Bush, Obama say John McCain made them 'better' presidents

Washington - Former US presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush, who both defeated John McCain in their White House contests, said on Saturday at the late senator's funeral that he made them "better."

Hailing his friend as "an extraordinary man," warrior and patriot who embodied what is best in America, Democrat Obama said McCain "made us better presidents -- just as he made the Senate better, just as he made the country better".

He was echoing similar sentiments expressed minutes earlier by Republican Bush, who defeated McCain in a "hard fought" Republican primary battle in 2000, only to see that bitter rivalry melt away into a lasting friendship.

"He also made me better," Bush said.