Sen. Lindsey Graham struggled against tears when he uttered John McCain’s name to explain why he was introducing new legislation that would give young undocumented immigrants a pathway to legalization.
Graham, who has worked closely with McCain for years and formed a strong friendship, said the Arizona senator called him three times Thursday morning after it was announced that McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
“‘No more woe is me, Lindsey,’” Graham recalled McCain telling him, choking back his emotions. “He’s yelling at me and to buck up. So I’m going to buck up.”
Graham said he had little reason politically to get involved in the immigration battle. He kidded that he does well with Hispanics in South Carolina, but they could all fit in a room.
“Not a big Hispanic population,” Graham said. “I got involved because when John ran for president in 2000, he wanted to fix a broken immigration system because he is from Arizona. He sees the downside of immigration where criminals come across. He see the abuse of the coyotes. He see women living in the shadows who have no rights and being exploited. And on and on and on.”
He’s yelling at me and to buck up. So I’m going to buck up.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
McCain, 80, has glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor where he had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday.
Since then, Graham has often been called on by reporters for updates on McCain’s health. As was often the case, Graham emphasized McCain’s strength when he talked about him on Thursday.
“He’s coming back,” Graham said. “I think they got it. He’s going to go through radiation and chemo. I’m not a doctor. It may come back and he’ll fight it again. But right now he’s in good spirits. It was a real tough operation. But John is ready to come back.