McCain slams 'half-baked, spurious nationalism' sweeping US in passionate speech

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., slammed "half-baked, spurious nationalism" in an impassioned speech while accepting the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia this evening.
12:20 | 10/17/17

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Transcript for McCain slams 'half-baked, spurious nationalism' sweeping US in passionate speech
It's now my great pleasure. And honor. To. Invite the vice president toward the 27 the remodel. To John McCain. Rocket upward to around his neck begins against anticipated that war it's gonna hurt him speak. Gonna say these words Senator McCain. You have. Only serve your country as a way. War hero. You have upheld the ideals of the United States constitution. As a statesman of the senate as a patriotic leader. I've you have preserved protected and defended liberty at home and around the globe. For your life of sacrifice and service it is the greatest honor. For the National Constitution Center to award you the 27 team. Liberty medal. Thank you Joseph my oh dear friend. Thank you Joseph my own dear friends of those. Mostly un deserve kind words. Vice President Biden and I have known each other for a lot of years now. More than forty if you're counting. We knew each other back when we were young and handsome and smarter than everyone else but were too modest to saves us. Joseph Girardi a senator and I was the navy's liaison officer to the senate. My duties included as he mentioned earlier escorting senate delegations on overseas trips. And in that capacity I supervise the due to allegations luggage. Which could require now and again when no one of lower rank was available for the job that I carry someone else. Once or twice that turned out to be. The young senator from Delaware. I resented it ever cents. Joseph is hurt me joke about that before LP is heard to. My profession of gratitude. For his friendship and love these many years. It's meant a lot and we served in the senate together for over twenty years. During some eventful times. As we pass from young men to the fossils who appear before you receive. We didn't always agree on issues we often argued sometimes passionately but we believed in each other's patriotism and their sincerity. Of each other's convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve and we believed in our mutual responsibility. To help make the place work. And to cooperate in finding solutions to our country's problems we believe that our country and on our countries and responsibility. To international peace and stability. And are though progress. Humanity. And through it all. Whether we argued or agree Joseph was good company you all know he is the company. So thank you old friend for your company and your service to America. Thank you two to the National Constitution Center. And everyone associated with it for this award. Thank you for that video. And throw it too generous compliments paid to me this evening. I'm aware. Of the prestigious companies liberty and several places me in. I'm humbled by. And try my best. Not to prove to LaGuardia. Some years ago. I was present at an event where an earlier liberty medal recipient spoke about America's values. And the sacrifices made for them. It was 1991. And I was attending the ceremony commemorating the fiftieth anniversary. Of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The World War II veteran passed a mobile patriot and good man. President George Herbert Walker Bush. Gave a moving speech at the USS Arizona memorial. I remember it very well. His voice was thick with a motion. As he neared the end of his address. I imagine. He was thinking not only of the brave Americans. Who lost their lives on December 7 1941. But of the friends he had served with him lost in the Pacific. Where he hit where he had been in navy's youngest aviator. Look at the water here. Clear and quiet he directed. One day what now seems another lifetime. Perhaps it wrapped its arms around the finest sons. Any nation could ever had. And and and it carried him to a better world. He could barely get out the last line. May god bless them and may god bless America. Most wondrous nation on earth. Most. The most wondrous land on her if indeed. I've had the good fortune to spend sixty years in service to this wondrous land. It's not been perfect service to be sure. And they were probably times when the country might have benefited little less might help. But I tried to deserve the privilege is best I can. And I've been repaid a thousand times over. With the adventures in good company with the satisfaction. Of serving something more important than myself. Of being a bit players. In extraordinary story. Of America. And I am so grateful. Oh what a privilege it is to serve this big boisterous sprawling. Intemperate striving daring beautiful. Council brave. Nagged him magnificent country. With all our flaws our mistakes with all the frailties of human nature. As much on display is our virtues. With all the rank and anger our politics. We are list. We are living in the land of the free. Land where anything is possible. Landed the immigrant's dream. Of land with a storied past forgotten. In the rush to the imagined future. The end of repairs and reinvents itself. The land were person can escape the consequences. Of this self centered use. No the satisfaction. Sacrificing. For an ideal. The land where you can go from English rule today in to a noble cause and from the bottom of your class. To your party's nomination for pres. We are blessed. And we've been a blessing to humanity and turn. The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war. And that we gifts and to this day. As liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. This wondrous land. This wondrous land is shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots. To help another to help make another better world. And as we did so. We made our own civilization more jobs freer more accomplished and prosperous. And the America that existed. When I watch my father go off to war on December 7 1941. To fear of the world we have organized and led to three quarters percent tree. To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe. To refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth. For the sake of some half baked spurious nationalism. Cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats. And shop problems. It's it's I'm. It's as unpatriotic. As an attachment to any other tire dot mama but the past that Americans consigned. To that haste she ash heap of history. We live inland made of ideals. Not blood and soil. We are the custodians. Of those ideals at home and their champion abroad. We've done great good in the world that leadership has had its costs. But we have becoming comparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue and I just cause. And we would bring mortgage shame on our shelves if we don't. Meanwhile not drive in a world where our leadership and ideal straps. We wouldn't deserve to. Hmmm I like this guy on earth. I have served. America's cause the cause of our security in the security of our friends the cause of freedom and equal justice all my adult life. I have and always served it well. I haven't even always appreciated what I was sure. But among the few compensations of old age. Is the acuity of hindsight. I see now that I was part of something important. It drew me along in its wake. Even when I was diverted by other troops. I was knowingly or not. Along for the ride as America made its future. Better than the past. And I've enjoyed it every single day epic. The good ones and the not so much. Have been inspired by the service a better patriots me. I've seen Americans make sacrifices for our country and their causes. And for people who were strangers to them but for our common humanity. Sacrifices that much harder than service ever asked of me. And I've seen the good victim. The lives free from tyranny and injustice. The hope and courage. The dream which they made achievable. May god bless. May god bless America. And give us the strength and wisdom. Generosity and compassion. To do our duty. For this wondrous land. And for the world that counts of us in all its suffering in danger. The world still looks to the example. And leadership of America to become another better place. What greater cause. Could in England adversary. Thank you again for this honor. Trade.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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