Speaking at the funeral of Sen. John Warner, President Biden called the five-term senator, who died at the age of 94, "a man of conscience, character and honor." Biden praised Warner for working across the political aisle "to see each other as fellow Americans, even when we disagree. From John's perspective, especially when we disagree."
JOE BIDEN: Like many here, I had the privilege of serving with John for three decades in the United States Senate. While we represented different political parties, I can say without hesitation John was a man of conscience, character, and honor. With a deep commitment to God and country. Enlisted in the Navy, in the United States Navy at age 17 to fight World War II. A few years later, enlisted in the Marine Corps to fight in Korea.
Eventually named Secretary of the Navy by President Nixon, then elected to the United States Senate, where he became a towering and respected voice on foreign policy, national security, and defense. The second longest serving Senator from Virginia, the longest serving Republican. A member of the greatest generation. And as that he understood that democracy is more than a form of government. Democracy is a way of being.
He understood it begins and grows in an open heart, and with a willingness to work across the aisle, and come together in common cause. And that empathy, empathy is the fuel of democracy. The willingness to see each other as opponents, not as enemies. Above all, to see each other as fellow Americans, even when we disagree. From John's perspective, especially, when we disagree. That's how John forged consensus, and made sure our system worked and delivered for the people.
I saw time and again on issues of war and peace John opposing torture and ending gun violence. And protecting the rule of law. And the independence of the Judiciary. John's decisions were always guided by his values, by his convictions, and never by personal political consequences. And was always guided by his obligation to all those he represented, even those who did not vote for him.