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Candidates and Party Leaders React to News of Kennedy Brain Tumor

Sen. Edward Kennedy at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in 2007. (Michel du Cille / The Washington Post)

Updated 3:54 p.m.
The Associated Press is reporting an update on the status of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has been hospitalized since Saturday. "Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor," the AP reports. "Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy."

Capitol Briefing has the doctor's statement.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain issued this statement after getting news about his Senate colleague. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Kennedy and his family," McCain said. "We hope and pray his doctors will be able to effectively treat his condition and that he will experience a full recovery. I have described Ted Kennedy as the last lion in the Senate, and I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate."

Said President Bush, also in a statement: "Laura and I are concerned to learn of our friend Senator Kennedy's diagnosis. Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength, and powerful spirit. Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean extended his sympathy on behalf of the whole party. "Senator Kennedy is a true American hero and a leader in the Democratic Party, having spent a lifetime standing up for the values of fairness, justice and equality," he said in a statement. "On behalf of the Democratic Party, we extend our prayers and well wishes to Senator Kennedy, his wife Vicky, and the entire Kennedy family."

Sen. Hillary Clinton also offered her prayers. "Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history," she said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

As did Sen. Barack Obama. "Michelle and I were saddened to hear the news about Senator Kennedy's condition today, and we plan on doing whatever we can to support him, Vicki, and the entire Kennedy family during this time," he said in a statement. "Senator Kennedy has been a fighter for his entire life, and I have no doubt that he will fight as hard as he can to get through this. He has been there for the American people during some of our country's most trying moments, and now that he's facing his own, I ask all Americans to keep him in our thoughts and prayers."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 20, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
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A very poor role model indeed. Kennedy's legacy is alcoholism, murder, communism, and destruction of America. He did more damage than any other statesman in the history of the United States. You can thank him for gay marriage, for illegal immigration situation, for loss of jobs for Americans, for lack of family values, for the economy. He single handedly destroyed America in his quest to become a third world country. I hope this tub of lard is proud of his achievement.

Posted by: American patriot | May 21, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy is evil.

Posted by: eddie | May 21, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

ted kennedy has it coming - the kennedy family's full of murderers, rapists, adulterers, criminals who have gotten away with all of their crimes and misdeeds because they're the kennedys and apparently money can buy you out of jail, but it can't buy you out of bad karma. what goes around and comes around.

Posted by: who cares | May 21, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy already inflicted a lot of damage to the country. Leave the old enemy of constitution die in peace. Just don't drape the old glory on the traitor's casket. The hammer and sickle flag would be more appropriate.

Posted by: R.J. | May 21, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's just hope he dies a slow and painful death...

Posted by: LMNOP | May 21, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy is a fat old drunk sissy. Who cares if he dies?

Posted by: Don W. Seven | May 21, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Ted wasn't a shining example that we would have our kids follow.
Ted regularly did what politicians do best.Not tell the truth and not be the most honest person on the block(they almost all L,S&C).
Ted was as left as left can be.

He now has cancer of the's a terrible disease.A relative just died of it.
We can at least wish the senator our best in what is likely his last fight.

Posted by: tcidda | May 21, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Clinton is splitting the party up...She knows that she can't win...but she is staying on just to be thrown the he** out of the race and then at that point she can rally up the racial red necks from the rural states to claim that they pushed the poor white woman out of the race....So now it is widely known that the Clintons are splitting the democratic party down the now Obama will have to rally up his overwhelming amount of Independent and Republican voters because us as Democrats can no longer depend on the racist, polarizing, lobbyist democratic party. They are no better than the racist, slave mentality republican party...Hillary knows the DNC very well and she also knows that that DNC is split amongst her and Obama.....the old and the new....the future and the status quo....the past and the future....the past cling to Clinton which unfortunately includes our poor and unfortunate history of racism.....therefore the Democratic can longer depend on the Clinton Machine to urely and undeniably represent the poor, the oppressed, the minorities, and under-represented. They now represent the self-serving racist democratic, with no balls party...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I am kind of disappointed at the tone of a lot of these posts. I have my gripes with Ted Kennedy. I think his statement about how Robert Bork would bring back slavery, back alley abortions, and rogue police raids was disgraceful. But he was not the only offender and politics is not beanbag. At any rate, the fight over the Bork nomination led to a tit for tat struggle over judicial nominations that is still occurring today.

I know the prognosis for Senator Kennedy is not good but I hope he stays well enough long enough so he is able to give a Lou Gehrig type speech at the Democratic convention. It would be a dramatic and therapeutic moment for him and the country.

I often wonder what would have happened if there had been no Chappaquiddick accident. Kennedy was in good position to get the nomination in 1972. I think he would have lost to Nixon but Watergate still would have happened because Nixon feared the Kennedys and perhaps there would have been more schemes and dirty tricks.

At any rate, Kennedy would have been there to pick the pieces in 1976 and Jimmy Carter would have never gotten off the ground. If Kennedy had won the nomination in 1980, a Reagan-Kennedy campaign would have been a sight to see.

Kennedy is a tough political fighter as I described in the example about the Bork nomination. But, by all accounts, he is very friendly in person. I wish him and his family and friends well in coping with this illness.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 21, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I have experienced health care systems in both the US and the UK. Where the UK has its faults, you never have to worry about a man from the business office of the hospital where you just had your 10th brain surgery, coming up to your ICU room where you are still hooked up to machines and tubes galore, demanding a balance of 400,000 dollars be paid. That happened to me in Philadelphia, but never in England. And I am an American just incase there is any confusion on where I come from.

Posted by: Ida | May 20, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

A murderer and unreformed drunkard gets his due. This socialist has done enough damage to the US melting pot. It would be due justice to send him to Canada or Britian to force him into the singly-payor health nightmare that he so dearly wants to foist on the rest of us here. Too back he won't put his money where his big mouth is--Instead he'll get the best doctors, hospitals, access to drugs that is denied ordinary folks,and probably won't end up paying anything. He is the epitome of hypocracy among our politicians, and frankly the sooner he dies, the better.

Posted by: Richard C | May 20, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse


I believe that AJ wanted "many voting Americans to think about health of our politicians and the offices that they hold, especially with focus on John McCain who is about 4 years younger than Ted Kennedy."

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

McCain had rheumatoid arthritis and he's a warmonger with Alzheimers syndrome......Good God, we don't need another old nut in the white house or another Big Red Bubba and Polarizing Billary who looks the other way when Bubba goes after women and seduces young vulnerable interns....Save America from themselves! hahaha

Posted by: Save America | May 20, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What does brain cancer have to do with McCain? We are talking about Kennedy who destroyed America. Not to mention killing his girl friend while saving his own hide. He did not report the accident either, if he did, she would be alive today. Kennedy is a cancer to society. Sorry but true. I wish him well regardless but he sure screwed us up.

Posted by: Dani | May 20, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

For anyone else honestly interested in McCain's medical condition: "Severe wounds suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam have left Mr. McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, with degenerative arthritis in his shoulders ..." (Emphasis Added).

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

JakeD.....As I said it's "Rheumatoid Arthritis!"...Glad to be able to assist you!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I was simply wondering whether you knew that McCain "can' [sic] move his body" because of the abuse he suffered as a POW. Thanks for the answer.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

So what he was a POW....he snitched on the rest of the POW and now he want a medal of honor....many Americans are war heros.....but that doesn't meant that they should be the President...McCain's a flip-floping, lying, lobbyist communist who tells Americans that he's going to kill Iranians while his campaign staffers are making deals with Iran...Is this the way he treated the POW's...what did he get out of the deal...He can't move his body because he has rheumatoid arthritis! LMAO

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

For all of you wishing this man death and ill fate....Hey maybe the President will drop dead prior the end of term since he has caused 4,000 soldiers to die in a sensless war for greed....maybe he'll just choke LMAO.....and McCain well his days are numbered....he may not make it to the general election day...

A little bit of dose of reality for ya!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 20, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

You know that McCain "can' [sic] move his body" because of the abuse he suffered as a POW for 5 1/2 years, right?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Rommey is a di** head and don't give a da** about America....that's why he spent half of his fortune and got the he** beat of him by an ailing old can' move his body communist like McCain! LMAO

Posted by: Neocons SUCK! | May 20, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Rommey is a di** head and don't give a da** about America....that's why he spent half of his fortune and got the he** beat of him by an ailing old can' move his body communist like McCain! LMAO

Posted by: Neocons SUCK! | May 20, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse


No one in America shed a tear when Benedict Arnold died ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Socialistic Communist Ted Kennedy is an enemy of America. He is a traitor. Now that he destroyed this country he is not going to be around to see America become a third world country he wanted it to be. Too bad he won't see Kennedy Compound occupied by illegal aliens. True patriots will not shed a tear.

Posted by: Sarah | May 20, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I think it's ery sad and speaks directly to ignorance and hatred when anybody wishes anybody ill will. We are a country that was created and made strong by our immigrant ancestors. NO ONE really has a right to call this country your native land unless you are a native american. Shame on those who lack compassion for humanity and yes, Sen Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: msb | May 20, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

We have turned the tv off!

The hypocrisy of politicians is overwhelming at times, this being one of them.

They are all "praying" for Ted Kennedy.....I never knew they knew anything about prayer, and I still don' is a social cliche these days!

Were they at all reflective, ethical, and prayerful, we wouldn't be in the dam*ed mess we are in in Congress!!! Shame on the whole lot of them!

Posted by: S Mc | May 20, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy is an American treasure. The last of the unequivocal liberals. And no, I do not care if you are diametrically opposed to his positions, that is your fundamental right, but he never wavered in his. He truly fought the good fight every day for those who did not share his life of privilege. I love to hear him speak, true eloquence, a lost art. I am saddened today.

Posted by: lp | May 20, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse


What is Un American about wishing a criminal to suffer ? We prosecute those whom committed crimes. Kennedy has gotten away with his crime because of his family's connections.

Posted by: Rob | May 20, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse


Did you condemn the "nasty and un-American statements" (putting aside the First Amendment for a moment) when someone tossed a live grenade at President Bush or when he choked on a pretzel?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Can't we all just get along and wish the dude a speedy recovery? Some nasty and un-American statements in these comments.

Posted by: matt | May 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Too bad MITT Romney is not still Governor of Massachusetts.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

hey, d.w. - you must be a direct descendant of native americans. there must be so many of you angered about letting all those damned ferners in back in the old days, huh? at least you got casinos out of the deal.


Posted by: shabbycynic | May 20, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I bet Bush and McCain had something to do with this. Check his water. I'm sure you'll find the chemicals in it.

Posted by: Playa | May 20, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Statement By John McCain On Senator Ted Kennedy

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on the news concerning Senator Ted Kennedy:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Kennedy and his family. We hope and pray his doctors will be able to effectively treat his condition and that he will experience a full recovery. I have described Ted Kennedy as the last lion in the Senate, and I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate."

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse


How, exactly, is writing your Representative "anything effective" to oust Kennedy from the Senate?! FWIW: I'd rather have had Strom Thurmond win for President than all these problems we have now (h/t Trent Lott ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again --
Happy days are here again

All together, shout it now --
There's no one who can doubt it now
So let's tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again

Your cares and troubles are gone --
There'll be no more from now on!

Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again
Let us sing a song of cheer again --
Happy days are here again

Posted by: RG | May 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Our prayers are with you, Senator...

Posted by: LABC | May 20, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

To: D.W. | May 20, 2008 3:04 PM

Your Land!? LOL - times change. Grow up or get out!

Posted by: Franky | May 20, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Our prayers are with you!!

Posted by: Sally | May 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This man is the epidomy of our government! He is responsible for why AMERICA is no longer the leader in the world. We now have a new AMERICA full of ILLEAGAL IMMIGRANTS who believe this is their land just as the Palistinians believe Israel is theirs. Well guess what TED? Now because of YOU we have about 200 countries all living in MY LAND! Thanks and Get well soon you stupid IDIOT! Thank GOD!

Posted by: D.W. | May 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

If you were so outraged about Chappaquiddick, did you write your congressman? Have you done anything effective to oust Kennedy from the Senate?
Senator Kennedy has worked hard for education, health care and (gasp) immigration reform - I can just hear the rednecks gnash their teeth - and he's done this against the system that saw the assassination of two of his brothers and a nephew. He's got his faults, but I'd rather have Kennedy in office than Strom Thurmond.

Posted by: durond | May 20, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

TheGribbler, I guess I touched a nerve. Have you left someone for dead and gotten way with it like Ted ??

Posted by: Rob | May 20, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry no tears here. I can't think of any one person that has single-handedly so destroyed America than Sen. Ted Kennedy. Starting with the 1964 disastrous change in our immigrations laws right down to the the Rejected Amnesty bill of 2007. Ted Kennedy has gone out of his way to turn American into a Third World Country populated by illiterate THird WOrld Peasants. But living his compound he wouldn't know - but the rest of us get to suffer.

Posted by: Judy | May 20, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Rob - die in a fire.

Posted by: TheGribbler | May 20, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Please cry for Kennedy all sexist and misogynist of planet Earth....the GOD OF JUSTICE has set up his final, compulsory MEETING...
----Mary Jo

Posted by: steve | May 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Remember Mary Jo!!! He killed her by leaving her for dead in his car and got away with it because of his family name. He deserves to die.

Posted by: Rob | May 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

May God help Senator Kennedy and his family. Senator Kennedy has been the voice of social justice and civil rights for several decades.
I pray that he will be well soon. Our Nation needs leaders like him.

Posted by: E Rosa | May 20, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What kind of care would Sen. Kennedy receive under the British/Canadian health care models? How much? Choose own doctor? Choose experimental drugs and procedures?

Posted by: hb | May 20, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

You are the patriarch of the Kennedy family and of social change in America.

You are the leader of millions of Americans who depend upon you for your concern with health issues throughout America.

You are the great and eloquent speaker representing social issues of Americans, and for that we want you to continue your with your monumental efforts for all of us.

You are the last remaining part of Camelot, which millions of Americans will never, ever forget.

Please continue to effect social change in America and counteract the regressive actions of the Administration and other avenues of stagnation.

Most of all, we all want you to get well soon, and come back to serving your country as you have done for the majority of your life. Bless you.

Posted by: Warren H. Tockerman | May 20, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't wish cancer on anyone. Be well Ted. You are the "lion" of the Democratic Party!

I think that this incident will cause many voting Americans to think about health of our politicians and the offices that they hold, especially with focus on John McCain who is about 4 years younger than Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: AJ | May 20, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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