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McCain's former aide: He was an urgent man

Sen. John McCain's longtime aide and former campaign manager Rick Davis says he will miss McCain's drive to get things done quickly.

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 2:19 AM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 2:19 AM

Sen. John McCain was a hardworking, "urgent" man who you couldn't keep up with, according to the senator's longtime aide and friend Rick Davis.

Davis said it would be McCain's drive that he'll remember the most about the giant of the Senate who was serving his sixth term when he died Saturday at the age of 81.

"He was an urgent man. He wanted things done quickly. And it's a real testament to him that he had the power to do it," Davis said in an interview Wednesday with CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

"You couldn't keep up with the guy. We'll miss that pace," Davis, McCain's former national campaign manager for both of his presidential bids, said.

Davis said that the senator would frequently do early morning media interviews to get his message out, despite the time difference between Arizona and New York or Washington, and then do a full day of work.

He recalled the difficulty in getting McCain to unwind after a busy work week: "We always had arguments with him about doing Sunday shows from his beautiful place in Sedona. I would say, 'Relax! You don't have to get up that early on a Sunday.' 'Oh no, no.'"

Davis said for McCain,"the opportunity to be in the arena, to make a statement, to engage in an issue, to throw a couple punches: That was always more important to him than a couple hours of sleep."

The McCain family had Davis read McCain's farewell message on Monday, which Davis said he was honored to do.

"He wanted to ensure that around the time of his passing that there was a discussion about his views. Not just his life, but why he led his life the way he did," Davis told CNN Wednesday of why McCain drafted his own message for the public. "When you're John McCain why not put it in your own words? It's actually a classic kind of thing that's unique to Senator McCain."

McCain will have a national memorial service at Washington's National Cathedral on Saturday. He will be laid to rest in Annapolis, Maryland.

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