The political world reacts to George H.W. Bush’s death

HOUSTON -- The 41st President of the United States and patriarch of a political dynasty, George H.W. Bush died on Friday in Houston. He was 94 years old. Friends, family, and fellow politicians are now paying tribute to the man remembered as a World War II combat pilot, a Cold War politician, and a compassionate family man.

George W. Bush: "Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H. W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41's life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens."

Jeb Bush Jr: Nothing gave Gampy more joy than service to others, especially supporting and caring for those who risk making the ultimate sacrifice every day. His leadership taught us to be kinder and gentler, to love each other. We will miss him dearly.

George P. Bush: My grandfather was the greatest man I ever knew. His life spanned the American Century — he fought in World War II ... took part in the Texas oil boom ... served out a distinguished career in public service including serving as president during the final days of the Cold War.

He was more than a great man; he was a good man. His courage was matched by his compassion; and his dedication to country was equaled only by his devotion to his family. Gampy, we love you and we will miss you. But we will never forget you.

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump: Melania and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night.

US President Barack Obama listens as former US President George H. W. Bush speak during an event in the East Room of the White House July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service — to be, in his words, "a thousand points of light" illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world.

President Bush always found a way to set the bar higher. As a young man, he captained the Yale baseball team, and then went on to serve as the youngest aviator in the United States Navy during the Second World War. Later in life, he rose to the pinnacle of American politics as a Congressman from Texas, envoy to China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President of eight years to President Ronald Reagan, and finally President of the United States.

With sound judgement (sic), common sense, and unflappable leadership, President Bush guided our Nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War. As President, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction.

Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family — especially the love of his life, Barbara. His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41.

President Obama: America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved -- from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.

George H.W. Bush's life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey. Expanding America's promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but -- ending the Cold War without firing a shot.

It's a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he'd want all of us to try.

After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example -- the example of a man who, even after commanding the world's mightiest military, once said "I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I've done."

What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight -- and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example.

Former Vice President Al Gore: President George H.W. Bush served our nation with extraordinary integrity and grace. I will remember him for his personal kindness and for his love of this country. He earned bipartisan respect for speaking up and taking action for what he believed was right, even when doing so was unpopular. He inspired countless Americans to volunteer and improve their communities through his point of life Foundation. President Bush leaves behind an American legacy of a lifetime of service that will be revered for generations.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Today, we've lost a great hero. George Bush was an inspiration to all Americans and we will miss him dearly. From the day he first put on his U.S. Navy flight suit and took off into the unknown, he always put his country first. He took on many jobs throughout his long career, and all shared one distinct trait: public service. His greatest legacy is that pure American spirit, that commitment to selflessness that drove him until the very end.

He was born in a time that seemed to produce an endless supply of heroes, but make no mistake: George Bush embodied everything that made the Greatest Generation great.

I will always be grateful to him for his friendship, for embracing me and imparting just a fraction of his wisdom during our time together. Some of my fondest memories are of sledding with him at Camp David and inspiring America to join our fitness crusade by hosting the Great American Workout with him on the White House lawn and listening to his speech advice as we flew between campaign rallies. I will never forget the pride I felt the day he appointed me Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. I loved to hear him surprise people with his wild side — explaining the pure joy he felt as he flew and jumped out of planes. I also loved to hear him explain his passion for this country — it was a true love that knew no petty boundaries or party lines. He taught me so much, but most of all, he taught me the power of serving a cause greater than yourself. I count myself lucky for many reasons; but for the opportunity to call George Bush a mentor, I can't help but think I'm the luckiest man in America.

President Bush has left us for one last flight but his destination isn't unknown. He's flying into the arms of the love of his life, Barbara. This evening, each of us should take a minute to look up and offer him a silent thanks.

Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower: Our father believed in George H.W. Bush. Richard Nixon kicked off George Bush's campaign for congress in 1966, encouraged him to run for senate in 1970, entrusted him as U.N. Ambassador and head of the RNC, and supported him tirelessly when he served as President for four years.

George H.W. Bush lived a life that was purposeful, and extraordinarily rewarding---for our nation, and for our world.

While people everywhere salute and thank George H.W. Bush today, we take special solace in knowing that President and Mrs. Bush are together again.

Marco Rubio: President George H.W. Bush was an American hero, a patriot and a wise and generous man. May he Rest In Peace.

Kellyanne Conway: Geartfelt (sic) sympathy and deep condolences to the entire Bush family on the passing of our 41st President, George H. W. Bush. He devoted his life to his family and his country. Thank you, sir."

Julian Castro, former HUD Secretary and fellow Texan: President George Herbert Walker Bush lived an admirable life of service to country. He made a positive impact on the lives of so many Americans. May he Rest In Peace.

Rick Perry: Tonight, our Nation honors the life and legacy of President @GeorgeHWBush. His unwavering service to our country and his family are unparalleled. #GigEm

GOP Twitter account: George H.W. Bush: patriot, public servant, and President of the United States. Rest in Peace, 41.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner: George H.W. Bush served with valor and integrity as the 41st president of the United States. But to Houstonians he was one of our most esteemed and relatable neighbors. He and his wife Barbara Bush were our sports teams' biggest fans, and boosters for everything Houston. The Bushes could have moved anywhere after his time in public office, but they chose to return to their beloved city where he started his political career as the chair of the Harris County Republican Party.

"In statesman-like fashion, he knew the importance of reaching across the aisle to find common ground. He backed our bid to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. He was an equal ally of former election foe President Bill Clinton in helping victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma through the One America Appeal. And I will always be grateful to the Bushes for being kind friends and advisers to me.

"For these reasons and more, I join Houstonians in mourning the death of George Herbert Walker Bush and expressing heartfelt condolences to his children and the rest of the Bush family. May we never forget his service to our country, his call for all of us to be a light to the world, and his loving spirit."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott: 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.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: We have lost a great American. Service defined President George H.W. Bush's life, and he taught all of us about leadership, sacrifice and decency. We send our deepest sympathies to the Bush family.

Kevin Ryan, president of Covenant House: Clare and I send our love & sympathy to the Bushes on the loss of Pres. George Bush. At a time when some argued for the quarantine of our @CovenantHouse kids with HIV & AIDS, George & Barbara Bush held them close. I hope those angels now welcome him home to the kingdom of God.