By Ted Barrett, Veronica Stracqualursi and Shawna Mizelle, CNN
Former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole will lie in state in the US Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, congressional leaders said in an announcement.
“Senator Dole was an extraordinary patriot, who devoted his entire life to serving our nation with dignity and integrity,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
In their statement, Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said he always admired the Kansas Republican’s “steadfast advocacy for veterans and for Americans with disabilities and his love for his country.”
“Senator Dole exemplified the greatest generation, and while I never had the pleasure of serving in the Senate with him, his reputation and his achievements, and most of all his character preceded him.”
The joint announcement also included remarks from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who said, “We look forward to honoring his life and legacy at the Capitol.”
“A bright light of patriotic good cheer burned all the way from Bob’s teenage combat heroics through his whole career in Washington and through the years since,” McConnell said.
Arriving in Washington at the dawn of the Kennedy administration, Dole would serve for 27 years as a US senator from Kansas, including two stints as the Senate majority leader, though he might be best known for his unsuccessful run as the Republican presidential nominee against Bill Clinton in 1996, his third attempt at the White House. He also served as President Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976 after Nelson Rockefeller declined to stay on as vice president.
Sharing his hopes for the nation’s future, he warned in the Post that the country’s “standing as the leader of the free world is not simply destiny. It is a deliberate choice that every generation must make and work toward. We cannot do it divided.”
And reflecting on the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, he noted that “we have heard many of our leaders profess ‘bipartisanship.’ But we must remember that bipartisanship is the minimum we should expect from ourselves.”
Writing in USA Today, Dole said that “during my years in Congress, Democrats and Republicans were political combatants, but we were also friends.”
“I learned that it is difficult to get anything done unless you can compromise — not your principles but your willingness to see the other side,” he said. “Too many of us have sacrificed too much in defending that freedom from foreign adversaries to allow our democracy to crumble under a state of infighting that grows more unacceptable by the day.”
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.
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