Update: The White House emailed a statement on Margaret Thatcher's death shortly after 10 a.m., more than two hours after the news broke. The entire statement, which appeared on the White House Twitter feed at 10:40 a.m., is printed at the end of this report:
(CNSNews.com) - Two hours after the BBC reported the death of conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on Monday, President Barack Obama still had not issued a statement on her passing.
But last week, within half an hour of film critic Roger Ebert's death, the White House tweeted a statement from the president.
As of 10:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, there was still silence from the White House on Thatcher's death, news of which broke here around 7:50 a.m.
Last week, the Chicago Sun-time reported at 2:32 p.m. on April 4 that Ebert had died; The White House tweeted a statement from President Obama at 3:02 p.m.)
"Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans - and especially Chicagoans - Roger was the movies. When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive - capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient - continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won't be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family."
The president's statement on Thatcher's death, issued hours after it happened, reads as follows:
With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.
Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.