Politicians React To The Passing Of Walter Mondale


Former Vice President Walter "Fritz" Mondale has died at the age of 93.

The former senator, ambassador, Minnesota attorney general and vice president to former President Jimmy Carter's death was announced in a statement from his family, but no cause was revealed, ABC News reports.

Mondale followed in the footsteps of his political mentor, Hubert Humphrey, in ascending from Minnesota politics to the United States Senate and eventually serving as vice president, working in the Carter administration from 1977 to 1981.

Former President Carter released a statement in response to Mondale's death referring to the Minnesota native as "the best vice president in our country's history," adding: "Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior" via ABC News.

President Joe Biden also released a statement in response to Mondale's death: "There have been few senators, before or since, who commanded such universal respect. ... It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership, and helped provide a model for my service.”

Vice President Kamala Harris credited Mondale for "an extraordinary life of service" and confirmed she spoke to the former vice president days prior to his passing.

"Vice President Walter Mondale led an extraordinary life of service—in uniform during the Korean War, as a Senator, and as Vice President," Harris tweeted from the verified United States Vice President Twitter account. "I was able to speak with him just a few days ago and thank him for his service. I'll miss him dearly, and my heart is with his family today."

Former President Barack Obama tweeted, "Walter Mondale championed progressive causes and changed the role of VP—so leaders like @JoeBiden could be the last ones in the room when decisions were made. In selecting Geraldine Ferraro, he also paved the way for @VP to make history. Michelle and I send prayers to his family."

Mondale also won the Democratic nomination for his own attempt at the White House during the 1984 election at the height of former President Ronald Reagan's popularity.

Mondale selected Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate, the first female candidate to appear on a presidential ticket for a major party, and Mondale declared he would raise taxes.

Mondale won his home state and the District of Columbia, but was narrowly defeated by Reagan, 525-13, in the electoral vote, the biggest landslide since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's victory over Alf Landon in 1936.

“I did my best,” Mondale said the day after the election. “I think you know I’ve never really warmed up to television,” he added. “In fairness to television, it never really warmed up to me.”

Mondale would say years later that his campaign message was proven right in hindsight.

“History has vindicated me that we would have to raise taxes,” Mondale said. “It was very unpopular, but it was undeniably correct.”

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