Americans of all political persuasions mourned and offered praise for former President George H. W. Bush, who died at 94 on Friday. South Carolina political leaders joined, offering up their sympathies and accolades for the 41st president.
The Palmetto State’s senior Senator Lindsey Graham praised Bush’s “lifetime of extraordinary and honorable service – from the cockpit to the White House,” referencing the former president’s time as a World War II Navy pilot.
“When it’s all said and done, President Bush was one of the best examples of goodness, decency and bravery to ever achieve the Presidency,” Graham said over social media while offering thoughts to the Bush family, “who are some of the most incredible people I have ever met.”
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U.S. Senator Tim Scott also spoke to the 41st president’s legacy, saying, “41 will go down in history as a committed public servant.”
“Tonight America lost a statesman,” Scott said and struck a religious sentiment with “May the peace that passes all understanding guard their hearts and may His comfort cover our nation as we mourn President George HW Bush.”
Members of South Carolina’s House delegation also offered up words for Bush.
S.C. Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of the Upstate said he was extremely saddened to hear of the former president’s passing.
“He lived an extraordinary life marked by service, sacrifice, and courage,” Duncan said. “I am thankful for his dedication to our country and for the example he set for all of us.”
Newly elected Lowcountry Democrat Rep. Joe Cunningham, who is yet to take office, offered condolences to the Bush family from he and his wife, Amanda.
“God Bless President George H.W. Bush and his remarkable legacy and service to our nation,” Cunningham said.
Reps. Ralph Norman and William Timmons, who’s waiting to take over SC’s 4th district, let people know they appreciated Bush’s service.
Norman called Bush an “incredible and honorable man ... of purpose & integrity.” Bush served the American people “before, during, & after his presidency,” Norman said over social media.
Timmons recalled the former president’s “legacy of service,” saying Bush will inspire future leaders for generations. “Bush was a true statesman,” Timmons said.
Governor Henry McMaster issued a statement Saturday regarding the World War II veteran and husband of Barbara Bush.
“The greatness of President Bush’s generation has been defined by their selfless humility and dedication to public service, our nation, and to the fight for freedom around the world,” McMaster said. “He fought in World War II and helped to end the Cold War. President and Mrs. Bush have touched the hearts and lives of many South Carolinians. Their reunion in heaven is certainly joyous, yet it is bittersweet to us all, as they will be remembered and deeply missed.”
The State House’s Senate Majority Leader, Republican Shane Massey, shared a letter that circulated online from Bush to Bill Clinton as the latter took office.
“I wish you great happiness here,” Bush wrote to his successor. “You will be our President.”
A short note came from former Governor and outgoing U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley.
“Together again,” she wrote, sharing a picture of a younger George H.W. Bush together with his wife, Barbara Bush, who died eight months before the former president.