Folks React to Russert Death

WASHINGTON (AP) - His colleagues and the politicians he covered are remembering Tim Russert as a tough and thorough broadcast journalist.

Russert collapsed and died at NBC's Washington bureau. He was 58.

The network says the "Meet the Press" host had been recording voiceovers for this Sunday's program when he was stricken.

In a statement, President Bush praised Russert as a "tough and hardworking newsman" who was "as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it."

Tom Brokaw, in announcing Russert's death on NBC, called him a "beloved colleague" and "one of the premier journalists of our time."

Colleague Brian Williams described Russert as "aggressively unfancy."

And Andrea Mitchell says, "Our hearts are broken."

Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania says Russert will be "sorely missed."

He says Russert's background as a Senate staffer and as a TV journalist gave him "special insights" on government and politics.