Former longtime Texas lawmaker and 1988 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen died at his Houston home. He was 85.
White House spokesman Tony Snow calls him "a much-loved character" in Washington, "somebody who got off probably the best-known lines in the history of vice presidential debates.'' Snow was apparently referring to Bentsen's famous 1988 putdown of Vice President Dan Quayle: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Bentsen had two strokes in 1998 and other health problems.
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Republican elected to finish his Senate term when Bentsen joined President Clinton's Cabinet in 1993, said he had been kind to her at the time. She called Bentsen "a great Texan who served our nation admirably."
Former Texas Governor Ann Richards, a Democrat, said, "Many of us credit Lloyd Bentsen with our success and our inspiration."