(TargetLiberty.org) – Robert Dole, the longtime Republican senator, and former presidential candidate, has been relatively quiet the last few years. The last time he appeared publicly, he saluted former President George HW Bush’s flag-draped casket in a moving tribute as he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda in late 2018.
Now 97 years old, the 1996 Republican nominee and 27-year US Senator announced that he was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer on Thursday, February 19, 2021.
He issued a short statement saying he would start treatment on Monday, February 22. Noting that he has his share of hurdles in his immediate future, he said he was joining millions of Americans battling their own “health challenges.”
The Nation Reacts to the News
As one might expect, Dole received an immediate outpouring of sympathy and well wishes from a broad range of figures. Laura Kelly, the Democratic governor of his home state of Kansas, retweeted Dole’s announcement and wished her “friend Senator Bob Dole” a speedy recovery.
Wishing my friend Senator Bob Dole a swift recovery. https://t.co/N4Phw56SXH
— Governor Laura Kelly (@GovLauraKelly) February 18, 2021
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who holds Dole’s former seat, offered prayers and expressed his sadness at the news, and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) said he’s never encountered anyone with “a bigger heart” than Bob Dole, his friend and mentor.
Bob Dole and Health Care Reform
Ironically, Dole campaigned for president against Bill Clinton in 1996, promising to reform healthcare to make it more affordable for all working-class Americans. He also hoped to protect workers from losing insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions and as a consequence of changing jobs.
More recently, he co-founded the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think-tank based in the nation’s capital that aimed to promote bipartisan support for policies addressing the nation’s public health issues and future health care systems.
Dole has always been a fighter. Our prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the senator and his family.
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