Reaction to Passage of Fred Thompson

Below are statements from various political figures in response to the death of Fred Thompson, 73, an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee. He died Sunday from lymphoma.

Sen. Lamar Alexander: “Very few people can light up the room the way Fred Thompson did. He used his magic as a lawyer, actor, Watergate counsel, and United States senator to become one of our country’s most principled and effective public servants. He was my friend for nearly fifty years. I will miss him greatly. Honey and I and our entire family send our love and sympathy to Jeri and the Thompson family.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Kentucky: “Fred Thompson lived life to the very fullest. The first in his family to go to college, Fred would go on to become Watergate lawyer, Senate colleague, presidential candidate, radio personality, and icon of silver and small screen alike, who didn’t just take on criminals as an actor but as a real-life prosecutor, too.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker: “Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and America with great honor and distinction. From the courtroom to Capitol Hill to Hollywood, his larger than life personality was infectious and had a way of making all of those around him strive to be better. Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service. I greatly appreciated his friendship and am saddened to learn of his passing. Elizabeth and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife, Jeri, the Thompson family and all those who were impacted by Fred’s life.”

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes: “The news of Senator Thompson’s passing gives me a heavy heart. This is a sad moment for all of us as our state has lost a larger-than-life figure. His quick wit, his hospitality, and his conservative beliefs reflected the best attributes of Tennessee. Senator Thompson was a statesman in every sense of the word. He will be missed as much for his friendship as he will for his leadership.”

Mary Mancini, Tennessee Democratic Chairwoman: “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of Senator Fred Thompson. Senator Thompson wore many hats but it was his life of public service that will leave an indelible mark in the Tennessee history books. He will be remembered fondly.”

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey: “An iconic presence in both politics and film, Fred Thompson was a proud son of Lawrence County and a thoroughly effective public servant. Whether it was on the screen or in the Senate, Fred always made you proud to be a Tennessean. I was truly fortunate to count him as a friend. He will be missed.”

Craig Fitzhugh, Tennessee House Democratic leader: “Pam & I were sad to learn about the passing of Senator Fred Thompson. From his time as a young attorney on the Watergate Committee to his years in the United States Senate, Fred Thompson leaves behind an honorable legacy of public service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family, especially his son Tony, during this difficult time.”

Former Vice President Al Gore: “At a moment of history’s choosing, Fred’s extraordinary integrity while working with Senator Howard Baker on the Watergate Committee helped our nation find its way. I was deeply inspired by his matter-of-fact, no-nonsense moral courage in that crucible.”

The Bush family: “Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate. He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility. Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.”

Bill Frist, former U.S Senate Majority leader: “Working at his side in the Senate for eight years, Fred embodied what has always been the best of Tennessee politics — he listened carefully and was happy to work across the aisle for causes that he believed were right.”

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell: “Fred Thompson left an indelible mark on this state. Over his long and accomplished career, he never forgot where he came from–he was a Tennessean through and through. I am honored and proud to have known him, and to have called him a friend. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Thompson family during this difficult time.”

Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday ordered government-building flags flown at half staff. He said, “Tennessee has lost a great statesman and one of her favorite sons. (First Lady) Crissy and I have always appreciated his friendship, and we will miss him.”