Former Senator and 1996 GOP presidential Bob Dole died over the weekend, as people recalled his hand in Donald Trump’s rise.
Dole showed himself to end to be a lifelong soldier for the Republicans.
Dole was among the first establishment Republicans — and was the only living former presidential nominee of the party — to back Trump in 2016. ..Trump returned the favor on Sunday:
What Dole said in 2016:
- “The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump. It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump.”
- “I plan to attend the RNC convention in Cleveland to show my support for our party and our ticket, as I have done my entire life.
- “We must unite as a party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
After Trump become president, how he handled his GOP predecessors was mixed:
- Trump attended the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush (at Bush’s request)
- But Trump famously was not invited to 2008 GOP nominee John McCain’s funeral
- Trump has continued to war with former President George W. Bush, now-Utah Senator Mitt Romney, and other establishment bigwigs, such as Colin Powell, who also died this year
Dole was different- he was with Trump from the start… And this was pointed out by Dole’s haters over the weekend:
“[Dole] had a career often seen as a testament to absolute fidelity to the Republican Party,” veteran reporter Jeff Greenfield wrote in Politico.
- But if Dole was a “Trumper,” Dole was still also remembered by President Joe Biden, his old rival Bill Clinton and Trump rivals George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Dole’s “Trumper” comment was seized on but they were made in the context of registering his continued support of Trump, but also that he rejected the 45th’s president’s claims about the 2020 election.
“He lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did,” Dole told USA Today before his death.
- “He had Rudy Giuliani running all over the country, claiming fraud. He never had one bit of fraud in all those lawsuits he filed and statements he made.”
NOSTALGIA FOR A SIMPLER TIME
Above all, Dole’s passing was marked as an of era of relative civility: “Sen. Bob Dole’s passing serves as reminder of bygone era,” said ABC News. … And fans shared a clip of the late senator with the late comedian Norm MacDonald (who also died this year):
And conservatives mourned the dual loss of prominent conservatives Dole and Macdonald accepted by the mainstream.