Lindsey Graham pays tribute to John McCain

Last Updated Aug 28, 2018 3:00 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham paid tribute to the late Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, memorializing their friendship and McCain’s legacy.  

“He taught me that honor and imperfection are always in competition,” Graham said. “I do not cry for a perfect man. I cry for a man who had honor and always was willing to admit to his imperfection.”

McCain and Graham have been friends since the 1990s. McCain died at 81 Saturday, following a battle with brain cancer. 

Graham listed some of his favorite jokes from McCain, known for speaking his mind.

“I am going to miss these dumb jokes,” Graham said with a smile.

“Humiliation and affection were constant companions. The more he humiliated you, the more he liked you. And in that regard I was well served,” the South Carolina senator said.

Graham recalled McCain’s 2008 concession speech as one of the most memorable moments of his long career. McCain noted at the time that Barack Obama was his president, and Americans never never quit. 

“John taught us how to lose,” Graham said. “When you go throughout the world, people remember his concession speech as much as anything else. There are so many countries where you can’t afford to lose, cause they kill you. … He healed the nation at a time he was hurt.”

Graham said he cannot replace McCain, but he believes McCain’s legacy lives on in Americans. 

“I believe there’s a little John McCain in all of us,” he said. “And a little John McCain practiced by a lot of people can make this a really great nation.”

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