Tags: howard baker | obituary | tributes | republicans

Republicans on Howard Baker: 'A True Path-Breaker'

Image: Republicans on Howard Baker: 'A True Path-Breaker' Bob Dole and Howard Baker in May, 2001.

By Todd Beamon   |   Thursday, 26 Jun 2014 05:34 PM

Republicans praised former Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker, who died on Thursday at age 88, for his ground-breaking career in public service and for his acumen as "The Great Conciliator."

Here are some of the tributes:

Former first lady Nancy Reagan:

"Howard was one of Ronnie's most valued advisers. His integrity and ability to create cooperation between the Congress and the White House was unparalleled. Most importantly, though, he was a good and trusted friend."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who announced Baker's passing on the Senate floor:

"Senator Baker was a true path-breaker. He served as Tennessee’s first popularly elected Republican Senator since Reconstruction. He served as America’s first Republican majority leader since the time of Eisenhower. And he served his nation with distinction as a member of the U.S. Navy, as chief of staff to President Reagan, and as our country’s Ambassador to Japan. Senator Baker truly earned his nickname: 'the Great Conciliator.'"

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio:

"America has a lost a great statesman. His service was marked by a courtly, civil, and respectful style that won him friends and admirers on both sides of the aisle. His example – his ability to fight for principle, and disagree without being disagreeable – will continue to inspire us as we honor his life and memory."

Former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas:

"He was my friend, my mentor and my colleague in the Senate … He was a Republican Leader who got things done by working with both parties when it was the right thing to do. Howard has left a lasting imprint on civility in politics."

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who worked as Baker's first legislative assistant in 1967 and 1968:

"Howard Baker built our state's two-party political system and inspired three generations to try to build a better state and country. It is difficult to express how much we honor his life and how much we will miss him."

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee:

"When I think of the ultimate statesman, the very first person who comes to my mind is Howard Baker. Howard Baker was one of those people who had the unique ability to bring out the very best in those around him."

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn:

"Senator Baker was an institution, a legend, and a true Tennessee statesman. He will be remembered with great affection and deep appreciation for his service to the people of Tennessee and our nation … Throughout his career, Sen. Baker worked tirelessly to ensure that the United States would forever remain a shining city upon a hill."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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