25 John McCain Quotes About Character, America and More

The following John McCain quotes offer advice and share wisdom about life, character, and being an American. 

John McCain is a man that served his country for decades.

While most people learned his name when he ran for president, he has a long history of services.

McCain served in the military during the Vietnam War, was shot down, and held as a POW for six years.

In the years following, he served in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. 

The John McCain quotes below help paint a picture of who this man was as well as sharing wise words of advice to live by. 

Also, check out our list of Elijah Cummings quotes on hope and justice.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Look through our complete collection of inspirational quotes here.

John McCain quotes about Americans

1. “America’s greatest strength has always been its hopeful vision of human progress.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about human progress

2. “Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.” – John McCain  

John McCain quotes on history

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3. “Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that’s an association that means more to me than any other.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about Americans

4. “Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes for acknowledging

5. “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again; I wasn’t my own man anymore; I was my country’s.” – John McCain

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More John McCain quotes

6. “Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight. We’re Americans. We’re Americans, and we’ll never surrender. They will.” – John McCain

Wise John McCain quotes

7. “We are a country with a conscience.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about we are a country with a conscience

8. “Our political differences, no matter how sharply they are debated, are really quite narrow in comparison to the remarkably durable national consensus on our founding convictions.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes on political

9. “You have at hand many examples of good character from whom you will have learned the lessons by which you can live your own lives. You are blessed. Make the most of it.” – John McCain

Relatable John McCain quotes

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of character quotes about the power of integrity.

10. I think after 9/11 we made a mistake. I think after 9/11, instead of telling Americans to take a trip or go shopping, I think we had an opportunity to call Americans to serve.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes on opportunity

More John McCain quotes about America

11. “In this country, we believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, from the boy whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers.” – John McCain

More John McCain quotes about America

12. “We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about love

13. “Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed.” – John McCain  

John McCain quotes about knowledge

14. “Respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism. To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America.” – John McCain

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John McCain quotes from John McCain

15. “I loved what I missed most from my life at home: my family and friends; the sights and sounds of my own country; the hustle and purposefulness of Americans; their fervid independence; sports; music; information–all the attractive qualities of American life. But though I longed for the things at home I cherished the most, I still shared the ideals of America. And since those ideals were all that I possessed of my country, they became all the more important to me.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about music

16. “People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about people

17. “In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us; we don’t need to search for it.” – John McCain

Inspirational John McCain quotes

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John McCain quotes about government

18. “Thank God for our form of government. The media won’t let there be any cover-up.” – John McCain

John McCain quotes about government

19. “I will not take the low road to the highest office in this land. I want the presidency in the best way, not the worst way.” – John McCain

Wise and inspirational John McCain quotes

20. “I believe the American people have a right — indeed, a responsibility — to know what was done in their name; how these practices did or did not serve our interests; and how they comported with our most important values. … The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.” – John McCain

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Amazing John McCain quotes

21. “I am a Republican. I’m loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. And I believe that my party, in some ways, has strayed from those principles, particularly on the issue of fiscal discipline.” – John McCain  

John McCain quotes that Republican

22. “But we’re at a place in our political history when passing legislation through the House with bipartisan support is considered by some folks a greater evil than the problem it’s intended to solve.” – John McCain

Motivational John McCain quotes

23. “I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.” – John McCain  

24. “I don’t doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.” – John McCain  

25. “We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves, from ourselves.” – John McCain

What did you learn from these John McCain quotes

Regardless of what side of the party lines you choose to sit on, there are plenty of lessons that can be learned from John McCain and the words that he shared while he was still alive.

He may have been on the Republican side, but he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind when he didn’t agree with them as well. 

McCain was a supporter of people and truly believed in America and the freedoms that the country provides.

He continued to hold the belief that it was a blessing to be an American until his death several years ago.

His wise words on courage, character, and government share his opinions and how he really felt. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these wise John McCain quotes?

Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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