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Did Biden Make Veiled Trump Reference in McCain Eulogy?

McCain's second day of services is at a close
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2018 4:46 PM CDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden wipes a tear away while giving a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Sen. John McCain was eulogized Thursday as a "true American hero"—and a terrible driver with a wicked sense of humor and love of a good battle—at a crowded church service for the maverick politician that ended with the playing of Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Addressing an estimated 3,500 mourners, former Vice President Joe Biden recalled "the sheer joy that crossed his face when he knew he was about to take the stage of the Senate floor and start a fight." Biden, a Democrat who was among the fast friends the Republican senator made across the aisle, said he thought of McCain as a brother, "with a lot of family fights." The service for the statesman, former prisoner of war and two-time presidential candidate unfolded at North Phoenix Baptist Church after a motorcade bearing McCain's body made its way from the state Capitol past Arizonans waving American flags and campaign-style McCain signs, the AP reports. After it ended, McCain's body was flown to Washington, DC.

Neither Biden nor other speakers uttered President Trump's name, but Biden made what some saw as a veiled reference to the president when he talked about McCain's character and how he parted company with those who "lacked the basic values of decency and respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself." Biden said McCain "could not stand the abuse of power wherever he saw it, in whatever form, in whatever country." (McCain clashed openly with Trump, who mocked McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam War. Two White House officials said McCain's family had asked that Trump not attend the funeral services.) Dabbing his eyes at times, Biden also referred to his own son's death from cancer, saying of the disease, "It's brutal, it's relentless, it's unforgiving." And he spoke directly to McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, in the front row: "You were his ballast."

(Read more John McCain stories.)

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