President Bush, others issue statements about Russert's death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

President Bush, others issue statements about Russert's death

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WASHINGTON - For those who knew Tim Russert, news of his death of Friday came as a shock.  And it seems everyone has something to say about it.

President Bush said he and his wife are "deeply saddened" by Russert's death and that millions of Americans "will miss him".  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also expressing sadness, calling Russert "a warm and gracious family man with a great zest for life and an unsurpassed passion for his work."

Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) issued a statement Friday afternoon, saying that her "heart goes out to Tim's family and all who knew and loved him".  Murray called Russert a respected journalist and the pre-eminent voice of American politics.

Jeff Zucker and Steve Capus of NBC said, "we have lost a beloved member of our NBC Universal family and the news world has lost one of its finest.  The enormity of this loss cannot be overstated."

In announcing the death on NBC, longtime colleague Tom Brokaw said Russert's death came during a political campaign that "he loved."  He called Russert a  beloved colleague" and "one of the premier journalists of our time."

Statement by President Bush:

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Tim Russert.  Those of us who knew and worked with Tim, his many friends, and the millions of Americans who loyally followed his career on the air will all miss him.

As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades.  Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman.  He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews.  And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it.

Most important, Tim was a proud son and father, and Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife Maureen, his son Luke, and the entire Russert family.  We will keep them in our prayers."

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