Leaders respond to death of 'Iron Lady'

Margaret Thatcher (MGN Online via Wiki Commons)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Local leaders expressed their condolences and respect for the passing of one of the icons of global politics.

Governor Nikki Haley released the following statement on the passing of former Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher.

"I was saddened by the news this morning of the passing of a personal inspiration and hero, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.{} In her momentous times, she left an enormous mark on her country and the world, reversing Great Britain's path toward socialism and labor union domination, and helping to defeat international communism.{} The daughter of a grocer, Margaret Thatcher broke numerous barriers of class and gender, just by being who she was. Her determination and achievements will make her a towering historical figure for generations to come."

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

"Margaret Thatcher was one of the great role models in the history of the conservative movement.

"Her foreign policy was clear eyed and firm. She, along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II stood up to communism, the great evil of their time, with an uncompromising conviction. They understood the ideology was evil and restricted the better nature of mankind.

"Domestically, she took Great Britain off the path to socialism and unleashed the power of the British people. Her belief in the power of the individual over the false security of reliance on government control inspires to this day.

"During the coming days she will receive much adulation and credit, but in my view the best way to pay homage to Margaret Thatcher is to follow on the path she laid out -- trust in the people and stand up to evil when you find it.

"The great evil of our day is radical Islam and the world would be served well if today's political leaders show the same determination to defeat radical Islam Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II displayed to standing up to communism.

"Both ideologies, communism and radical Islam, intend to enslave the human spirit. With the passing of Margaret Thatcher let us all recommit ourselves to standing up to radical Islam, the great evil of our time."

According to the Associated Press, Thatcher's former spokesman Tim Bell said that the woman known as "The Iron Lady" had died Monday morning of a stroke. She was 87.