Republican Sen. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer in his home state of Arizona, says in his new book that his current term is his last and, as a result, he feels he can open up about how he sees the current political climate.
“This is my last term. If I hadn’t admitted that to myself before this summer, a stage 4 cancer diagnosis acts as ungentle persuasion,” he wrote in his book, “The Restless Wave,” according to the excerpt published on Apple News on Monday. “I’m freer than colleagues who will face the voters again. I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much. And I can vote my conscience without worry.”
Referring to President Donald Trump, McCain wrote, “He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values.”
McCain said he wants to see the nation’s politics “return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history” and says, “you’re damn right, I’m a champion of compromise.”
“I would like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different,” he wrote. “We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it.”
McCain, 81, made public last summer his brain cancer diagnosis. He’s been recovering from side effects of the cancer treatment at his home in Arizona since late last year.
“‘The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it,’ spoke my hero, Robert Jordan, in For Whom the Bell Tolls,” McCain wrote in his book. “And I do, too. I hate to leave it. But I don’t have a complaint. Not one. It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”
Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife, tweeted Monday that former Vice President Joe Biden visited the family.
“Enjoyed a wonderful visit from @JoeBiden yesterday. Such good family friends. Enjoyed catching up!” she tweeted.
CNN’s Ted Barrett and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.