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Comments on death of US Sen. Lautenberg

Monday - 6/3/2013, 2:00pm  ET

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., walks in the Capitol after the final votes before a five-week recess, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lautenberg, a multimillionaire New Jersey businessman and liberal who was called out of retirement for a second tour of duty in Congress, has died at age 89. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Associated Press

Comments on the death of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who died Monday at the age of 89:


"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a proud New Jerseyan who lived America's promise as a citizen, and fought to keep that promise alive as a senator. ...

"First elected to the Senate in 1982, he improved the lives of countless Americans with his commitment to our nation's health and safety, from improving our public transportation to protecting citizens from gun violence to ensuring that members of our military and their families get the care they deserve."

--President Barack Obama.


"I think the best way to describe Frank Lautenberg in the way he would probably want to be described to all of you today is as a fighter. Senator Lautenberg fought for the things he believed in and sometimes he just fought because he liked to.

"I give him praise on a life well-lived." --New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie


"He was someone who fought and won a lot of battles that today people just take for granted, like a ban on smoking on airplanes or progress for veterans and laws that have helped allow Jews and Christians and Baha'is and so many others escape persecution, laws banning foreign aid to state sponsors of terrorism, laws bolstering security at ports and chemical plants and laws ensuring that the victims of terror achieve some sense of justice."

--Secretary of State John Kerry, a former U.S. senator.


"Today, the American people lost a true champion. For three decades, Senator Frank Lautenberg worked to make America a stronger, healthier and safer place to live. His legacy will endure for generations."

--Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who earlier had announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in 2014.


"I can think of no better example of an American success story than Frank's life. ... History will show that Frank is one of the most productive senators in the history of America."

--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.


"Senator Lautenberg exemplified the American spirit, and his commitment and devotion to the country he loved was unmatched. He always answered the call to serve -- first as a soldier in the United States Army during World War II and later as senator in the United States Senate representing the people of New Jersey."

--Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono, presumptive Democratic candidate for governor.


"Today I am shaken by the loss of the senior senator from New Jersey -- a colleague and my good friend and ally. Frank Lautenberg loved his job and the people who elected him five times, who trusted him to always be on their side, and he always was. He was a man for New Jersey, a man for his time, one of the greatest generation, the last in the Senate to have served in World War II."

--U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.


"Senator Lautenberg's dedication to public service was evident in everything he did from his military service, to his philanthropic work, to his time in the U.S. Senate. Frank Lautenberg's life defined public service and what it means to live the American dream."

--U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.


"Our country lost a true civil liberties titan today. ... He was a champion for religious liberty and leaves behind a legacy of fighting for women's rights and reproductive freedom. We will sorely miss his voice and passion."

--Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.


"New Jersey has lost a giant today. For twenty-nine years, Frank Lautenberg was a true friend, steadfast supporter, and tireless advocate for the working men and women of our state."

--Charles Wowkanech, president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

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