The Republican presidential candidates were quick to respond with tributes to former first lady Nancy Reagan, the widow of 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan, following news of her death.
The former first lady died Sunday at age 94. Known for her fierce loyalty to her husband and “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign while in the White House, Nancy Reagan succumbed to congestive heart failure in her Bel Air, California, home, a spokesman for the family said.
All four remaining GOP candidates, businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, immediately responded with messages of sympathy on Twitter and in statements to the press. The candidates pointed to Reagan’s grace and passion as first lady.
Nancy Reagan, the wife of a truly great President, was an amazing woman. She will be missed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2016
Nancy Reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband, Ronald. The Reagan family is in our prayers.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 6, 2016
Today our nation mourns the loss of Nancy Reagan, a true example of integrity and grace. My prayers are with the entire Reagan family.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 6, 2016
Ohio Gov. John Kasich's statement on the passing of Nancy Reagan: pic.twitter.com/1EWpzAY01B
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) March 6, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also issued a statement of support on Twitter.
This is a sad day for America. Nancy Reagan had a good heart, and she will be dearly missed. pic.twitter.com/IXbgObtjtd
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 6, 2016
The candidates were joined by President Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
“Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice,” said President Obama in a statement to the press. “Our former first lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives.”
“Laura [Bush] and I are saddened by the loss of former first lady Nancy Reagan,” former President George W. Bush said in a statement. “Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was only matched by her devotion to the country.”
“Hillary [Clinton] and I are deeply saddened to learn of Nancy Reagan’s passing,” former President Bill Clinton added in a joint statement with his wife, current Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan — her Ronnie.”
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) March 6, 2016
Nacy Reagan was also honored by fellow former first lady Barabara Bush, who released her own statement to the press.
Statement by former First Lady Barbara Bush on the passing of Mrs. Reagan today. pic.twitter.com/YafH9OsVQv
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) March 6, 2016
Ronald Reagan’s adopted son, Michael Reagan, released a statement on Twitter paying tribute to his beloved stepparents.
I am saddened by the passing of my step mother Nancy Reagan...She is once again with the man she loved.God Bless...
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) March 6, 2016
Dozens of other notable Republican and government leaders expressed their sentiments as well, including 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With the passing of Nancy Reagan, God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home. https://t.co/NjiOBT9xoQ
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 6, 2016
Nancy Reagan was one of my heroes. She served as First Lady with unbelievable power, class and grace and left her mark on the world. (1/2)
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 6, 2016
She's with her Ronnie now, but those of us she left behind will miss her dearly. (2/2)
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 6, 2016
Sending love to Nancy Reagan's family. She served our country and the state of California with class
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) March 6, 2016
Nancy Reagan will always be remembered for confronting drug abuse. I join the nation in mourning her death. May she rest in peace.
— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) March 6, 2016
Sad to hear of the passing of an iconic First Lady, Nancy Reagan. My condolences to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) March 6, 2016
Condolences to Reagan family on learning of Nancy Reagan's passing. I find solace that Pres. Reagan and the First Lady are together again.
— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) March 6, 2016
The former first lady’s husband, President Ronald Reagan, died in 2004 from Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by by her two children, Patti Davis and Ronald Reagan Jr., as well as stepson Michael Reagan.