Biden announces library in honor of longtime friend John McCain in Arizona

Sep 28, 2023, 2:42 PM

President Joe Biden will announce the construction of an Arizona library in honor of his longtime f...

President Joe Biden will announce the construction of an Arizona library in honor of his longtime friend, the late Republican Sen. John McCain. Mandatory Credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the construction of an Arizona library in honor of his longtime friend, the late Republican Sen. John McCain.

The McCain Library will boast “a new multi-purpose facility to provide education, work, and health monitoring programs to underserved communities in the state,” a White House official said, with funding from the American Rescue Plan in partnership with the McCain Institute and Arizona State University.

“John is one of those patriots – when they die, their voices are never silent. They still speak to us. They tug at both our hearts and our conscience,” Biden said in his remarks.

Biden was joined Thursday by McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, as well as Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and members of the Arizona delegation.

During his remarks, the president issued blunt new warnings about ongoing threats to US democracy, sharpening the central argument in his potential rematch with Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked McCain.

McCain’s death was deeply personal for Biden, who lost his son Beau to the same cancer McCain was diagnosed with in 2017.

During Biden’s visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, earlier this month, the president stopped at a commemoration marker near the place McCain’s plane was shot down during the Vietnam War to pay his respects. The president also honored the late senator in Alaska on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks earlier this month.

“One thing I always admired about John was how he put duty to country first, and that’s not hyperbole, he did,” Biden said at the time. “Above party, above politics, above his own person. This day reminds us we must never lose that sense of national unity.”

Cindy McCain endorsed Biden in 2020 and was featured in an ad the Democratic National Convention released ahead of the 2020 presidential election, where she said her late husband and Biden “would just sit and joke,” and “it was like a comedy show sometimes to watch the two of them.”

“Joe and I don’t always agree on the issues, and I know he and John certainly had some passionate arguments, but he is a good and honest man. He will lead us with dignity,” Cindy McCain said in a post at the time of her endorsement.

In his eulogy for McCain in 2018, Biden described his friend as having “lived by a different code – an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty were alive.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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Biden announces library in honor of longtime friend John McCain in Arizona