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US leaders pay tribute to Nancy Reagan’s ‘proud example’ as first lady

Republicans and Democrats, including current and former presidents, are working together praise for former first lady

Americans of all parties paid tribute to Nancy Reagan on Sunday, recollecting the former first lady who had a profound influence on her husbands eight years as president in the 1980 s.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, paid tribute to her proud instance and told: We remain grateful for Nancy Reagans life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.

Reagan died on Sunday, aged 94, in her home in Los Angeles, the former chairwomen foundation said in a statement.

Nancy Reagan was sometimes called the first lady of the Republican party, because of her husbands extraordinary legacy. His conservative successors instantly hailed her as a remarkable half of a beloved White House.

Nancy Reagan was wholly devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more, told Barbara Bush, wife of Reagans vice-president and successor, George HW Bush, in a statement. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family.

Their son George W Bush, the 43 rd chairman, and his wife offered their condolences as well.

Mrs Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved spouse, and that devotion was matched merely by her devotion to our country, the president and Laura Bush said in a statement.

Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting, they added, with allusions to her renovations of the presidential mansion and her activism on drug abuse and breast cancer. Laura and I are grateful for the life of Nancy Reagan.

Mitt Romney, a Republican governor who tried to succeed Bush and who this week devoted a scathing speech about how the party has changed since Reagan, said the former first ladys demise was 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, Romney wrote on Facebook.

Some underestimate the influence of a first lady but from Martha[ Washington] and Abigail[ Adams] through Nancy and beyond, these women have shaped policy , strengthened resolve and described on our better angels. God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a option spirit home.

James Baker, chief of staff and Treasury secretary under Ronald Reagan, told: Nancy Reagan was one half of the team that restored our nations pride and confidence in itself, and reinvigorated Americas leadership role in the world. She was her husbands closest consultant, his constant protector, and most importantly the love of his life.

The man at whom Romney directed his anger at this week, the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, tweeted his reaction.

Nancy Reagan, the spouse of a truly great chairperson, was an astounding girl, he wrote. She will be missed!

Another candidate who frequently invokes Reagan, the Texas senator Ted Cruz, tweeted: Nancy Reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband.

Nancy
A photo taken on 15 August 1988 presents Nancy Reagan and her husband, President Ronald Reagan. Photograph: Mike Sargent/ AFP/ Getty Images

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, told: In many styles the Reagan love story was classic Hollywood. But it was unmistakably human, too. Hands intertwined, Nancy and Ron rose to the pinnacle of political power, weathered cancer and personal sorrow, and braved the depths of Alzheimers cold embracing always together.

The statement from the current president and first lady said: 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.

Obama and other leadeing Democrats also paid tribute to a first lady who transgressed ranks with her party on gun control, arguing for stricter statutes after a gunman tried to kill the president in 1981, and stem cell research, after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in the 1990 s.

Former president Bill Clinton said he and his wife, Hillary Clinton, were profoundly saddened to learn of Nancy Reagans pas. Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mom, and devoted wife.

No matter your party or political ideology, this is a sad day for America, said the Vermont senator and presidential nominee Bernie Sanders. Nancy Reagan was an exemplary first lady.

Former president Jimmy Carter, the incumbent whom Ronald Reagan defeated to win the White House in 1980, said: She will always be admired for her strength of sentence and her lifelong devotion to her husband.

You didnt have to be a Reagan Republican to admire and respect Nancy Reagan, said the New York senator Chuck Schumer. She was a tower of strength alongside her husband, had strong beliefs, and was not afraid to chart her own course politically. She persuaded her husband to support the Brady Law[ on gun control ], and their advocacy will assist in helping us pass it.

The Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, praised Reagan as a partner, confidante and adviser to President Reagan, and as a leader and philanthropist in her own right.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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