Political figures react to Colson death
Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Chuck Colson, and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum
April 21st, 2012
06:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Political figures react to Colson death

(CNN) – Political figures, including likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, reacted on Saturday to the death of Chuck Colson, the influential evangelical leader who served time in prison for his role as a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon.

"Chuck Colson embodied and made possible an immeasurable amount of good in the lives of the people, families and communities he served in bringing a message of faith and hope," Romney said in a statement. "Ann and I are praying for Patty, the Colson family and all the people he touched throughout the world who will miss him."

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One time Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said he was "deeply saddened" by the death.

"Chuck was a humble man who learned from his own frailty to care for the 'least of these,' especially prisoners. His work to bring Christianity to those who were in their darkest days changed the lives of many," Santorum said. "My thoughts and prayers are with Chuck's wife Patty, the entire Colson family and the community at Prison Fellowship Ministries during this very difficult time. Chuck was a patriot, who loved his country and loved serving his God, and we are all a little better off for having known him."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he was "touched by the life and service of this extraordinary man."

"For nearly four decades, Chuck Colson's life and example have been a constant and necessary reminder to those of us in and out of public office of the seductions of power and the rewards of service. His famous redemption story and tireless advocacy on behalf of the marginalized and the outcast have called all of us to a deeper reflection on our lives and priorities. He lives on as a modern model of redemption and a permanent rebuttal to the cynical claim that there are no second chances in life. Our thoughts are with the Colson family, and all who have been touched by the life and service of this extraordinary man."

Indiana Rep. Mike Pence recognized Colson's "moral clarity."

"He rose to the heights of political power and fell to the depths of disgrace, but in his fall, he found redemption in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having been given a second chance, Chuck Colson devoted his life to carrying the Christian message of second chances to those in prison, and he saw countless lives changed by his compassion and example," Pence said. "I will always count it a privilege to have been able to call him my dear friend and mentor. His dedication to moral integrity, serving his fellow man and his steadfast faith have always and will always be an inspiration to me and my family."

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Filed under: Mike Pence • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Steven Colo

    Mike Pence is the only one who acknowledged Colson conspiring to obstruct justice.

    April 21, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Typical -- he likes corrupt people and ex-convicts that helped Nixon with his illegal shenanigans. Maybe that's why he has so many advisors from the W admin. All for Robmey $$$$$$$$.

    April 21, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    The mormon church baptised Hitler to make him one of their own -- wonder if they wll secretly baptise this thug too. Fits into the mormon plan to gain control of the world thru any means.

    April 21, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Graham Krueger

    Moral integrity? The man was a Watergate thug. That said, I am sad that he's dead. We need frequent reminders of how corrupt politicians use Christianity as a political tool to cover up their misdeeds and persecute their enemies. Mr. Colson was one of the clearest examples of that.

    April 21, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. rob

    Awesome news!! Glad this bigot is finally in hell!

    April 21, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. carrotroot

    A couple of things, first this guy took part in a very serious crime which essentially forced President Nixon to resign in shame. He may have found Jesus in jail and did a lot of good afterwards but that doesn't lessen the impact of what he and others did to the country at that time.

    April 21, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Voltaire

    Mendacious Mitt and faux enraged Ann made a faux pas to comment on a POS like Nixon's "hatchet man". No really smart Republicans ever goes near anything or anybody relating to Nixon. Great movie to watch: NIXON/FROST, now on DVD. Enjoy!

    April 21, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Niko_in_Richmond

    A bunch of crooks praising a crook. You have to love it!

    April 21, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. ted

    I was a senior in high school in 1974 and got to know all the names of the Watergate figures, the bad ones and the good ones. Sure Colson made a difference after his prison term and yes he was a Marine before the White House. What makes someone disgrace themselves with this kind of behavior? What did he gain from it? As far as I am concerned, he was once of the idiot characters in the very bad movie, Watergate. Erlichmann, Liddy, Haldeman and many others. All lives screwed up for what, exactly?

    April 21, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. dnick47

    Colson was a crook who worked for a crook. When being a crook didn't work anymore he became a born again christian (lower case "c" intentional) so he could milk people another way ... used the name of Jesus to make money but only supported conservative causes which show he was a fraud....

    April 21, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He at least saw the error of his ways and became a better person. I hope that people learned the lessons that this guy should have learned early on.

    April 21, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Don't make a man what he wasn't !

    He was just a man

    April 22, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  13. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

    RIP for what its worth we have to move forward everyone its the 20 th century things are quite different but with DETERMINATION AND TEAMWORK the USA and its people will ENDURE AND SUCCEED!

    April 22, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  14. Skip Skeptic

    Who's he?

    April 22, 2012 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  15. Thomas

    Chuck Colson, the influential evangelical leader who served time in prison for his role as a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon.

    The Republicans sure have wonderful roll models .

    The Power of Spin,John Dean told the truth , he was the true Patriot .

    April 22, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  16. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    So let me get this straight, they think Colson was a hero, a role model, really !?! While it's always sad when someone dies but lets not rewrite history. Colson was a convicted felon who served time in prison for the crimes he committed. Yet to the GOP they seem to be worshiping him, I guess it's easy now for the GOP to rewrite history because they do it about everything. It says quite a lot about these clowns doesn't it!

    April 22, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. king

    Is this the Guy in the Watergate scandal, I wonder if it was Democrats giving ugilies to someone with any sort of controversity, how will they react. I know, they scream "OBAMA IS PALLING AROUND WITH TERRORIST"!!!

    April 22, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  18. gregory21

    They always find God & Jesus Christ in prison. He still did what he did. What the rep party stands for.

    April 22, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |