‘Today We Lost an American Original’

Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate, called her former running mate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a “maverick and a fighter” in a statement after his death Saturday afternoon.

“Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs. John never took the easy path in life — and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self,” she said.

“John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family.”

After McCain became the GOP nominee in 2008, he chose Palin as his running mate, an unconventional pick that underscored his “maverick” streak.

She tweeted out a picture of the two of them on the 2008 campaign trail:

McCain died Saturday afternoon, after a long fight with brain cancer. His family announced Friday morning that he was ending treatment.

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