Sen. McCain and Palin, once the governor of Alaska, ran as a ticket in the 2008 presidential election.
Palin, 54, wrote on Twitter Saturday, “Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs. John never took the easy path in life — and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self.”
She continued, “John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family.”
She also wrote on Instagram, “Heartfelt condolences. God, please provide peace to Sen. McCain’s family at this time. To all who honor him and his service: we share sorrowful feelings tonight, but remain thankful for Sen. McCain and all our vets and active service members who serve something greater than self. God bless the McCains.”
“Prayers for Sen. McCain and his family at this most trying time,” she wrote on Instagram. “May comfort and peace envelop them. May my friend sense appreciation for his inspiration to serve something greater than self.”
In recent months, Sen. McCain expressed regret about selecting Palin as his vice presidential candidate in his book, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations, and in an HBO documentary.
He said that not choosing his friend and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) as his running mate was “another mistake that I made” during the election, which President Barack Obama won, though he offered praise for Palin’s work on the campaign.
She added, “I attribute a lot of what we’re hearing and reading regarding McCain’s statements to his ghostwriter or ghostwriters.”
RELATED VIDEO: Senator John McCain Dies at Age 81
Tributes for Sen. McCain, the former POW and longtime Republic politician, also came from McCain’s family members.
His wife Cindy McCain, 64, wrote, “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
His daughter Meghan McCain, 33, said, “In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things,” she wrote in part. “He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman — and he showed me what it is to be a man.”