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October 21, 2012 12:28 PM

Obama: McGovern Was War Hero Who Championed Peace

washington

President Barack Obama says the late Sen. George McGovern was "a statesman of great conscience and conviction" who "dedicated his life to serving the country he loved."

In a statement released Sunday, the president cites McGovern's distinguished World War II military service as "a decorated bomber pilot over the battlefields of Europe" and says in Congress "this hero of war became a champion for peace."

McGovern said he learned to hate war by waging it. In his disastrous 1972 presidential race against Richard Nixon, he promised to end the Vietnam War and cut defense spending by billions of dollars. He helped create the Food for Peace program.

McGovern died Sunday morning at the age of 90 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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