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Sen. Murphy Pays Tribute To John McCain

Jacquelyn Martin
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy

As the memorial services continue for U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy reminisced about country-hopping in Eastern Europe with McCain.

“When John McCain landed in your country, everybody noticed. All the people who were trying to attack democracy and the free press had to answer for themselves when John McCain showed up. All of the members of civil society who had been fighting on behalf of civil rights, who had been fighting on behalf of human rights, who’d been fighting on behalf of participatory democracy, were buoyed by McCain’s visit. McCain could change an environment or a debate in the United States Senate, but he could also do the same overseas.”

Murphy reminisced about a trip with McCain to Poland that morphed into a country-hop across Eastern Europe. McCain added Romania to the trip because he was worried about a threat to an anti-corruption prosecutor.

“A day later he says, ‘If you go to Romania, you really have to go to Bulgaria because the Bulgarians, they notice when I don’t go there after I have gone to Romania.’ So we needed to add Bulgaria to the trip. And then two days before the trip, he comes back and says, ‘You know, I just found out that Petro Poroshenko, the new president of Ukraine, is going to be sworn in the same weekend that we are going to be in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, so we need to go to Ukraine as well.’ And so in four days we, John and I, went to four different countries.”

Murphy is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was chaired by McCain. He says McCain was such a strong advocate for freedom and democracy that when he landed in a country everyone noticed.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.