What they're saying about George H.W. Bush, 41st president

The 41st president and head of a powerful Republican family died at his Houston home at the age of 94. Current and former politicians, both locally and nationally, reacted Saturday to his passing:

“It is with incredible sadness that we learn of the passing of President George H.W. Bush, a true patriot and statesman who embodied the decency and selfless service of America’s Greatest Generation. As a decorated World War II veteran and Navy pilot, a two-term congressman who served alongside my dad in the U.S. House of Representatives, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Ambassador to the United Nations, he built his lasting reputation as the consummate public servant.


As our nation’s 43rd vice president and 41st president, who helped bring an end to the Cold War, President Bush solidified his legacy of principled, pragmatic, and compassionate leadership.

George H.W. Bush’s lifetime of service and decades of dedication to honor and duty leave an indelible mark on our nation and on our hearts.”

— Gov. Larry Hogan, who also directed that American and Maryland flags be flown at half-staff immediately through Dec. 30 to mark Bush’s passing.

“After 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”

43rd president and son George W. Bush

“With sound judgment, common sense, and unflappable leadership, President Bush guided our nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War. As president, he set the stage for the decades of prosperity that have followed. And through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction.”

— President Donald Trump

“Today I join the nation in mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush, our 41st president. President Bush came upon this earth and worked tirelessly to make it a better place. He loved his country and lived a life of courageous service.

“In addition to leading our country, he was the head of a family that espoused his commitment to government service. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family and I hope they will find some comfort in knowing that after just a few months of separation, President Bush now joins Barbara, his beloved wife of 73 years.”

— Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings

“America has lost a true public servant and a statesman. He understood the meaning of sacrifice and the need to put country before self. You did not have to agree with President George H.W. Bush to respect him and his love for our country. My condolences go out to his family.”

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin

“George H.W. Bush served our country with dignity, integrity, and a commitment to American values—from his courage in WWII to many other positions in government to the White House. He understood the virtues of civility and mutual respect in public life. He will be greatly missed.”

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen


“George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey.”

44th president Barack Obama

“I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.

Few Americans have been — or will ever be — able to match President Bush’s record of service to the United States and the joy he took every day from it.

I am profoundly grateful for every minute I spent with President Bush and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts.”

— 42nd President Bill Clinton

“We had the opportunity to work together during the era of great changes. It was a dramatic period, which required everyone to be tremendously responsible. Its outcome was the end of the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.”

— Mikhail S. Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union

“Our nation has lost a true patriot. As a young fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, George H.W. Bush risked his life to defend this country, and was shot down on a dangerous mission. As a Member of Congress, as U.N. Ambassador, as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as Vice President, and then as President, he was a public servant who devoted his career to the American people. As a successful businessman and a loving husband and father, he worked hard to put the American Dream within reach of his fellow citizens.

I am deeply saddened by President Bush’s passing. Even though we stood on opposite sides of the aisle, I respected him very much and admired his service and steadfastness to the causes he believed in.”

— Maryland Rep. and House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer

“The legacy of George H.W. Bush will be forever etched in the history of America and the world. It was my pleasure and great joy to have had him as my special friend for more than 60 years.”

— James A. Baker III, former secretary of state and a Bush adviser for nearly 50 years

“We will never forget his steady and inspired leadership in guiding the world to the peaceful end of the Cold War. He has finished his race with honor and dignity.”

— Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state