Outpouring of support after Beau Biden's death

Last Updated May 31, 2015 4:28 PM EDT

Notes of condolences and support for the Biden family came from across the political spectrum Sunday, one day after Vice President Biden's son, Beau, died of brain cancer at 46.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington for a visit with Biden and his family. The White House also announced that a reception for Ford's Theatre that was scheduled to take place at the White House Sunday was cancelled out of respect for the vice president and his family.

"Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth," the president and first lady said in a statement Saturday evening.

Politicians from Delaware recalled Beau Biden's life of public service and kind character in their remembrances.

"He was extraordinarily in tune with people. He was passionate about serving. ... I think it's important that people know what a real, genuine, decent guy he was," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, said, "Throughout his life, Beau never shied away from doing the right thing, even when it meant doing the hard thing. Beau served his country and community with honor, and that's how he will be remembered."

Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in the hospital in Switzerland after suffering a broken leg during a bike crash, released a statement in which he recalled hearing stories of Beau Biden that his father would share in the Senate cloakroom while Kerry and the vice president were together.

"Beau's loss is crushing for everyone lucky enough to have known him and the whole Biden family, because you can't know them without feeling their overwhelming love for each other - for family. For the Bidens, being there for each other was and is everything. Any real conversation with Joe was about family and how much he and Jill loved their children and grandchildren," Kerry said.

Reflecting on Beau Biden's service in the Delaware Army National Guard, Kerry said, "He was filled with a sense of honor, duty, and humility - to the core. He was a class act, period, ingrained with integrity, compassion, a sense of moral obligation to help others, and especially people who were hurting."

During a rare Sunday session for the Senate, both Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, spoke about Beau Biden on the Senate floor.

"Beau Biden was known to many as a dedicated public servant, a loving father of two, and a devoted partner to the woman he loved, Hallie. I've known the vice president for many years, and it's hard to think of anything more important to him than his faith and his family," McConnell said.

Alluding to the fact that the vice president lost his wife and daughter in a car crash just before he was sworn into the Senate in 1973, Reid said, "I'm very, very sorry that Joe has had to go through this terrible ordeal of losing a son now, after having lost a daughter. But there's no question that, I repeat, that Delaware is a better place because of Beau, our country is a better place because of Beau, that the world is a better place because of Beau Biden."

The messages crossed party lines, with Republicans offering their condolences on Twitter.

Heartbreaking and devastating news about Beau Biden. I hope God will provide the Biden family comfort and healing in the days ahead.

— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) May 31, 2015

Saddened by the news of Beau Biden's passing. My prayers are with The Vice President, Dr. Biden and the whole family.

— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) May 31, 2015

From the entire Cheney family - our deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to the @VP Biden family.

— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 31, 2015

I would like to offer Vice President Biden my warmest condolences on the loss of his wonderful son, Beau. Met him once, great guy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2015

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton also posted her own message.

My heart is broken for the family of Beau Biden-a wonderful man who served his country with devotion and lived his life with courage. -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 31, 2015
  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for