Updated Dec 30, 2019

What they're saying: Obama leads messages of support for John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) is presented with the 2010 Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama during an East Room event at the White House February 15, 2011

President Barack Obama presents Rep. John Lewis with the 2010 Medal of Freedom at the White House, Feb. 15, 2011. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama led messages of support for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) after it was announced Sunday that the civil rights icon is being treated for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

If there’s one thing I love about @RepJohnLewis, it’s his incomparable will to fight. I know he’s got a lot more of that left in him. Praying for you, my friend."
— Barack Obama's tweet

The big picture: Obama presented Lewis, 79 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Lewis helped lead the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and has served in the House since 1987.

  • Per Axios' Zachary Basu, Lewis' endorsement of an impeachment inquiry in September "was seen as one of several significant turning points in the impeachment of President Trump."

What they're saying:

  • Former President Bill Clinton tweeted, "If there’s anyone with the strength and courage to fight this, it’s you, John. Hillary and I love you, and we join with millions of other Americans in praying for you and your family."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Twitter post, "we are all praying for you following this diagnosis. John, know that generations of Americans have you in their thoughts & prayers as you face this fight. We are all praying that you are comfortable. We know that you will be well."
  • Democratic presidential candidate and Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted, "John Lewis is a living example of strength that America needs now more than ever. We will be pulling for him and praying for him and his family as he battles cancer with his characteristic grace and courage."
  • 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Twitter, "My heart is with Rep. John Lewis and his family. He’s always been a fighter, and I know he'll continue making good trouble. Stay strong, John."
  • Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang tweeted, "You can fight this and win ... like you have fought so many times before."
  • Former Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who was on the receiving end of a warm tribute from Lewis when he retired this year, tweeted, "Praying for my friend, @repjohnlewis as he begins his fight against cancer. They don’t make them stronger or braver, and I’m confident he will take on this challenge as he has every other he’s faced: with courage and determination fueled by his strong faith."
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said on Twitter, "I’m keeping the Conscience of the House, @repjohnlewis, in my thoughts and prayers tonight. You’re not alone in this fight, my friend. The whole nation, which owes you an incredible debt, is with you."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comments from Buttigieg, Warren, Yang and Cicilline.

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