Obama Encourages John McCain To Beat Cancer In Endearing Tweet

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Wednesday after America learned that Senator John McCain had been diagnosed with brain cancer, former president Barack Obama tweeted out his support.

John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.

The two may be on opposing sides of the political playing field, but Obama isn't above letting a fellow politician know he's there for him during what's inarguably a trying time.

In fact, nearly a decade ago, in 2008, McCain and Obama faced off in the presidential election, and though they may not have terribly much in common, both men certainly know what it's like to run for office. It has to be an incredibly memorable, yet brutal experience.

McCain and Obama's surprisingly cordial relationship has even inspired jokes on late night shows. During an August 2013 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Obama couldn't resist suggesting that relationship might as well be a romantic comedy.

"That's how a classic romantic comedy goes." Obama told Leno. "Initially you're not getting along and then you keep on bumping into each other."

He added that he respects the fact McCain goes "against the grain of his party sometimes," calling him a "person of integrity" and a Republican politician who wants "to be for something, not just be against everything."

The 80-year-old Arizona senator was hospitalized for a blood clot when doctors realized he had a brain tumor called a primary glioblastoma. The tumor, described by CNN as a "particularly aggressive" type, was removed and McCain is now recovering. In the near future, it's likely that he will undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment. However, as the network noted, such treatment can't begin for another month or so until the incision above his eye heals.

McCain's office released a statement following the diagnosis, thanking those who have already shown their support.

Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective. Further consultations with Senator McCain's Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.

McCain has served in the Senate since 1987, and his colleagues don't seem to think this diagnosis will stop him from serving even longer.