that relationship and friendship. it's important to note this point about the pain, the real pain and the way that he reached out to the mccain family during that and made them understand he knew what they were going through. in that moment, to me, that really showed this wasn't a
political trick or wasn't trying to be flashy and show insincere relationship, but one that was true and deep and long lasting. that was the first time i have heard the story about jill being the one that pointed cindy out to the senator in hawaii. i thought that was interesting. i have known both of them all these years and never knew that. the tribute, i feel, showed so many aspects of john mccain's personality. grant woods, long-time friend, traveling in arizona, if grant came along, we knew it was going to be an easier day. the two of them laughed and laughed and enjoyed each other. they had an appreciation for them. tommy espinoza showed that spicy side of john. then larry fitzgerald showed the kind of reach across the country, the friendships and relationships the senator had. up until the very end.
then, another man who really personifies arizona and another person the people of arizona adore. i thought the tributes were amazing across the board. i thought they were clearly picked out by john mccain himself. >> they certainly were. dana bash, you are at the church and watched so closely. you covered senator mccain so many years. >> that's right. picking up about joe biden and jill, i have never heard. but go talk to cindy, moments ago, as they came out, there was another poignant moment where they were standing in front of the church. cindy mccain went to the car, saw them, came back and gave both of them really big hugs. clearly, so grateful for speech, but obviously the friendship he
described they had for decades, more than 30 years. you can see the pictures. you can see the picture on the air of the hearse and the motorcade. one of the things we are also going to see is a larger motorcade. we were talking about the fact that it is larger because there are so many people, again, they call themselves mccainiacs that want to take the journey with the mccain family from here in arizona back to washington. talk about that. >> that's so poignant. as we all remember, john mccain hated to be alone. he always wanted to be surrounded by his friends. he always said he was too restless and needed company and companionship. i think so many of the leaders that are here today felt a deeply personal need to be with him from arizona to the very end, the naval academy. last night, just talking to many
of his friends, i think so many of them were comforted by the fact he had lived such a full 81 years. they were laughing about how many fighter planes he crashed a and, you know, saying he had nine lives and really was happy with his life at the end. >> you can see the motorcade is beginning to leave. senator mccain will be leaving his beloved, adopted state of arizona for the last time because, of course, he's going to go back to washington. there will be another ceremony, he will lie in state at the u.s. capitol. there will be a ceremony on saturday. he will have his final resting place at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis.
that is the place he chose. that is the mccain name. that is mccain essence. so, over the last half century has become arizona. you can really feel it on the ground here in arizona, how much love there is for this man. sure, he was a politician, but, because he was so devoted not just to the country and the world, but to this state and to all of the intricacies and the needs of this state from water to native americans, to just the basics. you saw that represented in the kinds of people who were chose to speak, to sing and to pay tribute to him. senator ben sasse, you are with me. a quarter of the senate was here. you are somebody who, you are
republican, but somebody who understands intuitively the essence of the mccain rebellious streak. >> yeah. >> what did you take as you sat in that church and listened to the ceremony? >> it was a beautiful service. the juxtaposition of john mccain, an american hero, a man destined for the history books for decades and decades, something we want our doukids t imlate. senator garcia told of hope. it was a special event, a painful event. you saw the wide diversity of the people from across the state and country who loved john and wanted to be here and pay tribute to him today. >> you are a relatively new member of the senate, compared to john mccain. the fact that you felt close enough to him to want to not just pay tribute toe him in the u.s. capitol where you served together, but here in arizona. why did you feel that desire?
>> i went home, picked up my 7-year-old and brought him here to be at a hero funeral. it's weird to be 46 and speaking of an 81-year-old as a friend. john endorsed against me in my primary against me. i didn't know, but when i won, i felt i need to meet him. you're a hero, i volunteered for you. he let loose on a tirade. he was insulting me for getting up in his grill because he loved people who didn't have patience for small stuff. so, we became fast friends 47 months ago. i have learned global security and a lot of national security traveling to war zones and refugee camps and midnight flights all over the world with him. no matter where you went, john mccain never believed it was
about him. he sang a constant hymn to america. i think you see at the air force base or refugee camps on the edge of syria, people wanted to be around john mccain. today, people wanted to be around john mccain. >> this is a message about john mccain but also john mccain's message to america. >> well said. joe biden gave a hymn to america. he said the america we know is an idea. it's a declaration of universal human dignity. 7.5 billion people across the globe created by god with rights. you don't have rights because we gave them to you. john was the proponent of that american ideal. you heard a lot of people singing a mccain refrain to that. >> one more question, how do you -- how do you take this message and continue it in a practical way? how do you take his life and legacy and what he did in the
u.s. senate and politics and continue it in a real way, not just talking about it now, but in the future? >> sure. this is obviously a week, not just yesterday and today, through saturday and the burial coming. this is a time to celebrate john. one of the things you see are a civic that is are bigger than policy preference in john. we have a lot of people in politics who are mostly interested in their own incumbency and low grade tribalism. what should we do about "x"? the other guys are worse than our guys. wouldn't it be great to come out of the week, there's a lot of celebration. it would be great to come out not just 100 people in the senate or 535 people in the congress, but people across america saying republicans and democrats, we differ on a bunch of things, but there are things bigger that unite us. >> senator, thank you. thank you for sharing this.
great for your son that he got to experience this. he'll always remember it. thank you. >> wolf, back to you. >> thank you very much. the motorcade making its way from the church to the gold water air national guard base at phoenix international airport. take a look at the bottom, right corner of the screen. you can see all the u.s. military personnel who are already present, 150 army national guard troops, 150 air national guard troops standing on the west side in formation as the motorcade makes its way, the casket placed aboard the c-32 military aircraft that will be taken, taking the family and close friends and john mccain to joint base andrews outside of washington, d.c., where the memorial services will continue tomorrow at the u.s. capitol, then saturday morning at the national cathedral before john mccain is buried at the u.s.
naval academy in annapolis, maryland, on sunday. that will be a private ceremony on sunday. we have a close friend of senator mccain. my condolences to youch. you have been invited by the family and senator mccain to become a pal bearer at the service. how did that unfold? >> he left a message in april he wanted me to be one. i didn't want to think about it or speak about it. we knew this day was coming, but we hoped it would not come so soon. for me, this is deeply personal and immense, but heart breaking honor to be able to do this. it's very important for me to be able to say one last good-bye to somebody who, for so many years, was a pillar of support and pillar of principles. those who live in awe thortarian states and with regimes, we got
used to many western political leaders who pay lip service to human rights, to human freedoms, who speak nice words, then find it within themselves to do business with the tyrants. literally. john mccain was never like that. one of the things that defined him most was he spoke the truth, regardless of party, political advantage or convenience. he stood up for what was right. he lived by the values and lived by them, he stood in them. one of the biggest lies propagated by the media is that john mccain is somehow an enemy of russia. he was a crook and criminal. they are stealing from the people of russia denying them the rights. he was never an enemy of the russian people. he was the biggest supporter of
the freedom and dignity of the rights of russian people. >> did he call you personally and ask you? >> a message from a mutual friend. we saw each other less than a year ago. we saw each other in 2017, here in washington. we presented a documentary film of a friend of senator mccain's. when i first met senator mccain, it was with boris in 2010 when senator mccain was a leading advocate of the u.s. legislation that imposed personal targeted sanctions against corrupt officials and human right abusers in the putin regime. i can tell you, the doors of senator mccain's office were always open for russian democrats, russian civil society leaders. those fighting about a future for russia. he didn't just say those things, he acted as well. >> you saw him two months after he had been diagnosed with a
severe brain cancer. tell us about that. >> well, the diagnosis was already known. it was astonishing. in another way, it was typical john mccain. he presented the film and stayed for the entire film. i see his assistant was stuck. he stayed to the end. then we went on stage and had a 40-45 minute discussion. he was lucid and active as ever. that is something that always amazed not just me, but many people who met with him and spoke with him, including boris. you know, in the years we have dealt with political leaders in western countries, very often they speak in general terms and ask very general questions. he was pointed, detailed, specific. vague discussions were not of interest to him. >> the way he was with the news media as well.
i can testify to the interview in 30 years. it's going to be an important eulogy on saturday when your former boss, the former president of the united states, barack obama, is at the national cathedral. >> yeah. what strikes me about this is senator mccain didn't orchestrate a tib ute to himself. he orchestrated a civic communion where we took it to revisit principles of who we are as a country, quwhat politics should be about. the fact president obama is speaking and president bush is speaking, two vanquished opponents, but respectful opponents is enormously important, at this time in our country, when politics is so angry and polarized, to see former opponents, people of different parties stand-up and pay tribute to each other, i think is not about john mccain, it's about what he believed about our country and so i'm
looking forward to both presidents. >> jaime, you have been doing reporting. former president, bill clinton and hillary clinton, they are invited to the national cathedral as well. >> correct. everyone was invited except donald trump. so, the clintons will be there. president bush 41 because of his health won't be there. the same is the case with the carters. we are going to have the clinton's, barack obama, george w. bush and i just thought it was very nice, it was either president obama or george w. bush who said they were honored to be, they were the ones honored to be asked to give this speech. >> john mccain personally asked them to do so. >> right. >> what does it say to you the former presidents will be there, the current president won't? >> well, i think it's one more unfortunate sign about where we are as a people. i very much respect john
mccain's judgment in that. i think it would have been extremely -- a lot of controversy. everybody would have been watching the trump's had they been there, trying to read this or that into it. instead, what we have in the memorable phrase from senator sasse, a hand to america. >> john mccain said amen after that. >> on that, people are going to ask who can replace john mccain? the answer is no one. period. in terms of the senate, you should keep an eye on ben sasse because he, in many ways, models the moral certitude, the moral fortitude, the respect that john mccain treasured so deeply. one more thought on joe biden. david, you said it perfectly when you noted his anger. he was angry today. that's because we all know how much we lose in john mccain. we know the stakes are so high. it feels as though, in many
ways, john mccain and his sensibility are of the past. that makes us angry. that makes us scared. that makes us afraid. in the end, he gave us his words of optimism to not be afraid, to know this, too, shall pass and we'll be stronger for it. >> in biden's remarks, the things that stood out said mccain could not stand the abuse of power, giving hate no safe harbor. those words hit very hard. i think are very true. >> how did you see it? >> i also found it sbreing duri during biden's remarks, he was addressed the senators. they were sitting off to the left. you could find him kind of trying to have a one-on-one conversation with them. i know there are comments about whether he was addressing trump,
but the u.s. senate as well. >> 36 years of habit. >> good point. good point. he never met an audience he didn't love. but, you could see him calling them to arms on it, too. >> yeah. >> we lost senator kennedy and senator mccain. a lot of people have been talking about the lines of the senate. it's important not to miss the ideas there are up and comers that have the potential to become that. we don't need to give up on this generation of politicians. there's still opportunity for some of these people to grow into the alliance of the senate. there was call to arms for the senators. the house members and the other po politicians that were there, former and current. >> 25, 26 former and current senators were there. >> exactly half. four former, two democrats and two republicans. knowing how much senator mccain put into planning this, you know
that was purposefully. he didn't mean to send a signal. to have that, the symbolism, going on throughout the ceremony, not just in the words, but the symbolism is really, really well done. it sends a powerful message about his values. >> take a look at this. you can see john mccain, the sign on the billboard as the motorcade gets closer and closer to the airport. we honor your service. that's what the billboard is saying, in honor of senator john mccain. there you see it. thank you for your service is precisely what it was saying. the motorcade getting to the airport now. the air national guard base at the phoenix international airport. they will have a ceremony, a brief ceremony, speaking at the airport, placed on the c-32 u.s.
air force military aircraft. there will be a brief transfer and a flight to joint base andrews in washington, d.c. we are at the airport right now. walk us through what else we should expect. >> reporter: well, wolf, there are 300 arizona air national guard giving john mccain a fitting send off from the state. a military man, a military hero, from a military family that fought in every war throughout the british. of course, this is a flight he took many times himself. 35 years serving as a congressman and senator. getting aboard the plane with him will be friends and 18 members of his family, including cindy, his widow, his wife of 38 years, seven children and at least four grand kids as well. wolf, back to you. >>