President Joe Biden preached a message of unity during his eulogy for former Sen. Bob Dole on Friday.
Biden was joined at the service at the Washington National Cathedral by a bipartisan group of prominent politicians, including former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Mike Pence.
BIDEN AND BOB DOLE, FELLOW CREATURES OF THE SENATE
"Too many of us have sacrificed too much in defending that freedom from foreign adversaries to allow our democracy to crumble under a state of infighting that grows more unacceptable by the day," Biden read from Dole's final column, published in USA Today on Nov. 23.
Biden talked passionately about Dole, describing him as a "giant of history" and a good friend whom he genuinely respected. He emphasized the need to keep Dole's spirit alive by working to see the other side.
"He's sitting back now watching us. Now it's our job to start standing up for what's right for America," Biden said.
Biden touted Dole's bravery during World War II and his accomplishments in Congress, particularly on civil rights.
"I found Bob to be a man of principle, pragmatism, and enormous integrity," Biden said. "The Bible tells us, 'To whom much is given, much is expected.' And Bob Dole, for all his hardship, believed he was given the greatest gift of all: he was an American."
Dole's funeral marked a rare moment of unity in Washington as leaders from both parties honored him.
Clinton, who stood next to Pence at the funeral, defeated Dole in the 1996 presidential election but said he considered him a "dear friend."
Biden talked about how Dole was willing to cross party lines despite being a "proud Republican," joking about how Dole once voted to preserve federal funding for Amtrak to keep Biden out of Congress at night.
Pres. Biden remembers when Bob Dole angered his party by casting deciding vote to continue Amtrak funding.— ABC News (@ABC) December 10, 2021
"My guess is he was asked why? Why would you do that? He says, 'It's the best to get Joe Biden the hell out of here at night." https://t.co/bESDrV6tmw pic.twitter.com/SpRlA8TuHq
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Dole died at the age of 98 on Sunday. He served eight years in the House and over 27 years in the Senate, including as Senate majority leader.
The funeral at the National Cathedral marks the second day of tributes to Dole, following the ceremony on Capitol Hill honoring him Thursday. Dole's body will travel to Kansas for weekend ceremonies, after which he will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.