Joe Biden Delivered An Emotional Eulogy For His Friend John McCain

"I'm a Democrat, and I loved John McCain."

On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden delivered an emotional eulogy for his friend John McCain at an Arizona memorial service honoring the late senator, who died of brain cancer last week at age 81. Biden began the speech by saying, "My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat, and I loved John McCain."

Biden went on to speak about their long friendship, saying he thought of McCain as his "brother," despite coming from different political parties. "All politics is personal. It's all about trust," Biden said, according to a transcript from Town & Country. "I trusted John with my life and ... I think he would trust me with his. And as our life progressed, we learned more, there are times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding it's hard to see anything else."

Biden touched on the fact that glioblastoma, the cancer that took McCain's life, also took the lives of their fellow senator Ted Kennedy and Biden's son Beau. "It's brutal. It's relentless. It's unforgiving," he said of the disease. "And it takes so much from those we love and from the families who love them that in order to survive, we have to remember how they lived, not how they died."

He spoke about the process of grief, telling those who loved McCain, "The image of your dad, your husband, your friend. It crosses your mind and a smile comes to your lips before a tear to your eye. That's who you know. I promise you, I give you my word, I promise you, this I know. The day will come. That day will come."

"It wasn't about politics with John," Biden went on to say. "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."

He shared that he and McCain "loved the Senate" and "lamented, watching it change," adding, "All we do today is attack the oppositions of both parties, their motives, not the substance of their argument ... 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 start to treat one another again, like we used to."

Biden also shared why he thinks McCain's death affected the country so deeply, explaining, "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."

"I just think he gave Americans confidence," Biden said, concluding his speech by saying of McCain, "To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again."

Last year, Biden presented McCain with the Liberty Medal "for his lifetime of sacrifice and service." In his acceptance speech, McCain called Biden "good company," adding, "Thank you, old friend, for your company and your service to America."

In December, Biden appeared on The View, where he comforted McCain's daughter Meghan, who co-hosts the show. "You may remember when you were a little kid, your dad took care of my Beau ... And Beau talked about your dad's courage — not about illness, but about his courage," he told her, adding, "We are going to beat this damned disease. We really are."

Watch Biden's full eulogy in the video below:

Cover image: William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

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