Reaction to death of ex-Sen. Arlen Specter of Pa.
Reaction to the death of former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday:
"He was a mentor, colleague and a political institution, and on a personal level, he was my first boss. Sen. Specter did more for the people of Pennsylvania over his more than 30 year career with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin. He was a champion for veterans across our state and beyond, and will be deeply missed." — Former Gov. Ed Rendell, who served as an assistant prosecutor when Specter was Philadelphia's district attorney.
"Arlen Specter was always a fighter. From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent — never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve. He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others." — President Barack Obama.
"Arlen Specter was a great senator who lived his life the way he died, with dignity and courage. He was my friend and I admired him a great deal. For over three decades, I watched his political courage accomplish great feats and was awed by his physical courage to never give up. Arlen never walked away from his principles and was at his best when they were challenged." — Vice President Joe Biden.
"Arlen Specter loved our country and served it with integrity for three decades in the United States Senate. Laura and I appreciate his contributions to America and are grateful for his many years of public service." — Former President George W. Bush.
"He generated a lot of support and a lot of dissent, but he was unafraid to be held accountable. ... At the end of the day, he was one relentless, unapologetic fighter. Republicans and Democrats may not like how he voted, but they certainly had to respect his mindset." — Former Gov. Tom Ridge.
"Serving with Senator Specter for more than a decade, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that he was a fighter, and his commitment to public service was admirable." — Former Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
"Sen. Arlen Specter was a true Pennsylvania institution whose record of fighting for our Commonwealth is unmatched. Senator Specter's contributions to Pennsylvania and the United States will leave a lasting legacy." — Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn.
"A man of sharp intelligence and dogged determination, Sen. Specter dedicated his life to public service and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His impact on our state and public policy will not be forgotten." — U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who succeeded Specter.
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