Former Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was the longest serving Republican senator in history, has died and the political world has responded.
The death of the former President Pro Tempore of the Senate was announced on Saturday by the Orrin Hatch Foundation.
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“The Hatch Foundation sadly announces the passing of Senator Orrin G. Hatch—the Chairman Emeritus of the Hatch Foundation, former President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, and longest-serving Senator in Utah history (1977-2019). Senator Hatch passed away at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by family,” it said.
“Senator Orrin G. Hatch personified the American Dream,” Hatch Foundation Executive Director Matt Sandgren said. “Born the son of a carpenter and plaster lather, he overcame the poverty of his youth to become a United States Senator. With the hardships of his upbringing always fresh in his mind, he made it his life’s mission to expand freedom and opportunity for others—and the results speak for themselves. From tax and trade to religious liberty and healthcare, few legislators have had a greater impact on American life than Orrin Hatch. He was a profoundly positive influence in the lives of those he served, whether they were the constituents he helped over four decades of casework, the hundreds of interns he sponsored in both Utah and DC, or the robust network of Hatch staffers who carry on his legacy to this day. Senator Hatch touched the hearts of countless individuals, and I know I speak for all of them when I say he will be dearly missed.”
“A man of wisdom, kindness, character, and compassion, Orrin G. Hatch was everything a United States Senator should be,” Hatch Foundation Chairman A. Scott Anderson said. “He exemplified a generation of lawmakers brought up on the principles of comity and compromise, and he embodied those principles better than anyone. In a nation divided, Orrin Hatch helped show us a better way by forging meaningful friendships on both sides of the aisle. Today, more than ever, we would do well to follow his example. May we honor Orrin’s memory by living as he lived—committed to our country, to our principles, and to each other.”
Responses poured in on Twitter on Saturday night.
“Devastated to learn of the loss of Sen. Orrin Hatch. He was a cherished friend. I met my husband while he worked for the Senator. We will miss him dearly. He was a statesman that represented the best our country has to offer. Please pray for his family.” GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel said.
“Sad to learn of the passing of my friend Orrin Hatch /I worked closely w Senator Hatch for 40yrs on the judic cmte +20 yrs on Finance cmte we had a very good friendship he has contributed so much to public policy& for the ppl of Utah Barbara & I send our sympathies to his family,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said.
“One of the first politicians to take time out of their busy schedules to listen to some kid about School Safety… Rest In Peace Orrin Hatch,” JT Lewis, whose brother Jesse Lewis was killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting, said.
“@KarenPence & I were saddened to hear of the passing of Orrin Hatch, a true statesman who represented the best of UT & America. As the longest serving Republican Senator in history, he dedicated decades of his life to public service & we’ll always be grateful for his leadership,” former Vice President Mike Pence said.
“Senator Hatch was kind to me and we worked together well. There were a lot of differences including party, height, age…you name it…but somehow we always looked for common ground. Prayers for his family today,’ Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.
“A truly great man and public servant. This was very sad news,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.
“Today we lost a jewel and true American statesman in former Senator Orrin Hatch. He was a great colleague & mentor—and left a truly remarkable legacy in the Senate. My heart is with Elaine & the family,” Sen. Tim Scott said.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and former colleague Orrin Hatch. Elaine’s and my prayers are with Orrin’s family and everyone who will miss this remarkable man,” Republican Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said.
“Senator Orrin Hatch was an exceptional statesman and true freedom fighter. I enjoyed working with him on intellectual property issues to protect our creative communities — like the Music Modernization Act, which would not have been possible without his leadership,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn said.
“Chuck and I are saddened by his passing and join Americans in praying for the entire Hatch family,” she said.
And former President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Hatch’s death in an email to supporters via his Save America PAC.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the great Senator Orrin Hatch, his wife Elaine, and his six children. Orrin was a true warrior for our Country, for liberty, and for his beloved state of Utah. He was as wise as he was kind, and as tough as he was smart—he loved America and his contributions to our Country were tremendous. His legacy will surely live on through the many lives he impacted. May God bless Orrin Hatch,” he said.