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Republicans Vie in Falwell Mourning

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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POLITICS OF DEATH Falwell

Like everything else that happens over the next eight months, the death of Jerry Falwell is the perfect opportunity for Republican presidential candidates to demonstrate their conservative bona fides and score a few sympathy points.

In South Carolina for tonight's debate, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani all released statements within the first hour or two after the Moral Majority founder's passing was announced .

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McCain's statement was suitably dry-eyed, considering he once branded Falwell an "agent of intolerance." "I join the students, faculty, and staff of Liberty University and Americans of all faiths in mourning the loss of Reverend Jerry Falwell," said McCain. "Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Falwell's family at this difficult time."

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