August 10th, 2010
03:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Statements on the death of former Sen. Ted Stevens

Updated at 9:00 p.m.

(CNN) - Following the death of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a number of politicians have released statements on the iconic senator's death.

Read the statements, after the jump:

President Barack Obama:

“A decorated World War II veteran, Senator Ted Stevens devoted his career to serving the people of Alaska and fighting for our men and women in uniform. Michelle and I extend our condolences to the entire Stevens family and to the families of those who perished alongside Senator Stevens in this terrible accident.”

Former President George W. Bush:


Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Ted Stevens and all those aboard the airplane that crashed in Alaska last night. Ted served our country with great distinction. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were lost, and we are praying for the health and well-being of the survivors."

Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

"We are saddened by the news of the plane crash that took the lives of our former colleague Senator Ted Stevens and four of his fellow passengers. Senator Stevens served our nation well, both in uniform and in the Senate, where he worked tirelessly for the people of Alaska for four decades. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, those who survived, and the rescue workers who risked their own lives to save them."

Former President George H.W. Bush:

Barbara and I mourn the tragic loss of Senator Ted Stevens, a respected friend of longstanding, and send our most sincere condolences to his family. Ted Stevens loved the Senate; he loved Alaska; and he loved his family — and he will be dearly missed.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin:

It’s with great sadness that Todd and I hear the reports coming in of Senator Ted Stevens’ passing in the plane crash near Dillingham. In our land of towering mountains and larger than life characters, none were larger than the man who in 2000 was voted “Alaskan of the Century.” This decorated World War II pilot was a warrior and a true champion of Alaska.

In 40 years of service in the U.S. Senate, he fought tenaciously for Alaska’s future. Alaskans know how much we owe to Senator Stevens, but all Americans owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership on many issues, including the crucial energy issues that fuel American prosperity. Two years ago, he sat at my kitchen table over a salmon lunch, and we talked about our long anticipated Alaska natural gas pipeline and our mutual commitment to have the Last Frontier’s rich resources contribute to America’s quest for energy independence.

Our Senator was also known for spearheading efforts to ensure equality in education, and his Title IX legislation allowed girls to be on a level playing field in the athletic arena.

Our hearts and prayers are with the Stevens family and the families of the other victims of the crash.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“It is with deep sadness that Elaine and I note the passing of a friend and former colleague, Senator Ted Stevens. In the history of our country, no one man has done more for one state than Ted Stevens. His commitment to the people of Alaska and his nation spanned decades, and he left a lasting mark on both. From his early military service as a pilot in World War II, to his involvement in the statehood of “The Last Frontier,” to his fierce support and defense of our nation’s military, Ted Stevens was always there, fighting for what he believed in, and usually winning. He was a force to be reckoned with, and we will miss him greatly. We extend our deepest sympathies to Catherine and the entire Stevens family, and to the families of the friends who were lost in this terrible accident."

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

“Last night, Alaska lost a hero and I lost a dear friend. The thought of losing Ted Stevens, a man who was known to business and community leaders, Native chiefs and everyday Alaskans as ‘Uncle Ted,’ is too difficult to fathom. His entire life was dedicated to public service—from his days as a pilot in World War II to his four decades of service in the United States Senate. He truly was the greatest of the ‘Greatest Generation.’

“The love and respect that Alaskans of all persuasions feel toward Ted Stevens is on a par with what the American people felt towards leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Ted had the vision of a John Kennedy that Alaskans are an exceptional people who would achieve great things in his lifetime; the compassion of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in devoting his life to alleviating the Third World conditions that plagued Alaska’s Native people; and the unwavering strength of a Ronald Reagan whether fighting for the men and women of our military or for Alaska’s right to develop ANWR and its abundant natural resources.

“On this sad and tragic day, we pray for all those who have perished, as well as the survivors and their families. I ask Alaskans to join me today in prayer.”

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye:

"Irene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our dear friend, and my brother, Ted Stevens. His wife, Catherine, and his entire family are in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.

"Our friendship was a very special one. When it came to policy, we disagreed more often than we agreed, but we were never disagreeable with one another. We were always positive and forthright. Senator Stevens and I worked together to ensure that the small non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska were not forgotten by the lower 48 and to ensure that the nation awoke to the importance of the Pacific for our economy and international relations.

"I will never forget him.

"Ted Stevens was an extraordinary American. He risked his life while serving in China with the Flying Tigers in World War II. He was a leader in the Senate, having served as Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Chairman of the Commerce Committee, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate.

"I have lost my brother."

Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Wisconsin Rep. David Obey:

“Ted Stevens and I agreed on issues about once a century, but I always enjoyed and appreciated working with him because you always knew exactly where he stood. There was no guile about him.

“He devoted his life to the State of Alaska, which he dearly loved, and fought for it every day of his life with conviction and passion.

“My sympathy goes out to his family and the families of the others killed in this unfortunate accident.”

Filed under: Ted Stevens
soundoff (13 Responses)

    I no longer vote for the GOP, however i respect this man and his contributions to Alaska and the country. What a terrible way to perish. RIP. God bless your family.

    August 10, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Shermani

    Alaska and the nation have lost a great leader, and statesman. May God watch over and protect his family during this most difficult time.

    August 10, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Sandy Carey

    It is interesting that when someone of some celebrity dies, everyone loves to jump on the psuedo sorrow bandwagon – so noted on this story. Give me a break. The only thing this guy had in his "noteworthy" column was the fact that he "served" so damn long. Reality is that he wasn't exactly a laudable guy – and lying doesn't give you privilege.

    August 10, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. JonDie

    Republicans like to falsely and hypocritically rail about term limits, pork barrel and deficits. But no one was more of a porker than Senator-for-Life Ted Stevens. That is Ted Stevens' entire legacy.

    August 10, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    That's too bad. My thoughts go out to all the family members of those killed in this crash.
    Regardless of his views he seemed to be from the old school. When congress voted for the people ot the party.

    August 10, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Dar

    Sad, very, very sad day for Alaskans
    God Bless

    August 10, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. John, Chicago

    Judgement Day

    August 10, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. jazz lady

    Regardless of where I stand politically, I would not wish this type of tragedy on anyone. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends, as well as those of the others who lost their lives in this crash.

    August 10, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Peter s


    August 10, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Pkm

    Im a dem but now is the time to come together rest in peace and to the others who died or who are hurt it is a good time to re flect

    August 10, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. dmacc502

    All our prayers to the family.

    August 10, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Stacey

    I can't stand the GOP, but this is truly sad. I read where is first wife also perished in a plane crash (Sen. Stevens was on the flight as well). A very sad coincidence.

    August 10, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Marcus

    To all the people who are saying that you 'wished that Palin was in the plane too' (or the likes), or 'Glad he's dead' (or the likes) or any other mean spirited line...
    I did not liked the man, I don't like Sarah Palin and I do think that I have strong reasons for that, YET...
    That's low, very low and lower, to think or say about ANYONE, specially in the very same day in which he died (along many other people!!!!)...

    August 10, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |