Quotes: A Nation Reacts

Following are quotations from friends, family and fellow politicians on the news that former President Ronald Reagan passed away:

Nancy Reagan: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer's disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone's prayers."

Michael Reagan: I pray that as America reflects on the passing of my Dad, they will remember a man of integrity, conviction and good humor that changed America and the world for the better. He would modestly say the credit goes to others, but I believe the credit is his.

What I will remember is a man that changed my life. He was always there for me when I needed him. He had a way of putting everything into perspective, and I believe that his determination and perseverance came from his relationship with the Lord.  He played an important role in pointing me to God.

President George W. Bush: "He always told us that for America the best is yet to come. ... We comfort ourselves by telling ourselves that the same is true for him. ... We know a shining city is waiting for him."

Former President George H.W. Bush: "The most I learned from him was his adherence to principle and to fight for them. ... He used the term 'evil empire' and all his critics were ringing their hands, saying he doesn't know how to conduct foreign affairs ... sure enough peace happened on his watch."

Former President Gerald Ford: "Betty and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our longtime friend, President Reagan. Ronald Reagan was an excellent leader of our nation during challenging times at home and abroad. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Nancy and his family."

Former President Bill Clinton: "Hillary and I will always remember President Ronald Reagan for the way he personified the indomitable optimism of the American people, and for keeping America at the forefront of the fight for freedom for people everywhere. It is fitting that a piece of the Berlin Wall adorns the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.: "Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious. Even when he was breaking Democrats' hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate."

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert: "How ironic that he died on the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion? He shared the vision of those brave men who risked and sometimes lost their lives, so that others could live in freedom.  That vision lives today."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: "All Americans are grateful for Ronald Reagan's great leadership and service to our country and admired his special grace, optimism, and humor. He served our country with dignity and he died with dignity."

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: "I've studied him more than any other man in modern politics. ... He changed the direction of the world on the strength of his convictions."

Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: "It is easy to see how profoundly President Reagan changed the world. He made it safer, more free and gave hope and opportunity to millions.

Newt Gingrich: "All free people stand on Reagan's shoulders. His principled policies proved that free markets create wealth, that the rule of law sustains freedom, and that all people everywhere deserve the right to dream, to pursue their dreams, and to govern themselves."

Sen. John McCain: "In the more than thirty years that have passed since I first met [Ronald Reagan], I have never lived a day that I wasn't grateful for the privilege of the Reagans' friendship, and the strength of his faith in America that inspired my own, and so many others."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle: "America has lost an icon. Ronald Reagan's leadership will inspire Americans for generations to come.  His patriotism and devotion to our country will never be forgotten."

Secretary of State Colin Powell: "President Reagan fueled the spirit of America. His smile, his optimism, his total belief in the ultimate triumph of democracy and freedom, and his willingness to act on that belief, helped end the Cold War and usher in a new and brighter phase of history."

Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie: "Ronald Reagan was a president of great historic impact who led the United States with strength and conviction, and the positive impact of his policies is still felt today here and around the world. More than two decades after he was first elected president, the Republican Party still bears his imprint. Because Ronald Reagan lived, people across the globe live in greater freedom and prosperity."

Wanita Trader, a leader at the First Christian Church in Dixon, Ill., which Reagan attended: "He was our hero, he was our hometown boy made good. At the church we feel that we nurtured a president and we are pretty proud of the fact."
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass: "On foreign policy he will be honored as the president who won the Cold War, and his 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall' will be linked forever with President Kennedy's 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' President Reagan and Nancy were always very gracious to the Kennedy family and they are both very much in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time."
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm: "President Reagan transformed our nation's psyche with his optimism and positive vision. He was a strong leader who made a lasting mark on our nation's history. He was gentle and kind and every American can learn from his example."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas: "An unequaled champion of freedom, smaller government and market-oriented principles, he has always been an inspiration to me. Perhaps most importantly, this happy warrior faced the gravest threat of his time and made the difficult decisions that ultimately won the Cold War."
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R.-Neb.: "Ronald Reagan was a unique leader who understood the greatness and goodness of America. History will judge him well. He led our nation through historic challenges and changes with unyielding confidence and courage. Ronald Reagan embodied the best of America. He was the American spirit."
New York Republican Gov. George Pataki:
"The sun has set on the remarkable life of the great man who reminded us it is always morning in America. President Ronald Wilson Reagan will always be remembered as a man of unwavering principle whose sense of hope, optimism and opportunity appealed to the best in Americans."
Actor Danny Glover: "We all know Reagan's legacy, from the Iran-Contra affair to the funding of the Nicaraguan military in which over 200,000 people died. The groundwork for the move steadily to the right happened with the Reagan administration. People want to elevate him to some mythic level; they have their own reason for doing that."
Johnny Grant, honorary mayor of Hollywood and a longtime friend of Reagan from his Hollywood days: "He was a man who loved his country. I don't know of anybody who's done more for this country and the entertainment industry."