Walter Jones death: Republican congressman who coined ‘freedom fries’ dies, aged 76

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He said he wished he had never coined the famous phrase

Walter Jones death: Republican congressman who coined ‘freedom fries’ dies, aged 76
Walter Jones died at 76. ( Facebook / Walter Jones )

Congressman Walter Jones, who gained notoriety for renaming the French fries in cafeterias inside government buildings to “freedom fries,” has died.

The North Carolina Republican passed away on 10 February, on his 76th birthday.

His "freedom fries" rebrand happened during the time in which he was an ardent supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

When France refused to support the Iraqi invasion, and threatened to veto the UN’s resolution authorising the US-led military action, based on faulty intelligence, Mr Jones wanted to hit back.

The North Carolina Republican, alongside with his colleague Robert W Ney, pressured the cafeterias on Capitol Hill to rename the French fries and French toasts to “freedom fries” and “freedom toasts.”

In 2010, when asked about his efforts to coin the name “freedom fries,” Mr Jones said he had “wished it never happened.”

Over time, Mr Jones changed his viewpoint on the war and became one of its most vocal critics.

Mr Jones have repeatedly discussed at-lengths how much he regretted supporting the war, one in which caused the deaths of more than 140,000 Iraqi and American people.

“I have signed over 12,000 letters to families and extended families who’ve lost loved ones in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” he told NPR in 2017. “That was, for me, asking God to forgive me for my mistake.”

Mr Jones has been battling illness in the past few months. In December 2018, he was granted a leave of absence from Congress after missing a number of votes.

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He served on the Committee on Armed Services, and was a member of several other caucuses.

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