(CNN) – Potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates issued statements following bin Laden's death.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee:
"It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead ... Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney:
"This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden's many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist."
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:
"This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice - and we did. I want to congratulate America's armed forces and President Obama for a job well done."
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann:
"Tonight's news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden's horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin:
"Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.
This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda's other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.
May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!"
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania:
"This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly 10 years for the news of Osama bin Laden's death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden."
"I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men and women of the Armed Forces for a job well done.
I am so proud to see Americans standing shoulder to shoulder, waving the American flag in celebration of this great victory.
We should spend the next several days not debating party politics, but in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those currently fighting for our freedom.
God Bless America!"
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:
"This victory is a tribute to the patient endurance of American justice. I commend both President George W. Bush who led the campaign against our enemies through seven long years and President Obama who continued and intensified the campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan."
"As Americans, we mark this occasion with a somber sense of satisfaction for the families, friends and loved ones who still suffer the pain of irreplaceable loss of life. Justice has been served.
We all owe a deep and abiding gratitude to the men and women in uniform and throughout our intelligence agencies for placing themselves in harm’s way to protect our way of life, while defending the honor and memory of their fellow citizens.
Although eradicating terrorism and those that would carry out its cowardly and despicable ends is far from over, we pause at this time to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001 and pray that those lost on that day know they are far from forgotten by their country.
For them and for America’s future, we remain ever vigilant."
Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
"This is a proud moment for all Americans. Our success in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice is a tribute to our entire intelligence and military infrastructure. I applaud the President's handling of the mission.
In Utah, the hardest part of my job was presiding over the funerals of our brave National Guard soldiers. This is a reminder that the lives that have been lost fighting the War on Terror were not lost in vain. We are so grateful for their sacrifice and for the service of all our young men and women in the armed forces."
– CNN's Mark Preston, Paul Steinhauser and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report