Bob Dole to be presented with Congressional Gold Medal with Trump in attendance

Dole was one of the few prominent Republicans to support President Trump.

ByMARK OSBORNE
January 17, 2018, 5:33 AM

— -- Former congressman, senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole was one of the few prominent GOP names to support President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Trump will repay that support on Wednesday as he appears at an award ceremony granting Dole the Congressional Gold Medal.

Dole served as a congressman and then senator from 1961 to 1996 in his home state of Kansas. He spent the first eight years in Washington as a member of the House of Representatives before graduating to the Senate in 1969 and serving through 1996.

Dole's involvement in presidential politics is as lengthy as anyone to never hold the office. He ran for president once, vice president once and twice came up short for the GOP nomination for president.

In this May 29, 2017 file photo former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Bob Dole watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va.
In this May 29, 2017 file photo former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Bob Dole watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va.
AP

Dole was the only former presidential candidate to support Trump in the 2016 election, though.

Sen. John McCain, Mitt Romney and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush all all either said they were not going to vote for him or said after the election that they didn’t vote for him. Dole was the only one to show up to support Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention, as well.

The 94-year-old politician ran for vice president in 1976 along with Gerald Ford in a losing effort to Jimmy Carter. Dole ran for the Republican nomination for president four years later, but lost to eventual President Ronald Reagan. Eight years later, he again ran for the top of the ticket and again lost -- this time to George H.W. Bush.

In this file photo from Thursday, March 9, 2017, former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole from Kansas, left, and former Sen. John Warner of Virginia, right, attend a memorial service honoring former Illinois Congressman Bob Michel.
In this file photo from Thursday, March 9, 2017, former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole from Kansas, left, and former Sen. John Warner of Virginia, right, attend a memorial service honoring former Illinois Congressman Bob Michel.
AP

Dole finally had his chance atop the GOP ticket in 1996, but he lost in a landslide to incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton.

The loss, and his exit from Congress, essentially put an end to Dole's career in politics.

Dole was previously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom a full 21 years ago by Clinton, just months after losing the presidential election to him.

Congress voted to approve the gift of the Gold Medal last September. The medal is Congress’ "highest expression of appreciation for distinguished contributions to the nation," according to The Associated Press.

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