Political figures react to Neil Armstrong's death
President Richard Nixon met with Apollo 11 astronauts Edwin Aldrin, Jr., Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong outside the White House.
August 25th, 2012
04:39 PM ET
11 years ago

Political figures react to Neil Armstrong's death

(CNN) - Major political figures, including President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, reacted on Saturday to the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

President Barack Obama

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong. Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.

"Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step."

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate

“Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes. With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before. The moon will miss its first son of earth. I met and spoke with Neil Armstrong just a few weeks ago–his passion for space, science and discovery, and his devotion to America will inspire me through my lifetime.”

Gov. Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio

"Neil Armstrong was a true American hero, both because of his extraordinary service to his country and the honorable life he led. He was a groundbreaking Naval aviator and the world's most famous astronaut, but it was his humble and gracious response to the torrent of attention that followed his accomplishments that may have set him apart most. For my family and me, he was a dear friend whose ready smile, quick wit and thoughtful gestures will be greatly missed. Our love and prayers go to his wife, Carol, and the other members of his wonderful family."

House Speaker John Boehner

“A true hero has returned to the Heavens to which he once flew. Neil Armstrong blazed trails not just for America, but for all of mankind. He inspired generations of boys and girls worldwide not just through his monumental feat, but with the humility and grace with which he carried himself to the end. Ohio has lost one of her proudest sons. Humanity has gained a legend.”

Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, via Twitter

"Rest in peace Neil Armstrong - thank you for allowing us all to dream and for your giant leap for mankind"

Filed under: 2012 • John Boehner • Mitt Romney • Rob Portman
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Name Prince Sunny Ibeson

    Good night ARMSTRONG the great EXPLORER of our generation.

    August 25, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. DENNA

    R.I.P, Mr. Armstrong. You were one of those who not only dared to dream, you were lucky enough to live your dream. Thank you!

    August 25, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Martina Quinn

    Neil Armstrong! How do I describe thee? Out of this world!

    August 25, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I remember that day just like it was yesterday...doesn't seem that long ago. May he indeed rest in peace. And it is really odd but you know there are still many who think (my late grandfather being one of them) that man NEVER actually wen to the moon and it was all done on a sound stage in Burbank, Ca. Well Mr. Armstrong just took the most giant step of all.

    August 25, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Rupert Murdoch = Josef Goebbels

    The Apollo program was, by far, the greatest acheivement in the history of mankind. RIP Neil Armstrong.

    August 25, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. fletch

    An American hero, and fulfilling the dream of a great President, JFK.

    Let's not forget though his words on the Moon, we come in peace for all mankind.

    Now let's see some new dreams of exploration and peace instead of budget cuts for science and increased funding for defense.

    August 25, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. fattyd

    mankind lost what will be talked about throughout mankinds history. Ever history text book will report that moment. I am honored to living when he was. Considering it took over 4 billion years for a life form to step on another celestial body from earth. He will forever be the first. AMAZING! !

    August 25, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. VicP

    Great human being for all world to remember for first ever moon landing. He will never be forgot on.

    August 25, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We have lost a pioneer. I would hope that the first city on the moon be built near his first steps and bear his name. That would be fitting tribute.

    August 25, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Davidson Abimiku

    Is a great hero indeed, may his soul rest in peace. Davidson from Nigeria

    August 26, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Chimezie anyagu

    Rest in peace amstrong, ur brave step to d moon has taught me to always believe in my self

    August 26, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  12. D


    August 26, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  13. Name:Loveth Osabuohien

    Neil Armstrong has set the pace for other scientist to follow and memories will not leave me whenever i look up to the moon.

    August 26, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  14. Name Onyegsi Chukwudi

    NEIL is a true hero i say may his gentle soul rest in peace AMEN

    August 26, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  15. Name:Loveth Osabuohien

    Neil Armstrong,the legend of our time. May your soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

    August 26, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  16. Weasley

    One thousand, ten thousand, one million years from now, man will look back through history and identify one singular moment in time that marked the beginning of mankind's transition from a terrestrial species to one that has traveled the farthest reaches of the Universe. That moment belongs to Neil Armstrong, and the gallant crew of Apollo 11. He will be remembered until the end of time.

    August 26, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  17. Pelumi K.O

    Earth will miss the absence of a great HERO who has left a laudable legacy.May his soul R.I.P.

    August 26, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  18. Europe

    He was the man, he was THE hero of my childhood. RIP.

    August 26, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  19. Chris andy

    History remembered kings not warrios,I consider Neil as a king.

    August 26, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  20. Kennedy odilah

    I feel very sad to loose someone like that , we could have do much more from him, rest in peace amstron.

    August 26, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  21. Name:James,James Essien

    Neil Armstrong was a patriotic revolutionarist that contribute greatly to the developed state of science and technology.He was a mentor to mentors.

    August 26, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  22. Antonio

    We should commemorate his historic accomplishment with a national holiday. August could use one, Mr. Armstrong, the United States, and space exploration, at large, all deserve one.

    August 26, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  23. Orogun Peter

    One small loss of a man.. A giant loss for mankind

    August 26, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    .......nevertheless huge loss to USA treasury, a very gigantic GAIN to American spirit, human endeavor......great man loss is world loss!!!

    August 26, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |