Friends, Colleagues Remember Jack Kemp

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Those who knew and worked closely with Jack Kemp remembered his distinguished career as they expressed their condolences over the news of his death.

Former President George W. Bush said "Laura and I are saddened by the death of Jack Kemp. Jack will be remembered for his significant contributions to the Reagan revolution and his steadfast dedication to conservative principles during his long and distinguished career in public service. Jack's wife Joanne and the rest of the Kemp family are in our thoughts and prayers."

Former President George H.W. Bush said he and his wife Barbara would miss Kemp very much and released the following statement: "Jack fought the good fight all his life. He exemplified for me the best of public service. He was a man of dedicated selflessness, and a man of conviction. His courage in the face of adversity inspired all who knew him."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also expressed his condolences through a statement on the passing of Kemp. "Elaine and I are saddened by the loss of our friend Jack Kemp. One of the nation's most distinguished public servants, Jack was a powerful voice in American politics for more than four decades.

"He championed free market principles that improved the lives of millions of Americans and helped unleash an entrepreneurial spirit that all of us still benefit from today. Jack was a leading voice for a strong national defense, civil rights, and any other policy that empowered people. Whether as a quarterback, a congressman, or a cabinet secretary, his life was defined by vision and by a firm commitment to the service of others.

"Jack's deep intellect and thoughtful contributions to our national debates will be sorely missed, and Elaine and I send our condolences to Joanne and the rest of the Kemp family," McConnell said.

House Minority Leader John Boehner called Kemp a "thinker, a doer and an American patriot."

"Jack Kemp inspired a generation of conservatives with his unyielding commitment to freedom and free-market policies. He articulated a vision of America that placed opportunity and freedom for all ahead of government and bureaucracy," Boehner said in a written statement.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said Kemp was a "great man whose character, optimism and compassion will shape his party and his nation for generation."

"On occasion, there are giants among us — men like Benjamin Franklin and Booker T. Washington — who never held the highest elective office in the land but shaped their times by strong moral persuasion and political activism. Jack Kemp was such a man," he said.

San Diego-area Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said "Jack Kemp led one of the most distinguished public service careers in our history shaping both the Republican Party and our country. For many of us here in San Diego, Jack Kemp was an icon - both on the football field and as a political leader. His commitment to excellence and service has left with us a legacy that will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with Jack's family and friends."

Buffalo-area Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) said "Jack Kemp was an American icon whose achievements were so prolific that his standing as one of the great Buffalo Bills of all time is often mentioned after his work as a conservative visionary and great statesman. The thoughts and prayers of all Western New Yorkers are with Jack's loved ones at this difficult hour."