In a touching moment on Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, former Sen. Bob Dole, who is wheelchair-bound, stood up with the help of his aide to pay his respects to former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Saturday.
Video footage captures Dole being wheeled up to Bush’s casket. With the help of his aide, a determined Dole stands up and salutes Mr. Bush before retiring back to his chair. Mr. Dole is 95 years old.
Bush, who served as a Navy pilot, a congressman, CIA director, ambassador, vice president, and our nation’s 41st president, passed away on Saturday at age 94. Mr. Bush’s casket will remain at the Capitol Rotunda until Wednesday morning, before his body will be laid to rest at his presidential library and museum at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Barbara Bush, the former president’s wife, passed away earlier this year on April 17.
Dole and Bush share a long history with one another. The two battled for the 1988 Republican Presidential nomination, when Dole was a senator and Bush had already served as vice president under former President Ronald Reagan. In 1996, former President Bush hit the campaign trail alongside Dole, who was then the Republican nominee facing off against Democrat then-President Bill Clinton for what would be Clinton’s reelection.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh reacted to the moving moment on his radio program on Tuesday. “I just saw something that you are gonna see later on TV, and I want to try to help you understand its importance,” started in Mr. Limbaugh. “I saw Bob Dole being helped up out of his wheelchair to pay respects to George H. W. Bush.”
Limbaugh explained that the “rivalry” between Dole and Bush was strong. “For people who knew, it was a serious one, and there was no love lost between the two. The things that Bob Dole thought he had worked for and had earned, he routinely saw Bush get, and he saw himself be undercut.”
But the duo had immense respect for one another, which was highlighted on Tuesday.
“[Dole] demanded his aide pick him up, and his aide was propping him up by the armpits,” Limbaugh said. “He was literally hugging him and holding him up, and Bob Dole could not stand. It was the most incredible thing. He insisted on it. He insisted on standing. He insisted, no matter that he couldn’t do it. He demanded. Even when he began to fall back, you could see him shake his head and tell his aide, ‘No.’ They propped him up, and it appeared he was gonna stand on his own for whatever split second of time he could to honor George H. W. Bush. It didn’t take long and he was back in the wheelchair — and you could see that it took everything he had to do this.”
“But to watch Bob Dole, who cannot stand,” he emphasized. “He cannot stand up. He is forever relegated to his wheelchair. He insisted on it. You could tell that his aide didn’t want to try. You could tell that the aide was mightily uncomfortable. It did not look like anything other than what it was: Impossible. … You could see the determination on his face, and you could see the sense of accomplishment when he was back in his wheelchair.”
“It was really touching. It was really something to see,” Limbaugh continued. “It was a sign of the respect they both had for one another after all of the wars and after all of the battles were over and they had been spent and there was no more any need for the rivalry. It was a mutual respect relationship, and Dole personified it today.”