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Bob Dole’s Forgotten Role in Trump’s Rise

Bob Dole’s death Sunday at age 98 reminded America of one of his final political acts: supporting former President Donald Trump.


Dole was always a dedicated soldier for the GOP, even as the party’s mission changed over the decades.


Dole was among the first establishment Republicans, and the only former presidential nominee, to back Trump in 2016.

  • The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump. It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump,” Dole said in a May 2017 statement.
  • “I plan to attend the RNC convention in Cleveland to show my support for our party and our ticket, as I have done my entire life. We must unite as a party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

In a July interview with USA Today, Dole affirmed that he was still a “Trumper.”

  • “I’m sort of Trumped out, though,” he added, rejecting Trump’s claims to have won the 2020 election.


Trump remembered Dole Sunday as an “American war hero and true patriot.”

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also honored Dole with statements.

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