Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods remembers John McCain

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Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods remembers his friend and colleague, Arizona Senator John McCain, at his memorial service held at a Phoenix church.

GRANT WOODS: I WAS 28 YEARS OLD, AND I'D ONLY BEEN A PUBLIC DEFENDER, A FEW YEARS OUT OF LAW SCHOOL, AND FOR SOME REASON JOHN McCAIN ASKED ME TO BE HIS CHIEF OF STAFF WHEN HE GOT ELECTED. SO MY FIRST DAY, AT 7:00 A.M., JOHN McCAIN PICKED ME UP AT MY HOUSE. I WENT TO THE CAR, I SAID, WELL, YOU WANT ME TO DRIVE? HE GOES, NO, I'M GOING TO DRIVE. I SAID WELL, I'M GOING TO SIT IN THE BACK SEAT. [LAUGHTER]
GRANT WOODS: I'M NO EXPERT ON THIS, BUT I THOUGHT THE STAFF DROVE. HE SAYS GET IN THE CAR, BOY. GET IN THE CAR. FOR THE NEXT HALF HOUR WE TALKED ABOUT THE FOOTBALL GAMES THE DAY BEFORE AND WHATEVER IS IN THE NEWS AND POLITICS AND TOLD A FEW JOKES, AND IT WAS AT THE SAME TIME, REALLY A LOT OF FUN AND ALSO QUITE TERRIFYING BECAUSE OF HIS RIDICULOUSLY BAD DRIVING. [LAUGHTER]
GRANT WOODS: SO HE'D GET EXCITED, HE WOULD KIND OF -- HE DROVE LIKE THIS ANYWAY, AND GET EXCITED AND JUST START DRIFTING OFF. HELLO OVER THERE! SO WE FINALLY GOT WHERE WE WERE GOING, AND I SAID BY THE WAY, WHAT ARE WE DOING? HE GOES, OH, I HIRED THE WHOLE STAFF AND I WANT YOU TO MEET THEM. OH, OKAY, THAT'S GOOD. [LAUGHTER] SO WE MET THE STAFF AND WENT TO THE CAR. GOT IN THE CAR ALL AND THE STAFF CAME OUT AND THEY WERE WAVING AND THINGS. THEY SEEM TO BE VERY NICE. HE SAID YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIRE HALF OF THEM. [LAUGHTER] WHAT- WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? AND HE JUST SPED OFF AND THE STAFF WAS WAVING AND ABOUT ONE MINUTE LATER, WE WENT RIGHT BACK BY BECAUSE HE'D GONE THE WRONG WAY, OF COURSE. [LAUGHTER] WAVED AGAIN. AND I JUST SAY THAT TWO HOURS EPITOMIZED THE NEXT 35 YEARS FOR ME WITH JOHN McCAIN. IT'S A LITTLE BIT HARROWING, A LITTLE WILD, A LITTLE CRAZY, BUT A LOT OF FUN AND THE GREATEST HONOR OF MY LIFE.
GRANT WOODS: IF JOHN McCAIN FELL IN LOVE WITH ARIZONA, ARIZONA FELL IN LOVE WITH JOHN McCAIN. WE RAN A LOT OF RACES HERE. A LOT OF ELECTIONS. HE NEVER LOST. NEVER REALLY VERY CLOSE. ARIZONA LOVED HIM. WE HAD ONE LITTLE BLIP ONE TIME WHEN HE RAN FOR THE SENATE THE FIRST TIME. HE CALLED ME ON THE PHONE AND SAID, WELL, BOY, I THINK I MIGHT HAVE SCREWED UP. WHY? I WAS TALKING TO THE STUDENTS AT U OF A AND THEY SAID HOW COME YOU'RE THE ONLY POLITICIAN WHO COMES DOWN HERE? THEY ONLY GO TO THE RETIREMENT PLACES. HE SAID WELL, IT'S BECAUSE YOU GUYS DON'T VOTE. [LAUGHTER] THOSE OTHER DUDES VOTE 100%, YOU KNOW? SO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO COME DOWN HERE, YOU NEED TO VOTE LIKE THEY VOTE OUT AT SEIZURE WORLD. [LAUGHTER] I SAID, YOU DIDN'T SAY THAT, DID YOU? BECAUSE THERE WAS THIS BIG RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CALLED LEISURE WORLD IN THE EAST VALLEY. [LAUGHTER]
AND THEY WEREN'T REALLY HAPPY WITH THEIR NEW NICKNAME OUT THERE. [LAUGHTER]
SO JOHN SAID LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES, OKAY, I SCREWED UP, LET'S GO. WE GOT TO GO OUT THERE. WE. [LAUGHTER]
SO WE WENT OUT AND I REMEMBER WE DROVE IN, AND THERE WAS ABOUT A 90-YEAR-OLD GUY IN A GOLF CART, RIGHT THERE, AND HE'S GIVING US THE FINGER. LITTLE DID HE KNOW, WE BOTH SAID THAT'S GREAT. JOHN WAS LIKE, GOOD TO SEE YOU, GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. SO HE WENT IN, SORRY ABOUT THAT AND WENT TO WORK, AND GUESS WHAT? I THINK HE WON THAT ABOUT 85/15 IN THAT ELECTION, THAT PRECINCT. SO WE'RE GOING TO MISS SO MANY THINGS ABOUT HIM HERE IN OUR STATE. HIS LEADERSHIP HERE ON THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES. WE'RE GOING TO MISS HIS SENSE OF HUMOR. WE'RE GOING TO MISS HIS LOVE OF SPORTS. HE LOVED THE TEAMS. ALL OF OUR TEAMS. BY LOVE THEM, I MEAN LOVE THEM, LIKE NONSTOP, OKAY? AND HE LOVED YOU GUYS. BIDS AND GONZO AND SHANE. HE REALLY DID. NOT A COINCIDENCE. HE DIDN'T BECOME FRIENDS JUST WITH THE BEST PLAYERS BUT WITH THE BEST PEOPLE. AND HE LOVED YOU GUYS. BUT I THINK WE ALSO WORRY HERE IN ARIZONA ABOUT A BIGGER PICTURE, AND I HOPE THAT WHAT HE STOOD FOR WILL MAYBE GET RENEWED LOOK IN OUR COUNTRY. THAT'S WHAT HE WOULD WANT. HE WOULD WANT US TO -- OKAY, WE RECOGNIZE HIM NOW BUT NOW LET'S GET TO WORK, AND I'M SURE THE VICE PRESIDENT WILL TALK ABOUT JOHN AND BIPARTISANSHIP, BUT HE BELIEVES SO MUCH THAT IN, IN THE END, WHEN IT'S SAID AND DONE, THIS REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRAT THING IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT, IS IT? WE'RE ALL AMERICANS, YOU GOT TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE WE CAN WORK TOGETHER AS AMERICANS. HIS SUPPORT OF THE MILITARY, I HOPE YOU MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WILL KEEP THAT STRONG, IT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT HE HAD THEIR BACKS. AND ONE OTHER THING, JOHN McCAIN BELIEVED IN OUR CONSTITUTION, AND HE STOOD UP FOR IT. HE FOUGHT FOR IT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. HE WOULD NOT STAND BY AS PEOPLE TRIED TO TRAMPLE THE CONSTITUTION, OR THE BILL THE RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT, AND YOU KNOW WHAT? HE BELIEVED IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. WHEN WE PROCLAIMED TO THE WORLD THAT EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING IS IMPORTANT, EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING IS PRECIOUS, EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE. NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SAYS SO, BUT BECAUSE GOD GAVE US THAT RIGHT. SO JOHN McCAIN, HIS ENTIRE LIFE, STOOD BY THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS ACROSS THE WORLD. HE WAS THERE. HE WAS THERE FIGURATIVELY AND LITERALLY, BY THEIR SIDE, WHEREVER THEY WERE. ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR RIGHT TO LIVE FREE. IT'S A LONG AND WINDING ROAD THAT TOOK HIM FROM THAT DIRT YARD IN HANOI TO THE DIRT BACK ROADS OF HIDDEN VALLEY, BUT THROUGH IT ALL, HE WAS RESOLUTE. HE WAS COURAGEOUS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. AND IN ARIZONA, HE WAS OUR HERO. I THINK YOU CAN SEE FROM THIS OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT AND LOVE FOR JOHN McCAIN, THAT HE WAS AMERICA'S HERO. SENATOR JOHN McCAIN FROM ARIZONA. HE SERVED HIS COUNTRY WITH HONOR. HE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT. HE FINISHED THE RACE. ♪ I LOVE YOU ARIZONA ♪ ♪ YOUR MOUNTAINS, DESERTS AND STREAMS ♪ ♪ ♪ I LOVE YOU ARIZONA ♪ ♪ SUPERSTITION AND ALL ♪ ♪ THE WARMTHS YOU GIVE AT SUNRISE ♪ ♪ YOUR SUNSET PUTS MUSIC IN US ALL ♪ ♪ OOH ARIZONA ♪ ♪ YOUR THE MAGIC IN ME ♪ ♪ OOH ARIZONA ♪ ♪ . ANNOUNCER: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE SUPPORT OF ARIZONA HIGHWAY’S MAGAZINE… FOR PEOPLE INSPIRED TO ENJOY ARIZONA’S UNIQUE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE… AND BY APS, WORKING 24/7 TO KEEP ARIZONA ON.

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