SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart says George McGovern was stronger than any political label, despite his critics' attempts to dismiss him as a liberal.
Hart spoke at McGovern's funeral service Friday. Hart had had served as manager for ex-U.S. Sen. George McGovern's failed 1972 presidential campaign. McGovern, a three-time Democratic presidential candidate, died Sunday at age 90.
Hart says many people uncomfortable with McGovern called him a liberal as an insult implying he was weak. But Hart says "liberals," in the sense critics intended, did not get elected and re-elected in conservative states such as South Dakota or fly dangerous bomber missions in defense of the country.
McGovern flew bombing runs over Europe during World War II.
Hart called McGovern "a voice of conscience for our nation in our time."