President Joe Biden on Friday praised former Sen. Bob Dole as “a genuine hero” who “lived by a code of honor,” during Dole’s funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral days after the former Republican presidential candidate’s death.
Dole, the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, died in his sleep last Sunday at the age of 98. He announced last February that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
“Bob was a man who always did his duty, who lived by a code of honor,” Biden said during the service on Friday, according to The New York Times. “Almost seems strange to say that today. He lived by a code of honor.”
He noted that Dole was injured by enemy fire while fighting in Italy during World War II, and said that “nearly eight decades on, we’ve gathered here in a world far different from the mountainous battlefield in 1945. But there’s something that connects that past and present, wartime and peace, then and now. The courage, the grit, the goodness, and the grace of a 2nd lieutenant named Bob Dole, who became congressman Dole, Sen. Dole, statesman, husband, father, friend, colleague, and a word that’s often overused but not here, a genuine hero.”
The president later said that Dole “understood that we’re all part of something much bigger than ourselves, and he really did, I felt.
“He really understood it. And a compromise isn’t a dirty word. It’s the cornerstone of democracy. Consensus is requiring in a democracy to get anything done. That’s how you get things done.”
“Again, listen to Bob Dole’s words, not mine. I’m quoting him again: ‘I learned that it’s difficult to get anything done unless you can compromise, not your principles but your willingness to see the other side. Those who suggest that compromise is a sign of weakness misunderstand the fundamental strength of democracy,'” Biden said, referring to Dole’s final column published by USA Today earlier this week.
“In his final days, Bob made it clear that he was deeply concerned about the threat to American democracy — not from foreign nations, but from the division tearing us apart from within. And this soul reminded us, and I quote, ‘Too many of us have sacrificed too much in defending freedom from foreign adversaries to allow our democracy to crumble … under a state of infighting that grows more unacceptable day by day,'” Biden said.