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Politicians Mourn Loss of Sen. Lautenberg

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, 89, was the oldest member of the Senate and last remaining World War II veteran to serve in the chamber when he passed away Monday. Here are some of the ways that politicians and colleagues are remembering his life and career of public service:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

“It’s no mystery that Sen. Lautenberg and I didn’t always agree. In fact, it probably is more honest to say we very often didn’t agree, and we had some pretty good fights between us over time -- battles on philosophy and the role of government, but never was Sen. Lautenberg to be underestimated as an advocate for the causes that he believed in and as an adversary in the political world. I think the best way to describe to Frank Lautenberg in the way he would probably want to be described to all of you today is as a fighter.”

Governor Christie On Senator Lautenberg: I Give Him Praise On A Life Well Lived from Gov Chris Christie on Vimeo.


President Barack Obama

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a proud New Jerseyan who lived America’s promise as a citizen, and fought to keep that promise alive as a senator. … He improved the lives of countless Americans with his commitment to our nation’s health and safety, from improving our public transportation to protecting citizens from gun violence to ensuring that members of our military and their families get the care they deserve. Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences to Bonnie, the Lautenberg family, and the people of New Jersey, whom Frank served so well.”

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

“The entire Senate is saddened today by the loss of our colleague, Senator Frank Lautenberg. The Senate’s last remaining World War II veteran, Frank was a patriot whose success in business and politics made him a great American success story and a stand-out even within the fabled Greatest Generation. Elaine and I send our condolences to Bonnie, the Lautenberg children, and the entire Lautenberg family.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

“Senator Lautenberg was a model of leadership and service to me since before I even considered entering elected office. He was a passionate advocate for New Jersey and a crucial and tireless partner who always delivered for the people of Newark. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lautenberg family.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham

“It was with great sadness I learned of Senator Lautenberg’s passing.  He was a fine man who served his nation honorably in World War II.  He was a true gentleman who will be missed by his family, friends, and colleagues in the United States Senate.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

"Today, we mourn the loss of Sen. Lautenberg, the Senate's last remaining WWII vet whose lifetime of service leaves a legacy we must uphold."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

"I am deeply saddened at the loss of my friend, Frank Lautenberg. History will show him to be one of the most productive Senators ever."

Arizona Senator John McCain

"RIP Senator Frank Lautenberg, the last WWII veteran to serve in the US Senate. We salute his years of service to his state and nation," McCain tweeted.

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden praised one of his “closest friends” the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Monday, saying “everything about Frank is what makes this country great.”
In the latest installment of his “Being Biden” series, the vice president lauded Lautenberg’s accomplishments, including banning smoking on airplanes, fighting domestic abuse, cracking down on drunk driving and protecting the environment. “He was one of the most productive senators I ever served with,” Biden said.
The vice president said Lautenberg could have won re-election in 2014 if it were not for his failing health. “He could have won, but I think he knew, he knew that his health would not permit it,” Biden said. “But he never complained, he never explained. As my dad would say, he just went out and did the job.”
“I’m going to miss him a lot,” Biden concluded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio