Former Vice President Joe Biden gave an emotional eulogy at Sen. John McCain‘s memorial service in Arizona on Thursday, sharing personal stories about their time together in the Senate and lamenting the division in the chamber that McCain fought to repair.

Biden began with the words, “My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat. And I love John McCain.” Besides very emotional phrases about his personal relationship with McCain, the former vice president also spoke, at times with evident anger, about the deterioration of political discourse and values today.

Talking about how much the Senate had changed since he and McCain arrived, Biden rebuked the state of politics in the U.S. as he glared at senators in attendance at the service.

Biden and McCain used to sit next to each other during long debates in the 1980s and ’90s. In 1996, they were each told independently by members of their own parties that their visible friendship didn’t look good.

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“That’s when things began to change for the worse in America in the Senate. That’s when it changed,” Biden said.

“We both loved the Senate,” said Biden, who mourned the fading of bipartisanship in the chamber over the years. “We both lamented, watching it change.”


The former vice president recalled that McCain spent his final day on the Senate floor trying to restore order. “What was he fighting to do?” Biden asked. “He was fighting to restore what you call ‘regular order.'”

“It’s impossible to reach consensus,” he said, adding, “All we do today is attack the oppositions in both parties, their motives, not the substance of their argument.”

Biden’s eulogy will be followed by those of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. They are scheduled to speak at McCain’s memorial service in Washington on Saturday. McCain’s former running mate, Sarah Palin, and President Donald Trump were not invited the services.

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