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'Redefined' The First Lady Role: Tributes Pour In For Nancy Reagan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Former first lady Nancy Reagan died at her home in Los Angeles, California, her assistant said on Sunday. She passed away from congestive heart failure at the age of 94. Reaction to her death follows:

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FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND EX-MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY

"With the passing of Nancy Reagan, we say a final goodbye to the days of Ronald Reagan. With charm, grace, and a passion for America, this couple reminded us of the greatness and the endurance of the American experiment. Some underestimate the influence of a First Lady but from Martha and Abigail through Nancy and beyond, these women have shaped policy, strengthened resolve, and drawn on our better angels. God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home."

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FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

"Nancy Reagan was one of my heroes. She served as First Lady with unbelievable power, class and grace and left her mark on the world. She's with her Ronnie now, but those of us she left behind will miss her dearly."

PHOTOS: 2016 Notable Deaths | Nancy Reagan Through The Years

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FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH

"Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family."

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REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR TED CRUZ

"Nancy Reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband, Ronald. The Reagan family is in our prayers."

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REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND BUSINESSMAN DONALD TRUMP

"Nancy Reagan, the wife of a truly great President, was an amazing woman. She will be missed!"

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FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

"Laura and I are saddened by the loss of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting. During her time as first lady and since, she raised awareness about drug abuse and breast cancer. When we moved into the White House, we benefited from her work to make those historic rooms beautiful. Laura and I are grateful for the life of Nancy Reagan, and we send our condolences to the entire Reagan family."

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REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REINCE PRIEBUS

"Nancy Reagan embodied what it means to represent America as first lady and her dignified and warm demeanor inspired America. Mrs. Reagan will go down in history as a woman who left her own mark on the White House and our country. She was a longtime friend and supporter of many in our party, and will be sorely missed."

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FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER

"President Reagan has been reunited with his wife and partner but America and the Reagan family have lost a woman of grace and strength. I join people from around the country and the world in sending them our best thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan's dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband. Theirs was one of our nation's great love stories and a model of shared devotion to our country. America is stronger and better for their service."

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DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ

"Mrs. Reagan understood the enormous responsibility that comes with representing our nation from the White House on the world stage, and she was beloved by the American people for her grace and dignity in that role. Her `Just Say No' campaign to keep children from abusing drugs had a long-lasting impact that no doubt saved lives. And her work later in life to support the National Alzheimer's Association and stem cell research helped advance the science of finding a cure for a devastating disease that affects millions of American families every day."

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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA

"Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice. Our former first lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer's, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives. We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren. And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan's life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again."

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FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HILLARY CLINTON

"Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan -- her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the president, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer's. She leaves a remarkable legacy of good."

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REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND SENATOR MARCO RUBIO

"Today our nation mourns the loss of Nancy Reagan, a true example of integrity and grace. My prayers are with the entire Reagan family."

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ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

"I remember Nancy as a noble woman who supported President Reagan and stood by his side. She will be remembered as a great friend of the State of Israel."

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FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

"Nancy Reagan was a fearless trailblazer and one of the most influential women of her time. Privately, she played a central role in her beloved husband's political life, and publicly she was a champion for children, leading a crusade against drug use and working to connect foster children with grandparents. Her personal struggle with breast cancer helped raise awareness of the problem, and her advocacy for stem cell research, which one day could offer a cure for Alzheimer's and many other diseases, was pivotal to building public and political support for it. Taken together, she leaves a legacy of public health leadership that few people can match.

"I had the good fortune to know Nancy as a friend. The first time we met, before I ran for mayor of New York, I had the honor of sitting next to her at a dinner. When I confessed to her that I was a Democrat, she replied, "Oh, that's okay. Ronnie started as a Democrat, too. There's still hope for you." When I saw her several years later, after I had won election on the Republican line, she had a glimmer in her eye as she reminded me of this story. She also reminded me that, as someone who spent her earliest years in Queens, she had a special place in her heart for New York City. Well, millions of us have a special place in our hearts for her."

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FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI

"Nancy Reagan was a full partner in all the historical achievements of her husband President Ronald Reagan's career. She was his most important confidante, advisor, friend and the love of his life. Judith and I extend our condolences and prayers to the Reagan family and to the extended family, all of us who loved them so much. The last time I met the First Lady was at her home after a Reagan Library Board meeting. I had the opportunity to once again tell her that without the opportunity to work in his administration and the things I learned from him, I never would have been Mayor of New York and certainly not one who challenged the decades long failed urban policies that had deteriorated my city.
Nancy Reagan was a close friend. Judith and I will miss her greatly. To the very end even though she was physically failing, she was as intellectually acute as always. My last conversation focused on how her husband's insistence on preserving a nuclear shield ultimately saved thousands of lives in Israel in its deployment as the Iron Dome.

"This was a truly great American First Lady. Beauty, poise, dignity and grace were the least of it. Her political acumen and her common sense, always exercised behind the scenes, was of great value to her husband and our Nation.

"We are all, however, consoled by knowing she now has what she has been desiring for sometime; being reunited with the love of her life, her 'Ronnie.'"

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NEW YORK STATE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER JOHN J. FLANAGAN

"I join millions of Americans today in mourning the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Mrs. Reagan was both gracious and brave, and along with President Reagan, helped usher in a proud new era in America's history.

We are eternally grateful for her many contributions, and for the role she played in supporting both the man and his Presidency. Together, the Reagans made our country great and, even more importantly, inspired a generation of Americans to feel good about themselves once again.

In many ways, she was a woman ahead of her time, including her work to highlight the dangers of illegal drugs and encourage young people to 'Just Say No.'

Mrs. Reagan will be sorely missed but I know she is home again with her beloved Ronnie. A free and prosperous nation is forever in their debt."

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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