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remembering bob dole

Biden pays tribute to Bob Dole at the Capitol: 'America has lost one of our greatest patriots'

President Biden paid tribute to former Senator Bob Dole at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, remembering him as a "one of our greatest patriots."

Dole, who served in the Senate for more than two decades and was the 1996 Republican nominee for president, died on Sunday, and he lay in state at the Capitol on Thursday. Lawmakers gathered to pay tribute, and Biden honored his former colleague, calling him a "giant of our history." 

"That's not hyperbole," Biden added. "It's real. Of wit and grace, of principle and persistence, of courage and conviction." 

Biden reflected that he had the "great honor" to serve with Dole for more than 20 years, remembering his wit by recalling a story of Dole once saying he was voting to fund Amtrak because if he didn't, Biden, who commuted to Washington, "would stay overnight and cause more trouble." On a more serious note, Biden said that he and Dole disagreed "on a number of things" but "still found a way to work together" and become "great friends." The president then read from a column Dole wrote prior to his death, in which he called for Americans to find "unity again."

"America has lost one of our greatest patriots," Biden said. "May we follow his wisdom and his timeless truth and reach consensus on the basic fundamental principles we all agree on." 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also remembered Dole as someone who was "never stuck in the past" and who was "always looking to new horizons," while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Dole was a "remarkable leader" who "redefined and elevated what it means to serve country."