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Here’s what politicians, singers and friends are saying about George H.W. Bush’s death

Dec 1, 2018
In The News

Admirers ranging from an ESPN writer to the Oak Ridge Boys and leading politicians issued statements reacting to the news of President George H.W. Bush’s death. Here’s a sampling:

“The President and First Lady were notified late last night of President George H.W. Bush’s passing. President Trump is scheduled to speak with President George W. Bush this morning and offer his condolences on behalf of himself, the First Lady, and the entire country.

“A state funeral is being arranged with all of the accompanying support and honors. The President will designate Wednesday, December 5th as a National Day Of Mourning. He and the First Lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.”
“The state of Texas mourns with the nation at the passing of one of our greatest Presidents. George H.W. Bush was an American hero and icon, he was a friend to all he met, he embodied class and dignity.

“Texans are genuinely honored that he called the Lone Star State home and we collectively grieve this monumental loss. On behalf of Texas, Cecilia and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the Bush family in their time of need.”

— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott


“President George H.W. Bush will be remembered for a lifetime of dedicated service to our country as an American hero, patriot and public servant. He will also be remembered for his kind heart and compassion for others. President Bush’s character made him remarkable well beyond his achievements.

“We witnessed his integrity, humility and grace on a number of occasions, including at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans where he participated in the coin toss ceremony and helped Americans begin to heal from the tragedy of September 11.”

— NFL commissioner Roger Goodall


“Our father and mother cherished the deep and sacred friendship which they shared with President and Mrs. Bush. Together we celebrate the wonderful life and legacy of President Bush as we keep the Bush family close in our thoughts and prayers.”

— Mike Ford, son of President Gerald R. Ford and chair of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation


“The passing of President George H. W. Bush saddens me to the core. America has lost an extraordinary embodiment of leadership, integrity, and resolve; I’ve lost a special friend of mine, as he most certainly was for Dad and Mom. . . Americans knew that we could always depend on George H. W. Bush to get the job done, and get the job done right. And that is exactly what he did – without fail - time and time again.”

— Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford


“Many times, it was President Bush who I turned to for sage advice and wisdom. He encouraged me to follow a path to public service and has been an inspiration throughout my life.

“When I wrote ‘The Road To Omaha’ in ‘08 I reached out to #Bush41 to discuss his role in the first two College World Series. I referenced a newspaper description: “Yale’s husky first sacker.” He joked, “I’ve always liked that exaggerated description. So, yes, please use that.”

— ESPN senior writer Ryan McGee, via Twitter


“He was like a daddy figure to me, and he was all about making everyone around him have a good time. The sting of death always hurts, but I have so many memories to make me smile.

“The Oak Ridge Boys have sung ‘Amazing Grace’ for him on Air Force One, in Kennebunkport, at the White House, and over the phone when he was in the hospital. However, singing ‘Amazing Grace’ at his funeral will be the most difficult assignment we will ever have.

— Duane Allen, The Oak Ridge Boys


“I first met president George H.W. Bush in 1964 when Steve, Rudy and I sang for his congressional run. He lost. Later when he became vice-president, I walked up to him in the White House to say hello.

“He stuck out his hand and said, ‘Hey Larry Gatlin ... you’re one of those little snotty-nose kids who sang for my campaign in Odessa in 1964.’ I said, ‘Yessir, I am.’ He said, ‘It worked out better this time. We won!’ Rest in peace, old friend.”

— Larry Gatlin, The Gatlin Brothers


“What I always will remember is his modesty. He was the most modest person who ever held the office, at least in my lifetime. He kept the rhetoric low and the situation cool.

“The fact is, he was a much better public servant than he was a politician .. In his family, they were discouraged from ever bragging about any personal feat they might have accomplished, so it was very difficult for him to get out on the stump and say ‘Here’s why I’m a great guy.’ “

— Bob Schieffer, CBS News


“America has lost a great servant, and I have lost a great friend. George H.W. Bush epitomized everything wonderful about America, and like his country, he was tough, strong, and kind. He changed this nation and he changed the world.

— U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Austin


“Having adopted the state of Texas as his home as a young adult, we Texans were privileged to have him as one of our own. President Bush once said, ‘I am a Texan and an American … what more could a man ask?’ I don’t think anyone could have said it better.”

— Sen. John Cornyn


“He will be remembered as a good and faithful servant to his country, whose great legacy of leadership and love of homeland became a family tradition, earned him the admiration of countless Americans, and secured him a special place in the memory of every Texan. ...

“President Bush was the last of the Greatest Generation to sit in the Oval Office, but his resolve will not be lost to the past; it will triumph onward.”

— Sen. Ted Cruz


“George Bush was the type of person who all of us should aspire to be: He was an unfailingly kind man who never wavered in his devotion to his family, his principles, his country, and his belief in serving others.

— Former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio


“A war hero. A congressman. A diplomat. A vice president and president. A Texan. No one can question that President Bush loved and respected America and Texas.

“Texas Democrats mourn his passing and honor his dedication to our country.”

— Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa


“From the Yale baseball diamond to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to the streets of Beijing to the halls of the White House, President Bush led a life of humble leadership, courage, and conviction. Though he held many prestigious positions, he will be long remembered for the roles he held most dear: as a devoted husband to Barbara Pierce and a loving father to their children and grandchildren.”

— U.S. Rep. Michael C. Burgess of Pilot Point


“I join all Texans and Americans in mourning the loss of President George Herbert Walker Bush. He leaves behind a legacy that is felt in all corners of the world, and noticeably so in the Texas oil and natural gas industry. ...

“He was a pioneer in the industry, one of the first to explore offshore drilling.”

— Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association