OKLA — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement on the death of his longtime friend and former senator, Bob Dole:
“Bob Dole was a giant of the Senate and I was honored to serve with him. He was one of the last of the World War II heroes that I was privileged to serve with and we were close friends. As a veteran, presidential candidate, Republican leader and faithful volunteer with the Honor Flight program, Bob’s loyal service to this country was seen time and time again—but I must confess that I will miss his humor the most. He understood the power of laughter to unify even the most divided political opposition. Kay and I are keeping Elizabeth, Robin and their entire family in our prayers as we share in honoring the remarkable life of Bob Dole.”
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) issued the following statement after hearing about the passing of former Senator Bob Dole, who served the United States in many capacities for nearly eight decades.
“Bob Dole was not only ‘Mr. Republican,’ he was ‘Mr. America,’ too. Senator Dole carried the scars of service to our country in combat for his entire adult life. The Senator served in peace as well as war as a county prosecutor in Kansas and a Member of both the U.S. House and Senate, where he rose to Majority Leader, one of the most powerful positions in American politics,” said Cole.
“Of course, Bob Dole’s service to his beloved Republican Party was exemplary. He served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1976 and, 20 years later, the Republican presidential nominee in an epic clash with former President Clinton. Dole lost that race, but his vigorous campaign held the highly regarded Clinton under 50 percent of the popular vote and probably saved the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House.
“Despite his intense loyalty to his party, Bob Dole was widely admired on both sides of the aisle and was famous for his ability to assemble bipartisan coalitions in pursuit of important national legislation. His partnership on the issue of hunger with the late Democratic Senator George McGovern was legendary. So, too, were the coalitions he created between rural Republicans and urban Democrats to pass the famously bipartisan ‘Farm Bill.’ It is revealing that in a gesture of respect and civility, his old adversary Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for service to our country.
“As a senior party official, a political consultant and a Member of Congress, I campaigned and interacted with Senator Dole on countless occasions beginning in the 1980s through the 2010s. And I bumped into him several times at the World War II Memorial escorting groups of his fellow Second World War veterans to and through ‘their Memorial’ in Washington, D.C.
“Bob Dole was always the happy political warrior with a cutting wit, a slashing style and verve for the fight that was unmatched in politics. As a next-door Kansas neighbor, Bob Dole knew Oklahomans and Oklahoma issues well. He had countless friends in our state and will be deeply missed and sincerely mourned in Oklahoma.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to his amazing wife, Elizabeth, a former cabinet secretary and Senator in her own right, as well as the entire Dole family. There is no doubt my party has lost a great Republican, but, more importantly, America has lost a great patriot and I have lost a wonderful friend and role model.”
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