The late Sen. Bob Dole was a “fighter for hardworking American families” and a patriot, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Dec. 8.
Pelosi said Dole was being honored among the “pantheon of patriots” — his casket placed atop the Lincoln catafalque that was constructed in 1865. Pelosi kissed the hand of Dole’s wife, Elizabeth Dole, and his daughter, Robin, who were seated near President Joe Biden, before telling those gathered that Dole’s “principled leadership” was long respected “on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the Capitol.”
“It’s harder to think of any one more worthy to have a flag draped over their coffin,” Pelosi said, adding Dole was also a person who believed that he should “respect people for what they can do and not judge them for what they cannot.”
Dole died Sunday at the age of 98. He was a leader known for his caustic wit. He shaped tax and foreign policy and worked to help the disabled, enshrining protections against discrimination in employment, education and public services in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Dole won the Republican nomination in 1996, but was defeated when President Bill Clinton won a second term. He was also the 1976 GOP vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket with President Gerald Ford.
Throughout his political career, he carried the mark of war. Charging a German position in northern Italy in 1945, Dole was hit by a shell fragment that crushed two vertebrae and paralyzed his arms and legs. The young Army platoon leader spent three years recovering in a hospital and never regained use of his right hand.
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