Larry Craig

Idaho, national officials issue statements in reaction to Sen. Craig's resignation

Sen. Mike Crapo released the following statement regarding the resignation of Idaho senior Sen. Larry Craig:

“For more than two decades, Larry Craig has consistently put Idaho first in his public service career. Today, he did so again in announcing his decision to resign his position as U.S. Senator from Idaho.

“As I have said over the last week, I will accept any decision that my friend Senator Craig makes regarding the unfortunate circumstances he presently faces. As such, I am comfortable that he has determined that this is the best course of action he can take for his wife and family, his state and his nation. He has demonstrated his courage and strength in making this tough decision.

“During his long and distinguished tenure in Congress, he has solidly championed common-sense solutions and brought a strong tenacity to important issues to our state and our nation. His certainty and consistency have provided a base for many public policy debates on a wide range of issues, including agriculture, fiscal responsibility, immigration, community and economic development, transportation and natural resources. He was advocating for a Balanced Budget Amendment long before most Members of Congress would even recognize the out-of-control spending by the federal government. He has been a strong voice for improving our nation’s energy security, most particularly nuclear energy. The efforts he has undertaken over the years regarding agriculture and natural resources have helped build strong rural economies in Idaho and across the country. His conservative voice has spoken out in favor of legislation and efforts to limit the federal government and to ensure that Idahoans and every American have liberty, opportunity and security. In addition, he has provided consistent advocacy for Idahoans who have come to him for help with problems they are experiencing with federal agencies. Early in his career, he laid out a mission and philosophy that put Idahoans first, and he has lived up to that creed throughout his public service.

“Today is a sad day for me as I recognize that Senator Craig has made clear his intentions to leave the U.S. Senate. He has been my colleague for many years, and I have enjoyed working with Larry, but, more importantly, he has been my friend. It is my hope that as history judges Senator Craig, that his successes, accomplishments and strong leadership for Idaho in Congress are taken in totality, and that those he served so admirably in Congress for five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and three terms in the U.S. Senate will recall the full measure of the man.”

Rep. Mike Simpson issued the following statement today concerning Craig's announcement to resign:

"To say today is a sorrowful day is not enough. Idaho has lost a great leader and I will personally miss working with him on a daily basis. Senator Craig and Suzanne deserve our gratitude and I hope that Idahoans and the Nation will allow them the time they need to recover after this week's unimaginable turmoil. Thank you, Larry."

Rep. Bill Sali issued the following statement on Craig this morning:

“Larry Craig has been an unusually diligent and effective public servant who has accomplished much for Idaho. Every Idahoan has benefited from his service and we all owe him and his family a debt of gratitude for their dedication and sacrifice.

“Larry Craig has been and continues to be my friend. Senator Craig, Suzanne, their children and grandchildren need, and I suggest are due, a measure of grace, dignity and Idaho-style decency that has been missing in their life recently.

“As for me and my family, we will continue to keep the Senator and his family in our prayers and we wish them nothing but the very best as they move forward.”

Statement by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne on the resignation of Sen. Larry Craig:

“Patricia and I have been and will continue to be friends of Larry and Suzanne Craig. Our thoughts and prayers are with them on this difficult day -- a day in which we should also remember Larry’s 27 years of dedicated public service to Idaho and to the Nation.”

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel:

“Senator Craig made the right decision for himself, for his family, his constituents and the United States Senate.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky:

“It is my hope he will be remembered not for this, but for his three decades of dedicated public service.”

The following statement was issued today by Norm Semanko, executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association, regarding Senator Larry Craig's resignation:

"Senator Craig's resignation, though regrettable, is clearly the right thing for his family, Idaho, and the Nation. Unlike so many public officials before him, Senator Craig has spared us from what was sure to be a long and painful episode, thereby putting the interests of the people ahead of his own. For that, he is to be commended.

“For the Idaho water user community, this represents the loss of an extraordinarily effective and tireless supporter of sovereignty and state control over Idaho's water. He has consistently defended Idaho's natural resources against out of state interests and has effectively represented the interests of Idaho's family farm and ranching community, thereby helping Idaho's multi-billion dollar agricultural economy continue to flourish. Senator Craig's lasting legacy in support of issues of importance to Idaho's water user community will not be forgotten. We thank him for his many years of public service and wish him and his family well in their future."

A statement from Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, in response to the news of Sen. Larry Craig’s resignation:

“Because character is an essential qualification for public service, we believe Sen. Craig’s decision to resign today was appropriate. But Idahoans will always have reason to be grateful to the senator - he was a faithful advocate for policies that protected the sanctity of life, the sanctity of the marriage and the family, and religious liberty. No one can take that legacy from him. “This is obviously an excruciating time for the senator and his family, and we call on all citizens of goodwill to pray for them. May they find God’s mercy, peace and direction. “We also believe it is incumbent upon Gov. Otter to appoint a man of unimpeachable integrity to take the senator’s place. The senator’s replacement should be a man who is not only a skilled legislator but a man of character who is a role model as a husband and a father. “It is likely that the character and personal conduct of his replacement will come under close media scrutiny, and Idahoans cannot take the risk that he may have skeletons that come tumbling out of the closet and bring fresh embarrassment to the state.”

Roman Catholic Bishop Michael P. Driscoll issued the following statement today:

"I watched with sadness and regret Sept. 1 as Sen. Larry Craig announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate, effective Sept. 30. I have known the senator since I came to Idaho, and I have found him to be patient and willing to work with us on behalf of immigrants and those most in need in our state.

"Seeing his family and friends behind him, I could not help but feel compassion for this man who has served the state well for 27 years in Congress and six years in the state Legislature. This must have been the most difficult decision of his professional career and I can't imagine the impact it must have on his family.

"I ask Catholics and all Idahoans to offer their prayers and best wishes to the Craigs as they face the changes and challenges of the coming weeks and months. As people of faith, we are taught to reach out with concern, receive with compassion and renew with conviction that when we are all at the table, we can build a better world.

"Finally, as we witness the political transition to come, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide Gov. Otter and all those in power to help them choose wisely and refocus our attention toward helping the poor and least among us."