(WASHINGTON) — In the latest installment of the Being Biden audio series, Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his friendship with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., arguing that it’s important to foster trust and strong relationships between members of both parties in Congress.
“I’m standing with my old friend of over 35 years John McCain. We’ve been through political battles with and against each other, but it used to be this way all the time. We remain good friends,” Biden said as he described a picture of him and McCain at the McCain Institute in Sedona, Ariz., last Friday.
“John and I spent time talking before a large audience about friendship and how much it matters and trust in American politics and we’re both determined, we’re both determined to reestablish the kind of trust between the parties and among the senators and congressmen that existed all the years we served together,” Biden said.
While he did not directly mention McCain’s vote in favor of the background check bill, the vice president lauded McCain’s willingness to “vote his conscience” on certain issues.
“He’s not only a great hero. He’s an honorable, decent man and he had the courage to vote his conscience, and he’s my friend,” he said of McCain.
Biden and McCain served in Congress together for more than 25 years and ran on opposing tickets in 2008. Last week, Biden said that McCain would have won the 2008 election had the economy not collapsed.
“The truth of the matter is, Barack knows it, I know, had the economy not collapsed around your ears, John, in the middle of literally — as things were moving — I think you probably would have won,” Biden said at the McCain Institute Friday.
“But it would have been incredibly, incredibly, incredibly close. You inherited a really difficult time,” he added.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson and Eric Bradner, CNN
David Goldman, CNN
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson, CNN