Lawmakers mourn Nelson Mandela

December 5, 2013

Lawmakers of all walks were quick to mourn the death Thursday of Nelson Mandela.

Here's a sampling of their reactions.

Former president George W. Bush: "President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time.  He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example.  This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.): "Few individuals in human history can truly claim a legacy of peace and perseverance like Mandela can. ... The world's thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of South Africa.  Let us honor President Mandela's legacy by re-committing ourselves to fight injustice in whatever form it exists, and promote democracy and human rights throughout all corners of the globe."

House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.): "Most impressively, he elected to serve a single presidential term, turning over power he assuredly could have kept.  When others remained silent, Mandela spoke out against Mugabe’s tyranny in neighboring Zimbabwe. His message of reconciliation must endure.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "‘Madiba’s’ patience through imprisonment and insistence on unity over vengeance in the delicate period in which he served stand as a permanent reminder to the world of the value of perseverance and the positive influence one good man or woman can have over the course of human affairs. The world mourns this great leader."

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.): "The world has lost a true hero. It is hard to overstate Nelson Mandela's transformative impact on his country and the world."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I): "He devoted his life to building a more just, equal and compassionate world, and we are all better for it."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): “Nelson Mandela was an unrelenting voice for democracy and his 'long walk to freedom' showed an enduring faith in God and respect for human dignity. His perseverance in fighting the apartheid system will continue to inspire future generations."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): "May his story long remind us to always look forward with optimism to the future.  May it be a comfort to his family, to his friends and loved ones, to the people of South Africa that so many mourn the loss of this extraordinary man and incredible leader at this sad time."

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Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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