John McCain’s greatest lesson was 'to forgive' and 'see the good' in opponents: Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake

PHOTO: Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain listens as he is introduced at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., Oct. 28, 2008.PlayBrian Snyder/Reuters, FILE
WATCH Junior Arizona senator: McCain 'put service... over and above self interest'

Sen. John McCain’s greatest lesson was “to forgive” and “to see the good in his opponents,” said Sen. Jeff Flake of his fellow Arizona Republican, who died Saturday.

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Flake in an interview on "This Week" Sunday was discussing McCain's legacy with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, who asked, “What was the greatest lesson you learned from him?”

“Oh, to forgive,” Flake said. “You know, his people talk about [how] he had a temper, he was passionate. That was certainly the case, but he would quickly forgive and move on.”

McCain was able “to see the good in his opponents,” Flake said.

“That is something that particularly these days we could use a lot more of. That's a lesson that he taught everyone,” the Arizona senator said.

PHOTO: Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Jeff Flake, talk before the start of the Senate Foreign Relations hearing to debate the authorization for use of military force in Syria, Sept. 3, 2013. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images, FILE
Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Jeff Flake, talk before the start of the Senate Foreign Relations hearing to debate the authorization for use of military force in Syria, Sept. 3, 2013.

McCain died Saturday evening after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. He was just four days shy of his 82nd birthday. A former Vietnam War hero who spent over five years as a prisoner of war, McCain went on to serve three decades in Congress, where he gained a reputation as a maverick conservative who bucked convention.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on "This Week" Sunday spoke of McCain's practice of partnering with members of the opposing party to craft important legislation.

"So many of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, whether they were in complete agreement with John McCain, were all in agreement that he was formidable, had enormous integrity and was acting on behalf of our country and what he truly believed," Pelosi said.

PHOTO: John Mccain declares his candidacy for President of the U.S., on Sept. 27, 1999, in Nahua, N.H. Porter Gifford/Getty Images, FILE
John Mccain declares his candidacy for President of the U.S., on Sept. 27, 1999, in Nahua, N.H.

The House minority leader also said she supports Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's proposal to rename the Russell Senate Building on Capitol Hill after McCain.

That “would be a great tribute,” Pelosi said. “Then for decades to come, everyone who came to Washington would know the very special place that John McCain held, has held and will continue to hold in our country.”

Ret. Gen. David Petraeus on "This Week" told Stephanopoulos that McCain was “always one who felt that serving a cause larger than self was the greatest of privileges.”

The general commented on McCain's commitment to U.S. military service members and veterans.

“No one had the backs of America’s new 'greatest generation,' those who fought the wars of the post 9/11 period, more than” McCain, Petraeus said. "No one did more to assure that they had what was needed to prevail on the battlefield."

         
              
                     
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