Barack Obama, Meghan McCain mourn ABC journalist | News Coverage from USA

Barack Obama, Meghan McCain mourn ABC journalist

Hannah Yasharoff

USA TODAY

Published 2:38 PM EDT Sep 17, 2019

Reporters and celebrities mourn the death of Cokie Roberts, a veteran journalist and political commentator who died Tuesday at age 75.

“Our dear friend and colleague Cokie Roberts passed away this morning in Washington, surrounded by her family and closest friends,” ABC News President James Goldston said in a statement.

“She will be dearly missed. Cokie’s kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists,” Goldston said.

Roberts died of complications from breast cancer, according to a statement from her family.

More: Journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts dies at 75

CNN anchor Jake Tapper remembered Roberts as a “kind and supportive” mentor to many.  

“Cokie was a giant,” he tweeted. “She was smart and pithy and tough as nails,” which he said was “the highest of compliments for a DC journalist.”

“There wasn’t anyone else like her,” he said. “What a loss. I’m so sorry for her family and close friends.”

The office of Barack Obama issued a statement on behalf of the former president and first lady.

“She was a trailblazing figure; a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over forty years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of he way,” the statement read. “She will be missed – and we send our condolences to her family.”

President Donald Trump called her a “real professional” while speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One.

“I never met her. She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well,” he said. “She was a professional, and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional. Never treated me well, but I certainly respect her as a professional.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi mourned the loss of Roberts’ “warmth, wit and wisdom.”

“Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer who forever transformed the role of women in the newsroom and in our history books,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Over five decades of celebrated journalism, Cokie shone a powerful light on the unsung women heroes who built our nation, but whose stories had long gone untold.  As she helped tell the full story of America’s history, she helped shape its future – inspiring countless young women and girls to follow in her groundbreaking footsteps.”

“The View” co-hosts shared news of Roberts’ passing on air Tuesday. Meghan McCain said she always respected Roberts’ ability to ask “really hard-hitting questions in times when women really weren’t doing that.”

McCain said, “She was a road dog, who was on every campaign, asking candidates questions in the forefront. I remember her and my dad (Sen. John McCain) going at it and then off-camera laughing, shaking hands, having the collegial relationship that reporters and principals used to have, and she’s just one of the greats of all time, ever.”

Whoopi Goldberg praised Roberts as “an amazing giant in the world of journalism, a great woman,” adding that her “influence and impact cannot be overstated.” 

Joy Behar called Roberts “reliable and smart and to the point, and she had a great sense of humor.”

“Cokie Roberts was kind. She disagreed agreeably,” tweeted Kellyanne Conway. “Cokie listened, offered advice, showed patience and poise, worked hard, put faith & family first. God bless. RIP.”

Katie Couric praised Roberts as “a pioneer for so many” who “will be sorely missed.”

ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl shared a video of himself on air with Roberts at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“RIP Cokie Roberts, mentor, friend and one of my favorite people in the world,” he wrote on Twitter. “Cokie attended 22 national political conventions – that may be a record – I had the privilege of interviewing her on the floor of her last convention.”

PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff called Roberts’ death a “huge loss. Cokie Roberts was the best of American journalism and a fierce advocate for women. She was active till the very end; my heart is with her wonderful family.”

NBC News’ Deepa Shivaram sent “love and light to the Roberts family – especially to Prof. Steve Roberts, her husband, who couldn’t go 5 minutes in class or at coffee without telling a story about Cokie and their wonderful, adventurous life.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tweeted that he and his wife will “miss her good humor and kindness.”

“She was a staple of Sunday morning TV news for so long and a great example of loving our democracy and politics but also being an able critic of both,” Christie said. 

“Such a deep well of knowledge and history and analysis and humanity,” marveled actress Jamie Lee Curtis. “A loss for the entire world.”

Maria Shriver shared that she was “heartbroken” over the news. “She was such an inspiration to me,” she tweeted. “A great journalist, wife, mom, public advocate. She did it all with grace. She worked to give other women a seat at a table. I’m going to pull up a chair today and think of her.”

“Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville offered prayers for Roberts’ family. “One of the women who made it possible for ME to have the career I do. #grateful” 

“Mourning the passing of legendary @ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, who passed away at the age of 75,” tweeted Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts. “She was a true pioneer of the business, and a revered colleague.”

ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran mourned his “friend, colleague and hero.”

“Brilliant. Brave. Kind. Hilarious. A fierce patriot. And one of the best human beings I have ever known,” he said.

“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough tweeted he “grew up loving her political analysis and insights into Washington. She will be terribly missed.”

“Cokie Roberts spoke to my ‘01 Capitol Hill summer intern class and encouraged all of us – Republicans and Democrats – to always seek consensus where we could,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. “I’ll never forget how moving she was. We’ve lost a journalism icon. Rest In Peace, Cokie.”

Contributing: Anika Reed, David Oliver and Erin Jensen 


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