HOUSTON -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's statement on the death of Tim Russert:
Anyone who knew Tim Russert personally and the millions who knew him from his years at NBC News knew that he loved life and lived every moment of it. Even though he had reached the professional pinnacle of the political news world, you always knew and he always knew that he was just a kid from Buffalo and he never forgot it.
Tim was genuinely charming but as anyone who came to the set of Meet the Press unprepared can tell you, he was direct, tough and gave no quarter. His experience working with Gov. Mario Cuomo and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan gave him an insight few in the journalism world can match.
It is particularly poignant to lose such a dedicated father and a son who so honored his father in his book “Big Russ and me” just before Father’s Day.
Tim’s life serves as a model and a reminder for everyone to cherish the ones you love.
I considered him my friend and I will miss him. Callista and I are praying for him and those who loved him.
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