Statements on Robert Novak’s Passing

• Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “For more than half a century, Robert Novak explained the politics and the personalities of Washington to readers across the country through a mix of tireless shoe leather reporting and the kind of keen insight that can only be gained through years and years of dedication to a craft. He was a Washington institution who could turn an idea into the most discussed story around kitchen tables, Congressional offices, the White House, and everywhere in between. Elaine and I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Novak family.”

• Eleanor Clift in Newsweek: “On television, we were rarely on the same side. Bob Novak reveled in his hardline views. I was one of those bleeding-heart liberals whose views he routinely ridiculed. It was the mid-’80s, and we would sometimes drive out together on Friday afternoons to the NBC studio to tape The McLaughlin Group. The top would be down on his LeBaron convertible, and he always wore his Chicago Cubs cap. I considered him a friend, and he was instrumental in getting me on the show, which at the time was all male.”

• Al Hunt in Politico: “Bob couldn’t have been a lawyer or a professor – you can’t imagine Bob as anything else besides the kind of hell-raising journalist that he was. Bob didn’t hide his views as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. But he was incredibly hard on hypocrisy from the right. He never cared much that he wasn’t invited to White House dinners, even by Republicans – it was almost a point of pride.”

Continued after the jump and more to come…

• Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “Both in print and on television, Bob’s reporting helped shape, and in many ways even defined, the conservative movement. Despite being an outspoken conservative himself, Bob pulled no punches when covering Republicans. When he felt Republicans weren’t advancing conservative principles, he was the first to say it. He kept us honest, and his death leaves a huge void in the conservative movement.”