Tributes to Britain’s “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, poured in Monday following news of the former Prime Minister death at age 87.
House Speaker John Boehner described her as the greatest peacetime prime minister in Britain’s history.
“Margaret Thatcher, a grocer’s daughter, stared down elites, union bosses, and communists to win three consecutive elections, establish conservative principles in western Europe, and bring down the Iron Curtain,” Boehner said in a statement.
“There was no secret to her values — hard work and personal responsibility — and no nonsense at all in her leadership. She once said, ‘Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word,’” Boehner said.
Thatcher remains in the hearts of Americans for her loyalty and friendship to former Republican President Ronald Reagan, the Ohio Republican said.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was among the first American politicians to express his thoughts on the death of the woman who, along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, brought about the downfall of the Soviet bloc.
“Great Britain is a greater nation today from Margaret Thatcher’s leadership. She saved the island from its Socialist economy &gave MORAL leadership,” Grassley wrote in a tweet.
House majority leader Eric Cantor also took to Twitter following Thatcher’s death from a stroke. “You inspired the world to empower people and families over government. In doing so, you helped save it. Rest in peace, Lady Thatcher,” wrote the Virginia Republican.
Sen. John McCain’s tribute was short and to the point. “RIP Margaret Thatcher, one of the great leaders of the 20th century,” he tweeted.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement expressing her sorrow on Thatcher’s passing. “There was no more potent force in the defense of freedom than this remarkable woman,” she said.
“Her unshakable belief in the universal appeal of liberty helped to steer the free world through treacherous times until communism was defeated and Europe emerged whole, free and at peace.
“I was honored to know her and to be inspired by her,” added Rice. “Baroness Thatcher will be missed but generations will draw strength from the memory of her passion for freedom.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Thatcher “an iconic symbol of the transformative power of conservative ideas,” in his tribute.
“A towering figure of 20th century politics and an inspiration to millions around the globe, Margaret Thatcher set a standard of leadership that will be hard to replicate, but which will forever stand as a model for those who wish to change society for the better,” said the Kentucky Republican.
Former Sen. Jim DeMint, now head of the Heritage Foundation, pointed out the role Thatcher and Reagan had in ending the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe in a blog posted on the Foundation’s website.
He said the relationship between the two leaders “was characterized by loyalty, commitment and a jauntiness that proclaimed success was inevitable. As, indeed, it proved to be — both in domestic policy and in bringing down the Evil Empire of the Soviets without firing a shot.”
DeMint also said, “Margaret Thatcher led Great Britain courageously for more than a decade. During that time, she rolled back the suffocating blanket of Big Government, sparking an economic revival.”
Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes tweeted, “Margaret Thatcher — along with Reagan and Pope John II — was a giant of our age and of history. We badly need her kind today.”
Conservative Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas also joined those hailing Thatcher. “We mourn the loss of one of the champions of human freedom. Unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you, Baroness Thatcher,” he wrote.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley took to Facebook for her tribute to her fellow female leader. “The ultimate Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, independent, strong, loved, and loathed died this morning at the age of 87. We have lost an amazing leader,” Haley wrote.
Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller said believers in small-government principles had lost an icon.
“With her strength of character and unfaltering conviction, she forged a new path forward along with another hero of the conservative approach to government, former President Ronald Reagan,” Heller said.
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