President Barack Obama
Gabby Giffords embodies the very best of what public service should be. She's universally admired for qualities that transcend party or ideology—a dedication to fairness, a willingness to listen to different ideas, and a tireless commitment to the work of perfecting our union. That's why the people of Arizona chose Gabby—to speak and fight and stand up for them. That's what brought her to a supermarket in Tucson last year—so she could carry their hopes and concerns to Washington. And we know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.
Over the last year, Gabby and her husband, Mark, have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now—even after she's come so far—Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well.
Gabby's cheerful presence will be missed in Washington. But she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched—myself included. And I'm confident that we haven't seen the last of this extraordinary American.
Gov. Jan Brewer
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the state of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all.
U.S. Sen. John McCain
Cindy and I join our fellow Arizonans in thanking Gabby Giffords for her service in the U.S. Congress and to her constituents in Southern Arizona. Gabby's courage in the face of tragedy inspired our nation and made all Arizonans proud. We wish Gabby and her family all the best in the future.
Richard Carmona, former U.S. surgeon general and current Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate
Gabby's courage is inspirational, and her enthusiasm for public service is infectious. I've never seen a public official work harder to serve their constituents than Gabby. She and I participated in a number of health-care town halls together, and her strength has always been palpable. In addition to being a great and caring friend to all who know her, she is the model for the kind of leadership that we need in this country. I know in the months and years to come, she will continue to fight hard to help others and for the values she believes in.
Congressman Jeff Flake, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate
Gabby is a class act whose accomplishments and dedication to bettering our state and nation will continue in the years to come. She has been and will continue to be an effective advocate for the issues and causes that she cares deeply about.
I want to be sure to pass along thanks to Gabby's amazing staff. They have done a remarkable job in continuing to faithfully and respectfully serve the people of Arizona's 8th District over the last year.
Speaker of the House John Boehner
I salute Congresswoman Giffords for her service, and for the courage and perseverance she has shown in the face of tragedy. She will be missed.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a true bright star—a dynamic and creative public servant. Gabby's message of bipartisanship and civility is one that all in Washington and the nation should honor and emulate.
Since the tragic events one year ago, Gabby has been an inspiring symbol of determination and courage to millions of Americans.
Congressman Raúl Grijalva
Her legacy is probably more personal than it is political because of what she has gone through and what she has done. Her recovery has been miraculous. She even got people talking about civility and toning down some of the rhetoric, although it didn't happen as much as it should have. And her legacy is also with her signature issue—solar energy—and the rest of us are going to have to pick up on that. But her personal courage and her endurance is a big part of her legacy.
I call it a pause. Part of the issue is her recovery, and for her future and her family, that's the most important thing. Once she's done with this pause and reaches a point where she can step back into either electoral politics or public life, there's no question that she could do that.