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Reaction to Death of Former First Lady Nancy Reagan

  • Associated Press

FILE - Former first lady of the United States Nancy Reagan visits the grave site of her husband, former United States President Ronald Reagan, on the 10th anniversary of his passing, in Simi Valley, California June 5, 2014.

FILE - Former first lady of the United States Nancy Reagan visits the grave site of her husband, former United States President Ronald Reagan, on the 10th anniversary of his passing, in Simi Valley, California June 5, 2014.

Here's how US and world political leaders are reacting to the death of former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan:

"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. 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."— President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

"Laura and I are saddened by the loss of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting. During her time as first lady and since, she raised awareness about drug abuse and breast cancer. When we moved into the White House, we benefited from her work to make those historic rooms beautiful." — George W. Bush, former U.S. president.

"Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan — her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the president, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer's. She leaves a remarkable legacy of good." — Bill Clinton, former president, and Hillary Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state.

"Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family." — Barbara Bush, former first lady.

"I remember Nancy as a noble woman who supported President Reagan and stood by his side. She will be remembered as a great friend of the State of Israel." — Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minster.

"Ronald and Nancy Reagan served America with unique distinction. She was his indispensable partner in the White House, as she had been when he was Governor of California. As he was a great President, so she was a great First Lady. The Reagans were also great friends of Canada. Mila and I had many wonderful visits with them. I will always remember our wives together at Ottawa Airport, and President Reagan saying to me: 'You know, Brian, for a couple of Irishmen, we sure married up.' Theirs was a great love story, and we cherish their memory and our friendship. — Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who delivered a eulogy at Ronald Reagan's funeral.

"Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. She will always be admired for her strength of conviction and her lifelong devotion to her husband. Her 'just say no' campaign prevented many young people from falling prey to the allure of drug use; and her advocacy for stem cell research raised public awareness and influenced decision makers about vital research for Alzheimer's disease. We extend our condolences to her family at this difficult time." — Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president.

"Nancy Reagan lived a remarkable life and will be remembered for her strength and grace. On behalf of all Californians, Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to the Reagan family." — Jerry Brown, California governor.

"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. She's with her Ronnie now, but those of us she left behind will miss her dearly." — Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California governor.

"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, Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator from Texas.

"A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan's dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband. Theirs was one of our nation's great love stories and a model of shared devotion to our country. America is stronger and better for their service." — John Kasich, Republican presidential candidate and governor of Ohio.

"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, Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator from Florida.

"Nancy Reagan was an exemplary first lady. Even after her time in the White House, she was an outspoken advocate for stem-cell research to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Nancy Reagan had a good heart, and she will be dearly missed." — Bernie Sanders, Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. senator from Vermont.

"Nancy Reagan, the wife of a truly great President, was an amazing woman. She will be missed!" — Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate and businessman.

"A central part of the Reagan team, Nancy brought sound judgment, loyalty, insight and experience to the Reagan presidency, which had a powerful and constructive effect on the 1980s and decades to follow." — Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. secretary of defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.

"Nancy Reagan embodied what it means to represent America as first lady and her dignified and warm demeanor inspired America. Mrs. Reagan will go down in history as a woman who left her own mark on the White House and our country. She was a longtime friend and supporter of many in our party, and will be sorely missed." — Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman.

"For Ronald Reagan, and in many respects for the country during his administration, she was our own Iron Lady. She was really the person behind President Reagan that gave him his strength and his security and his love. You know, she was everything to Ronald Reagan. I think our nation owes her a debt of gratitude because of the extraordinary support that she was able to give the president during his entire time in office." — John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.

"With the passing of Nancy Reagan, we say a final goodbye to the days of Ronald Reagan. With charm, grace, and a passion for America, this couple reminded us of the greatness and the endurance of the American experiment. Some underestimate the influence of a First Lady but from Martha and Abigail through Nancy and beyond, these women have shaped policy, strengthened resolve, and drawn on our better angels. God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home." — Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor.

"Nancy Reagan was an example to us all of graciousness, loyalty and dignity in good times and bad. She was an exemplary first lady. I will always remember her as a dear friend and patriot and as one-half of a love story that Hollywood couldn't have written any better." — John McCain, 2008 Republican presidential nominee and current U.S. senator from Arizona.

"We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Mrs. Nancy Reagan. She was a constant source of support and strength for our parents and our family, and we remain grateful to her and President Reagan for their decades of friendship." — Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughters of former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

"With the passing of former first lady Nancy Reagan the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has lost a good friend and a champion of stem cell research. Her call to protect the ability of scientists to 'pursue medical miracle possibilities" echoed the feelings of millions of Americans looking to stem cell research for help in battling deadly diseases. We, and patients everywhere, were fortunate to have such a great champion for the work that we do." — Jonathan Thomas, board chairman for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

"America has lost one of the truly great First Ladies today. Nancy Reagan was a full partner of President Reagan in all his endeavors. Her elegance, love of husband and family, and devotion to our country will be remembered by all." — Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party.

"I was privileged to know Nancy and Ronald Reagan for more than 50 years and greatly valued their friendship. I am saddened by the news of Nancy's passing. She will be greatly missed, and I look forward to being reunited some day in the future in heaven. One of Nancy's most wonderful qualities was her steadfast and loyal support for her husband. She was an extraordinary first lady." — The Rev. Billy Graham.

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