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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: ‘I wouldn’t want to bet against’ McCain

(AP photos)

PHOENIX — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday he does not think people should pressure U.S. Sen. John McCain to step down from office while he battles a deadly brain cancer.

“John McCain is a fighter,” Gingrich told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac and Gaydos.

“If you look what was done to him by the Vietnamese, when he was in that prison camp, you look at his toughness, how he responded, how he came back, I would never want to be the person to take hope away from John.”

The possibility of McCain leaving the U.S. Senate had been raised in recent weeks, but the May 30 deadline for the senator to resign from office and allow Arizonans to elect his replacement in a special election came and went without any changes.

This means Gov. Doug Ducey will be tasked with appointing his successor if the Arizona Republican leaves office before his term expires in 2022.

Gingrich continued, saying it would be “terrible…for people to decide that they were going to tell him that they had made a decision that it was over.

“That’s not our place in life to tell somebody that it’s over,” he added.

“In John McCain’s case, he has fought back from a lot of things and I wouldn’t want to bet against him.”

McCain has been recovering from cancer treatment in Arizona since December. He was most recently hospitalized for an intestinal infection on April 15.

But Gingrich said many of McCain’s friends in Washington, D.C. are awaiting his return.

“Certainly all of his many friends in Washington would love to see him come back, I think the country would love to see him come back,” he said.

“I think we ought to keep him in our prayers and hope he recovers and comes back to the Senate.”

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