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President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and More React to Bob Dole's Death: 'Among the Greatest'

·7 min read
Senator Bob Dole gives the "thumbs up" sign during a presidential rally. Senator Dole won the Republican nomination for president in 1996.
Senator Bob Dole gives the "thumbs up" sign during a presidential rally. Senator Dole won the Republican nomination for president in 1996.

Wally McNamee/Corbis/Getty

Top politicians are paying tribute to Bob Dole following his death on Sunday. He was 98.

Shortly after news of the late Senator's death was made public, President Joe Biden expressed his condolences in a social media statement.

"Bob Dole was a man to be admired by Americans. He had an unerring sense of integrity and honor," Biden, 79, tweeted. "May God bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, dignity, good humor, and patriotism for all time."

In another statement, Biden remembered his close friend and detailed a visit he made to the late politician a month after he was sworn in as president earlier this year.

RELATED: Bob Dole, Former Republican Senator and Past Presidential Candidate, Dies at 98

"Bob had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and I was were there to offer the same support, love, and encouragement that they showed me and Jill when our son Beau battled cancer, and that the Doles have shown us over the half century we've been friends," he wrote.

Noting that the two "picked up right where we left off," Biden continued that though they "often disagreed" on certain topics, Dole "never hesitated to work with me or other Democrats when it mattered most."

"Bob was an American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. And to me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves. I will miss my friend," he added. "But I am grateful for the times we shared, and for the friendship Jill and I and our family have built with Liddy and the entire Dole family."

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In a statement of his own, former president Barack Obama expressed condolences from himself and his wife, Michelle Obama. "Senator Dole and I differed on policy, and I didn't serve with him in the Senate. But I did get to know him over the years, and for that I will always be grateful," he wrote.

Former US Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole dies at 98.
Former US Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole dies at 98.

Diana Walker/Getty

"Senator Dole was a war hero, a political leader, and a statesman – with a career and demeanor harkening back to a day when members of the Greatest Generation abided by a certain code, putting country over party," Obama, 60, continued, also noting that "his sharp wit was matched only by his integrity, and he lived his life in a way that made it clear just how proud he was to be an American, and how committed he was to making this country everything he knew it could be."

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George W. Bush also penned his own remembrance to Dole, who previously served as the longtime leader of Senate Republicans.

"Laura and I are saddened by the passing of a great patriot, Senator Bob Dole," he shared. "This good man represented the finest of American values. He defended them in uniform during World War II. He advanced them in the United States Senate. And he lived them out as a father, husband, and friend."

RELATED: Joe Biden Visits 'Close Friend' Bob Dole Ahead of Former GOP Senator's Cancer Treatment

"Our entire family benefitted from that friendship, including my father," Bush, 75, added. "I will always remember Bob's salute to my late dad at the Capitol, and now we Bushes salute Bob and give thanks for his life of principled service. Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to Elizabeth and join our fellow citizens in prayer for her comfort."

RELATED VIDEO: Former Senator Bob Dole Pays His Respects to Former President George H.W. Bush

On Twitter, Bill Clinton — who defeated Dole in the 1996 presidential election — expressed his sorrow as well, alongside a photo of Dole.

"Bob Dole dedicated his entire life to serving the American people, from his heroism in World War II to the 35 years he spent in Congress. After all he gave in the war, he didn't have to give more," he tweeted. "But he did. His example should inspire people today and for generations to come."

Donald Trump also shared a message in remembrance of Dole, CNN reported.

"Bob Dole was an American war hero and true patriot for our Nation. He served the Great State of Kansas with honor and the Republican Party was made stronger by his service," Trump, 75, said in a statement. "Our Nation mourns his passing, and our prayers are with Elizabeth and his wonderful family."

RELATED: Bob & Elizabeth Dole Look Back at Their Decades-Long Love Story: How They Met and How He Wooed Her

In his own Twitter thread, Mike Pence wrote, "Senator Bob Dole was a truly great man who lived an extraordinary life of service to America and he will be deeply missed by all of us who had the privilege to know him."

Pence, 62, added that Dole's "legacy is a legacy of service," and sent his condolences to all who knew him.

Vice President Kamala Harris similarly shared her own reflective message as well.

"Senator Bob Dole was a war hero and patriot, who devoted his life to service," Harris, 57, said in a social media statement. "Today, Doug and I are thinking of Sen. Elizabeth Dole and the entire Dole family as we remember the life of a great American."

On Sunday, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced Dole's death in a statement shared on social media.

"It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep," the statement read. "At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years."

RELATED: Bob Dole Doesn't Believe Trump's Ongoing Lie that Election Was Stolen: 'Not One Bit of Fraud'

Earlier this year, Dole shared that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. "I have some hurdles ahead," the politician said when he announced his diagnosis in February.

Dole is now survived by Elizabeth and daughter Robin.

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