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Washington • President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences at the passing of former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, noting that he and first lady Michelle Obama were saddened to learn of his death.
While a conservative Republican, Bennett had forged a working relationship with the Democratic White House. After Bennett's 2010 re-election loss at the Utah Republican Convention, the president was one of the first political leaders to call the senator.
"For 18 years, Bob worked tirelessly in the United States Senate for his fellow Utahns," Obama said in a statement. "His commitment to his constituents transcended partisanship and he often reached across the aisle to get things done. He was a dedicated public servant and his work like efforts to save the country from economic collapse is exemplary of what we can accomplish when we put aside our differences and focus on our common goals."
The White House issued the statement on Thursday evening, a day after Bennett died after a lengthy bout with pancreatic cancer and a recent stroke.
"Michelle and I offer our deepest condolences to Bob's wife Joyce, and their children and grandchildren," the president said.