NYT: Joe Biden says John McCain ‘concerned about the state of the country’

(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden recently took a trip to Arizona to visit Sen. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, and says McCain is “concerned about the state of the country,” The New York Times reported Saturday.

Biden described the visit, which took place last Sunday, to the Times, saying, “John knows he’s in a very, very, very precarious situation, and yet he’s still concerned about the state of the country.” Biden told the newspaper that he and McCain “talked about how our international reputation is being damaged and we talked about the need for people to stand up and speak out.”

McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last year and is at home in Arizona recovering from side effects associated with his treatment.

The Times reported that McCain’s “intimates” have told the White House that the plan for McCain’s funeral will be for Vice President Mike Pence to attend but not President Donald Trump, with whom McCain has had a contentious relationship. The service will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

The newspaper also reported that some McCain associates hope to see a “McCain person” take his Senate seat, and that Cindy McCain could be one such person.

The senator’s wife, Cindy McCain, recently tweeted about Biden’s visit, saying, “Enjoyed a wonderful visit from @JoeBiden yesterday. Such good family friends. Enjoyed catching up!”

Biden’s eldest son Beau, a former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer in 2015, upending the then-vice president’s planned 2016 presidential campaign. Biden told the Times that during his conversation with McCain, the Arizona senator urged him to “not walk away” from politics, but Biden declined to discuss the possibility that he might run for president in 2020 with the newspaper.

McCain recently wrote a memoir, “The Restless Wave,” which will be released later this month. In it and a forthcoming documentary, McCain expresses his regret over not choosing former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate when he ran for the presidency in 2008, the Times reported. McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign was then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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