2012 candidates react to events in Libya
Demonstrators hold up flags of the old kingdom of Libya, used by Libya's National Transitional Council during a protest against Gadhafi outside the Libyan embassy in Ankara on August 22, 2011.
August 22nd, 2011
12:33 PM ET
3 years ago

2012 candidates react to events in Libya

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidates responded Monday to the apparent collapse of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government.

Monday marked "Day 2" in Tripoli for rebel forces as they made gains in the capital. While the whereabouts of Gadhafi were not known, three of his sons were in the custody of rebel forces. Here are the latest developments.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "The world is about to be rid of Muammar el-Qaddafi, the brutal tyrant who terrorized the Libyan people. It is my hope that Libya will now move toward a representative form of government that supports freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. As a first step, I call on this new government to arrest and extradite the mastermind behind the bombing of Pan Am 103, Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi, so justice can finally be done."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: "The crumbling of Muammar Ghadafi's reign, a violent, repressive dictatorship with a history of terrorism, is cause for cautious celebration. The lasting impact of events in Libya will depend on ensuring rebel factions form a unified, civil government that guarantees personal freedoms, and builds a new relationship with the West where we are allies instead of adversaries."

Former Utah Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman: "The impending fall of Colonel Gaddafi is one chapter in the developing story of a nation in turmoil. Gaddafi has been a longtime opponent of freedom, and I am hopeful - as the whole world should be - that his defeat is a step toward openness, democracy and human rights for a people who greatly deserve it."

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania:
"Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph. The stated task from the very beginning for this administration was to determine whether the US can positively influence the direction of the successor government. As we have seen in Egypt, the euphoria of toppling a dictator does not always result in more security for us and our allies in the region."

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota: "I opposed U.S. military involvement in Libya and I am hopeful that our intervention there is about to end. I also hope the progress of events in Libya will ultimately lead to a government that honors the rule of law, respects the people of Libya and their yearning for freedom, and one that will be a good partner to the United States and the international community."


Filed under: 2012 • Jon Huntsman • Libya • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry • Rick Santorum
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. JiminNM

    So, what does Representative Ron Paul think about the situation in Libya? That should be the litmus test for Americans.

    August 22, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Robert

    Khaddafi wasn't shooting at USA aircraft like Saddam was. Obama and the Democrats, liars and hypocrits ALL.

    Congratulations, you win the coveted "Foot in your mouth" award!!!

    El Dorado Canyon
    1986
    In response to Quacky bombing a West German night club... Regan planned an ILLEGAL RAID on Lybia for this matter.

    So, can we all just say : GOP = hypocrit!

    August 22, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. gino

    Once again, Santorum ( and the rest of the Repugs) show they have no class whatever. This was a brilliant strategy and a wonderful outcome (how many US Troops died?) for Obama.

    August 22, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. David

    Give the President credit; the repubs complained about the strategy now they are applauding the results while still criticizing the President strategy???

    August 22, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. not unilateral

    Unlike Bush who was chasing rumors at the extreme cost of American lives and trillions of middle class taxpayer dollars (taxes are for the little people), Obama kept the US off the ground and only one of a group of NATO enforcers..... nicely done.... next time, lets just stay out of these affairs completely

    August 22, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Wolfy

    And what did the "decisive" Senator Santorum have to do with this outcome? More than the "indecisive" President Obama?

    August 22, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Bachmanns Comments

    I'm planning a big party to celebrate Elvi's birthday.
    I plan to invite John Wayne, from my home town, to be the party clown.

    August 22, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. peace

    president Obama you are great leader god is smiling down on you. I pray that he keep his loving arms around you and protect you from those satans followers like rick perry, bachman, the two mcain and others.

    August 22, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Chaos

    "Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: "Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph."

    Yeah, it only wouldn't have happened but for him.

    August 22, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. SarahPalin

    Ummmmm..........Ahhhhhhhhhh.......I can see Libia from my backyard?.........Is that right?........Geography is soooo hard.

    August 22, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Shawn

    "Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania: "Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph."

    First, the GOP blasts Obama for leading the enforcement of the No Fly Zone over Libya; now that the mission has succeeded in helping to topple Gadhafi, they are calling him indecisive and downplaying his role. Typical for a Republican to 180 themselves and lie to your face. And also typical for their brainless constituents to eat it up.

    August 22, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. conoclast

    Remember why we got into this fray in the first place? Remember Gadhaffi's 'we will kill them in their thousands' promise, or is six months too long for our national attention span? Saving Benghazi from Gadhaffi's psychotic wrath is a "just war" if ever there was one!

    August 22, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. SCAtheist

    Now Rick wants to be friends with the Muslims? Yeah right.

    August 22, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Donald in CA

    The gop has become so right wing tea party rotten that some are becoming un-american at times. To them this president has done 0 since he took over the presidency. He played the Libya issue right on, but here comes the white right crying in their meth. Ben ladin 0, healthcare 0, Libya 0, dont ask dont tell 0, and he even had the nerve to go on vacation.

    August 22, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Jon

    "The stated task from the very beginning for this administration was to determine whether the US can positively influence the direction of the successor government." - When did they ever say that? And more to the point, isn't that kind of *their* call? - Anyway, didn't the GOP pass that resolution "disapproving" of Obama's actions in Libya?

    August 22, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Not Fat

    And Michelle Bachmann wished Gadhaffi a happy birthday!

    August 22, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. John

    All of these guys opposed the intervention back in March, and were hoping since then that it would fail, so that they could use it against Obama. They all said that the rebels were just al-Qaeda clones too. Now they want to seem to be supporters of the Libyan revolution.

    August 22, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. bigfruitbasket

    Democrat Class Warfare: Khadaffy was a sponsor terrorism. He terrorized his own people. How can you call this war "illegal." When is war ever legal? It is in the interest of the international community that he goes–no matter how. I agree, a bullet to the head is fitting for this tyrant. Good thing the Libyan people did the work with air support from NATO. If you recall, during the Reagan era, Khadaffy's AF tried to take on the US Navy and lost. We sent a few bombs his way to teach him a lesson. Glad this international turd will be gone soon and for good.

    August 22, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. gg

    Santorum is a pathetic loser. What a complete idiot. Freedom for the Libyan people!

    August 22, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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