Senators salute Ronald Reagan

Senators from across the political spectrum paid tribute today to Ronald Reagan, in one of many events tied to the centennial of the 40th president’s birth.

Reagan would have turned 100 on Sunday, Feb. 6.

“Ronald Reagan might have passed on but he is most certainly not forgotten. Not by a longshot,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

He noted the tributes offered today from Republicans, Democrats and independents showed how Reagan has become “as part of the American story as his greatest predecessors in office.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat turned independent, praised Reagan for his “love of country and for his fervent devotion to freedom.”

Lieberman, first elected to represent Connecticut in 1988, said he didn’t always agree with the GOP president but “understood the enduring value and strength and sincerity of his faith in America’s values.”

Tributes to Reagan will be going on for days, with major events planned at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., as well as in Illinois, where he was born.

The Illinois Republican Party is hosting several GOP presidential hopefuls at a fundraiser Saturday, at its celebration of Reagan’s birthday. The party hopes to raise $250,000.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and ex-ambassador John Bolton are among those scheduled to speak.

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

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