Sharpton and Falwell

Here's what Al Sharpton said earlier about the death of his unlikely friend Jerry Falwell:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Though he and I debated much and disagreed ften, we shared a very cordial and warm friendship. I visited him in Lynchburg, dined with him, and even talked with him during personal rises. Though we were as politically opposite as two people could be, I truly respected his commitment to his beliefs and our mutual belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I stated to my nationally syndicated radio show, I pray for the Falwell family and join the nation in mourning the passing of this religious leader."

The statement is consistent with the cordial — if politically useful — public relationship the two men maintained for a number of years.

In 2004 on CNN, Falwell tried to explain the common ground he and Sharpton shared shared with President Bush:

"Well, I don't think there's any question Mr. Bush would welcome any vote by anybody, atheist, believer, whatever. And Reverend Al Sharpton there is a friend of mine, and Al's an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ so he certainly does not object to any mixture of religion and politics."

Sharpton and Falwell