U.S. political figures react to Lady Thatcher's death
April 8th, 2013
09:15 AM ET
2 years ago

U.S. political figures react to Lady Thatcher's death

(CNN) – With news that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had passed away, the U.S. political world, especially conservatives, lit up Monday with condolences of the woman who became known as the "Iron Lady."

"I think she was a great leader, someone who had a vision, a purpose and went after that purpose and brought everyone along with her for a while," former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on CBS' "This Morning." "But the British people have lost great inspiration. They have lost somebody who should be an example to anybody in political life today."

"She exuded influence and power," he continued. "The hair style, the dress, her manner, the way in which she carried that handbag. When she walked into a room, you knew somebody had arrived and you'd better be careful. At the same time she had an extremely warm side to her."

President Barack Obama said "the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend."

"She stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered," he continued. "As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom's promise."

Nancy Reagan, wife of former President Ronald Reagan, released a statement Monday mourning the loss of Thatcher and acknowledging the former British prime minister's close ties with her late husband.

"Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates, committed to freedom and resolved to end Communism," she said. "As Prime Minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to "rock the boat." As a result, she helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions of people."

Former President George W. Bush said in a statement that he and his wife, Laura, were saddened by Thatcher's death.

“She was an inspirational leader who stood on principle and guided her nation with confidence and clarity," he continued. "Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Laura and I join the people of Great Britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong woman and friend.”

House Speaker John Boehner labeled her "the greatest peacetime prime minister" and said Americans "will always keep Lady Thatcher in our hearts for her loyalty to Ronald Reagan and their friendship that we all admired."

"Margaret Thatcher, a grocer's daughter, stared down elites, union bosses, and communists to win three consecutive elections, establish conservative principles in Western Europe, and bring down the Iron Curtain," the speaker said in a statement. "There was no secret to her values – hard work and personal responsibility – and no nonsense in her leadership."

Former President Bill Clinton hailed Thatcher for understanding "that the special relationship which has long united our two nations is an indispensable foundation for peace and prosperity."

"Our strong partnership today is part of her legacy," he said. "Like so many others, I respected the conviction and self-determination she displayed throughout her remarkable life as she broke barriers, defied expectations, and led her country. Hillary, Chelsea, and I extend our condolences to her family and to the people of the United Kingdom."

In another statement, former Sens. Bob and Elizabeth Dole said Thatcher "ranks among the finest of British prime ministers and the greatest political figures of the twentieth century."

Former President George H. W. Bush said in a statement: "The personal grief we Bushes feel is compounded by the knowledge that America has lost one of the staunchest allies we have ever known; and yet we have confidence that her sterling record of accomplishment will inspire future generations."

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was "honored to know her and to be inspired by her."

"There was no more potent force in the defense of freedom than this remarkable woman," she said in a statement. "Her unshakable belief in the universal appeal of liberty helped to steer the free world through treacherous times until communism was defeated and Europe emerged whole, free and a peace."

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also reflected on Thatcher's close ties with Reagan.

“As someone who grew up in the Ronald Reagan era, I admired the special bond he had with Margaret Thatcher," he said. "Through her work with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher helped deepen and solidify the special relationship between our two countries, which continues to benefit both nations to this day."

Others took to Twitter to say goodbye.


Filed under: United Kingdom
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Peoples State of Illinois

    Food for thought: “If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth program, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of superrich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all,” he wrote. “Instead it becomes the logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately, socialism, is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite.”

    April 8, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. ST

    @ mal
    You can not lead if the people you are leading don't listen and appreciate you as their leader. Those days when Margaret Thatcher was in power, she had people who were well disciplined, accepted her as their leader regardless of her gender. These days is quite the opposite.

    April 8, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    The real question: "What happens when the plutocrats finally reduce everyone else to poverty and powerlessness?"

    Hint: History is replete with the answer. Guillotines are society's reset buttons.

    April 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Good thing nothing being done is "socialism." Grow up morons and learn what it really is instead of just vomiting the talking point word salads Faux News and ideologue propaganda outlets like Red State or Limbaugh's show feed you. Your bilious disinformation is absurd. Thatcher was just another in a long line of loaves that the "Chicago School" of economic "thought" pinched out.

    April 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. wilson plowman

    All I remeber is that she was instrumental in helping get Augusto Pinochet to escape the International Court of Justice. Remember Pinochet was the general that over threw the duly elected president of Chile resulting in president Allende's death.

    April 8, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Tommy G

    Sniffit
    The real question: "What happens when the plutocrats finally reduce everyone else to poverty and powerlessness?"
    Hint: History is replete with the answer. Guillotines are society's reset buttons.
    --–

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Our biggest lefty finally shows his real solution!!! I am totally shocked (NOT!) that it doesn't involve personal responsibility and the rule of law.

    April 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Xty

    May her soul rest in peace. Amen!

    April 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. just sayin

    Sniffit
    ""What happens when you (socialists) run out of other people's money.""
    Yawn. We don't. The poor and middle-class spend it and it trickles right back up again where the plutocrats reinstitute their death grip on it all....at which point, we're forced to redistribute some of it so the virtuous cycle can continue, instead of being trapped in a demand vacuum of the plutocrats' own making. The real question is "what happens when the plutocrats have finally reduced everyone else to poverty and powerlessness."

    Hint: we already know the answer become it's happened myriad times throughout history.
    -–

    so the lazy and unproductive rise up to steal and kill, then party and consume until it is all gone. then they die off as no one is left to feed them and they don't know how to do for themselves. the cycle of socialist evolution that keeps everybody equally miserbale.

    April 8, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Our biggest lefty finally shows his real solution!!! I am totally shocked (NOT!) that it doesn't involve personal responsibility and the rule of law."

    You know, for people who yammer constantly about gun rights to fight the gov't and "second amendment solutions," you sure do get your panties wadded over someone from the "other side" pointing out that reduction of the vast majority of a society to serfdom will come with massive backlash. I'm not making threats. I'm not advocating that that's where we are at this point or that it's unavoidable. What I am pointing out is that the pattern has played out myriad times throughout history and it has eventually, and quite reliably, elicited but one response from those who are being oppressed and reduced to poverty and powerlessness. Constant bombardment of the middle-class and poor with policies proven to redistribute the wealth of this nation upward into the hands of the already wealthy and uber-privileged...and policies designed to grant them ever more control and influence over those whose decision-making was intended to be representative of the majority of people...those lead straight to a particular result. There are no forks in the road or alternative paths if we insist on going down that road and the GOP/Teatrolls are pushing us in that direction because, like they always do, they think they can keep doing the same thing over and over and eventually get a different result. If you're so misinformed that you know nothing about the French Revolution or any of the others, then perhaps you should go do some reading. "Personal responsibility" plays no part in the analysis when people are being hamstrung left and right by those with wealth and power who want it all for themselves and seek to prevent, as much as possible, any competition from rising within the ranks of those they consider their inferiors, their subjects and their chattel.

    April 8, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Stating the Obvious

    Sniffit
    Good thing nothing being done is "socialism." Grow up morons and learn what it really is instead of just vomiting the talking point word salads Faux News and ideologue propaganda outlets like Red State or Limbaugh's show feed you. Your bilious disinformation is absurd. Thatcher was just another in a long line of loaves that the "Chicago School" of economic "thought" pinched out.
    ---

    Yes, yes, of course it is not socialism. Because if it was called that, nobody would support that well known failed system. Instead it has been renamed and rebranded as "progressivism", you know, like "Progressive Democrats", to deceive people about what they are buying into because after all, who would be opposed to progress right?

    But the word progressive does NOT related to progres, but to progressive socialism. Bit by bit, step by step, small progressive steps toward the real goal of socialism.

    April 8, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. freedom

    @just sayin'
    @Mike in Louisville

    Absolutely agree! There is no comparison of the caliber of the noble Ms. Thatcher to the ruthless, callous Hilary Clinton. Prime Minister Thatcher was a strong woman of principle, integrity, and class. Our first woman president should have these traits – and nothing less.

    April 8, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Name francis ngeno.

    Thanks your honour madam tahtcher. I wish you prosperious and a holly days in all your life.Godbless you very much.

    April 8, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
1 2