United States senator John McCain dead at 81

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"I understand the discipline and the things that go along about being a service person and protecting our freedoms", Edwards said. "We join with millions of Americans in mourning his loss, and extend our deepest condolences to Senator McCain's wife, Cindy, and his entire family".

Notably just a year ago, Mr McCain was the decisive "no" on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he and running mate Sarah Palin lost to Barack Obama.

Barack took to Twitter to share a statement from him and wife Michelle Obama to honor John's "patriotic obligation" to the United States.

Some other contenders for the caretaker position are Kirk Adams, the governor's chief of staff and one time Congressional candidate.

The president's public jabs at his fellow Republican only became more frequent after McCain - who had just returned to Washington following his brain cancer diagnosis - turned his thumb down on the Senate floor previous year to help sink his party's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Mr McCain declared the comment offensive to veterans.

"Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018", McCain's office said in a statement. Our country has lost a decorated war hero and statesman.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008.

When Mr Trump blamed him for the survival of the Affordable Care Act, Mr McCain sniffed, "I've faced tougher adversaries".

Born on a USA military base near the Panama Canal, McCain grew up in northern Virginia, he was the middle child of three in a family of Navy admirals.

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McCain became a public figure at age 31 when his bed-bound image was broadcast from North Vietnam in 1967.

Later, his will broken by beatings, Mr McCain signed a confession. But his recovery from that episode taught him to trust himself, he later wrote. Back on McCain's Arizona ranch, the senator gave Collins an extensive nature tour of the property.

In 1981, he married Cindy Hensley, the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor in Arizona. Their youngest was adopted from Bangladesh.

McCain announced that he would instead vote for "some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president".

In his first year in the House of Representatives, Flake took a lot of heat from constituents over his opposition to earmark spending.

As one of the "Keating Five", Mr McCain was cited by the Senate Ethics Committee for "poor judgement".

McCain also helped co-author the landmark and bipartisan McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform that passed in 2002, and often spoke out about torture - an issue he was passionate about because of his experience as a prisoner of war.

On several occasions, the fellow Republican met McCain and swapped military stories; both men earned Purple Hearts and endured the strain of the war in Vietnam.

Former vice president Al Gore - who served under Democrat Bill Clinton - said "I always admired and respected John from the opposite side of the aisle, because he thrived under pressure, and would work to find common ground, no matter how hard".

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