Jimmy Carter mourns passing of “true patriot” John McCain

Former President Jimmy Carter celebrated the uniquely American life and legacy of John McCain Saturday night, describing the late Arizona senator as “a man of honor (and) a true patriot in the best sense of the word.”

McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 at his ranch near Sedona, Arizona. Like Carter, he was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who went from a military career to a life in politics. And he served with high distinction in both arenas, Carter pointed out in a statement in which he and his wife also sent their sympathy to McCain’s family.

“Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the United States Senate,” the 93-year-old former president said.  “ Rosalynn and I extend our sincere condolences to Senator McCain’s family and to the people of Arizona whom he represented so forthrightly for so many years.”