[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/06/13/tim.russert/art.russert.cnn.jpg caption="NBC News' Tim Russert."](CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain both expressed sadness Friday over the death of NBC journalist Tim Russert.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, McCain called Russert a man of "honesty and integrity."
WATCH: McCain comment on Russert
“He was hard but he was always fair. We miss him," McCain said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And we know that Tim Russert leaves a legacy of the highest level of integrity, of the highest level of journalism, and we miss him and we'll miss him a lot. Again he was hard, he was fair, he was at the top of his profession. He loved his country. He loved the Buffalo Bills and most of all he loved his family.”
In Columbus, Ohio, Obama said Russert was "one of the finest men I knew."
WATCH: Obama comment on Russert
"I’ve known Tim Russert since I first spoke at the convention in 2004. He's somebody who overtime I came to consider not only a journalist but a friend," Obama said. "There wasn’t a better interviewer in TV, not a more thoughtful analyst of our politics, and he was also one of the finest men I knew. Somebody who cared about America, cared about the issues, cared about family.
"I am grief stricken with the loss and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And I hope that even though Tim is irreplaceable that the standard that he set in his professional life and his family life are standards that we all carry with us in our own lives," he also said.