The late Warren B. Rudman, a fierce champion of fiscal responsibility who served two distinguished terms in the U.S. Senate and was a founding co-chairman of The Concord Coalition, was honored Thursday on Capitol Hill.
“He was forthright, he was frugal and he was fair,” said Vice President Joe Biden, who also emphasized Rudman’s respect for ordinary Americans and his faith in their judgment.
More than a dozen other current and former government officials from both parties remembered the New Hampshire Republican for his honesty, integrity, courage and commitment to the nation’s best interests. The bipartisan Concord Coalition hosted the tribute in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building.
Peter G. Peterson, a former U.S. commerce secretary and a co-founder of Concord, recalled why he asked Rudman to join him and Paul Tsongas, a former Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in starting the organization 20 years ago: “He knew the facts of our budget reality and spoke of them with a clarity and a passion. But what struck me was how much he cared. He wasn’t just saying the words; he meant them.”
Peterson also emphasized that Rudman was protective toward America: “He wanted her strong and solvent so . . . she would do great things around the world and at home.”
Other speakers at the tribute were New Hampshire Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Daniel Inouye, Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, Former Senator Phil Gramm, Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Senator John McCain, Former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen and Former Senator Alan Simpson.
A C-SPAN video of the event is available here.
Concord’s Statement on Rudman’s death is available here. http://concordcoalition.org/press-releases/2012/1120/concord-coalition-mourns-founding-co-chairman-warren-rudman