McGovern Was a 'Complicated Person'

President Obama, Mitt Romney among those honoring George McGovern
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2012 4:19 PM CDT
In this March 25, 1974 file photo, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota listens to constituents as he arrives at Pierre, SD, airport.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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(Newser) – Tributes are rolling in for George McGovern, the Democrat who served three Senate terms and lost a landslide election to President Richard Nixon in 1972. He died today at age 90.

  • "George actually was a very complicated person," said Newt Gingrich, reports Politico. "He said, 'One of the nice things about losing badly enough is you don’t have lots of regrets about what one thing might you have changed.' ... He had a very good sense of humor."

  • "George was a statesman of great conscience and conviction, and Michelle and I share our thoughts and prayers with his family," said President Obama, reports USA Today.
  • Mitt Romney and his wife "extend our condolences to the family of George McGovern, the unwavering standard bearer of his party and a hero of World War II," Romney tweeted.
  • McGovern was "a tireless advocate for human rights and dignity" yet of "all his passions, he was most committed to feeding the hungry, at home and around the world," said Bill and Hillary Clinton in a statement, reports the Huffington Post.
  • "He challenged the conventional wisdom during a difficult period in our history when many lives might have been spared if his wisdom had been heeded," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, referring to the Vietnam War, reports the Burlington Free Press.
  • "George McGovern was a champion for progressive values in America," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "At home, he advocated health care for all, defended working families, and the poor and was in the vanguard of the movement for civil rights for women and minorities."
(Read more George McGovern stories.)

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