WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden visited former Senator Bob Dole on Saturday, the White House said, two days after the Kansas Republican announced that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
“He’s doing well,” Biden told reporters later on Saturday as he emerged from a church service. Prior to that, Biden paid a visit to the Watergate complex in Washington where the 97-year-old Dole lives.
Dole, who lost the 1996 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton, announced his cancer diagnosis on Thursday and said he would undergo treatment beginning next week.
Known for his quick, searing wit and legislative skills, Dole had a long career in the U.S. Congress that included two stints as Senate majority leader. In the early 1980s he chaired the Senate Finance Committee, which helps guide U.S. tax, trade and health policy.
He was President Gerald Ford’s running mate in the 1976 election that was won by Democrat Jimmy Carter. Dole ran for the Republican presidential nomination three times, losing to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988 before getting the party’s nod in 1996. He was soundly defeated in the presidential election later that year by Clinton.
Dole suffered serious wounds in Italy during World War II that resulted in a long hospitalization. He received a number of awards for his military service, including two Purple Hearts.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Scott Malone, Daniel Wallis and Paul Simao)