Americans are mourning late Sen. John McCain, but they also mourn his message to the country that “we ought to strive to be better,” Patrick Kennedy, the son of longtime Sen. Ted Kennedy, said of the Arizona Republican’s legacy and of his friendship with his father.
“No one could deliver that message with more authenticity than a great American war hero that dedicated his life on behalf of this country,” Kennedy told CNN’s “New Day.” “He articulated a message of values and you knew they were not platitudes to John McCain. They were heartfelt.”
Kennedy’s father died nine years to the day that McCain died, of the same cancer, glioblastoma. He said Monday the two men were widely separated politically, but they enjoyed a genuine friendship and mutual respect.
“Even though they disagreed, they were searching for ways to put their country ahead of their party,” said Kennedy. “It sounds so trite, but these days, we really need people to have that as their goal.”
That sense can happen again, said Kennedy, but “we need some cooling off, and better minds to prevail.”
“America is the longest surviving democracy and it’s not that long of a period in the total history of the world, so we cannot take for granted that the normal in this country is democracy,” said Kennedy. “I hate to say that, but I think John McCain would want it constantly said…to have national interests prevail over partisan ones, and he was a fierce partisan.”
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