FLAGS are flying at half-mast after former Senator Bob Dole passed away on Sunday from his battle with lung cancer.
He left behind a lasting legacy, humor, and wit – even in the face of defeat and unachieved ambitions.
Who did Bob Dole run against for the presidency?
Bob Dole ran for president three times, but he did not secure a bid from the GOP until 1996 when he became the oldest first-time presidential nominee at 73 years old.
Prior to his bid for president, Gerald Ford brought him on as his Vice President running mate in 1976 but lost to Jimmy Carter.
Dole announced his retirement from the Senate ahead of the 1995 presidential election, and said he was either “headed for The White House or home.”
However, he ultimately lost to Clinton won by an overwhelming 49.2 percent to 40.7 percent, making him the only person in US history to be nominated for both Vice President and President, but not achieve either.
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He kept his humor after his loss to former President Clinton when, a few months into Clinton’s presidency, Dole received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service in World War II.
When he received the medal, Dole pretended to take the oath of office and said, "I, Robert J. Dole, do solemnly swear … Sorry, wrong speech.
“But I had a dream that I would be here this week, receiving something from the president, but I thought it would be the front door key."
What did current and former presidents say about Bob Dole’s passing?
Bob Dole was 98 years old when he passed away on Sunday, December 5, and was the oldest Senator in US history. He was a member of the Republican party and the Kansas Senator for 27 years.
Dole leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth Dole (85), and his daughter Robin Dole (67).
He is being remembered by those whom he made permanent impressions on including his former presidential running mate, Bill Clinton.
President Joe Biden (2021) – "I was there to offer the same support, love, and encouragement that they showed me and Jill when our son Beau battled cancer … Like all true friendships, regardless of how much time has passed, we picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the Senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day, often against each other, on the Senate floor.
"This work, for Bob, was about more than passing laws. It was written on his heart. 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."
Former President Donald Trump (2016 – 2020) – "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.
“Our nation mourns his passing, and our prayers are with Elizabeth and his wonderful family."
Former President Barack Obama (2009 – 2017) – "Senator Bob 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.”
Former President George W. Bush (2001 – 2009) – "(Dole) 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. Our entire family benefited from that friendship, including my father (former President George H.W. Bush)."
Former President Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001) – "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. But he did. His example should inspire people today and for generations to come."
Former President Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981) – "Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Sen. Robert Dole.
"A true leader, Bob was willing to work across political parties to make progress on important issues. He showed that our differences need not divide us but can foster effective answers to our nation's most difficult problems.
“His unrelenting efforts enriched the lives of countless people in need, including military personnel, veterans, and their caregivers. We extend our condolences to his wife, Elizabeth, their family, and friends."
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