Potential GOP presidential candidates react to bin Laden's death
May 2nd, 2011
10:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Potential GOP presidential candidates react to bin Laden's death

(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."

Donald Trump:
"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."

Herman Cain
"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

Filed under: 2012 • Al Qaeda
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Noticed that the one with the least relevance had the most words.

    Why doesn't the Wasilla Hillbilly just go hide behind HER 12 foot wall around her compound?

    Thank you, U.S. Service Men and Women, and Thank YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA for being intelligent. You SIR have improved the world's impression of our country the way no one else could have.

    May 2, 2011 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  2. Gary

    Only Mitt Romney & Tim Pawlenty seem to be the professional ones here.

    May 2, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  3. Peter

    Note the difference between the classy Republicans who included Obama in their statement, and those (like Palin) who didn't.
    If this mission had failed, Palin would have done NOTHING but mention Obama. That woman is a classless, 100% political robot.

    May 2, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  4. Dinosaur BBQ

    Where is Donald Trump ?
    Still holding a magnifying glass over the birth certificate.

    What amazes me is that 12 years ago Bin Laden was in the hospitol
    with kidney disease.
    He lasted all this time ??

    May 2, 2011 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  5. Anonymous

    This is an important day. These insane individuals who exhibited evil in America, specifically Osama Bin-Laden, need to be found and to "symbolize" the refusal to allow these actions no matter what the "reasoning" handling problems or dislike for others require actions that are not evil. And America responded the only way you can to the evil of those like Bin-Laden. It is unfortnate, but we have to do what we have to do. And, it is sad, but Osama Bin-Laden being dead now is important. I know it may or may not change all those insane people's evil, but each insane that acts out with evil in America will result in similar actions. It is an important day. I believe the message is clear...and after all the talk and threats end...I am sure some will learn, we cant control the actions but we can decide how to respond. Thanks to America for doing the only thing they could.

    May 2, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  6. Elliott

    Interesting. I noticed that each one of these people didn't have the class to acknowledge President Obama's role in this story. I don't care if they completely disagree on his policies, but give credit to our President for giving the order to take this guy out.

    May 2, 2011 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  7. sue

    I can see the strongest in this field of Republicans for President......Roomney and Pawlenty.....they had the courage to give thanks to this President for having the courage to take on this mission.....he isn't the coward that Palin and some have called him.....but they didn't even have the courage to Thank this Commander In Chief......This will hurt all GOP contenders.....because no matter what they think of Obama, he did bring this Terrorist down.......remember Palin is the one that said Obama palled around with terrorist.........remember that ........

    May 2, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  8. zb

    "Justice has been done." That is all that matters. But when we invoke God in all this – as all these politicians pandering to the mindless masses have done – it demonstrates we just as crazy as the terrorists. Read their words and how they invoke God and you see there is no difference between them and what the terrorists say about god.

    God has nothing to do with this and it has even less to do with Republicans who want to give tax cuts to the rich and what is effectively tax increases to everyone else through the cuts in health, education, and other progams.

    May 2, 2011 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  9. EddyL

    Even here Boob Palin can't bring her stupid self to include Obama in her praise of a job well done. What a stupid woman.

    May 2, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  10. Kynt

    You sure Mrs. Bachmann is a GOP candidate? She sounds so sane and levelheaded.

    May 2, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Its significant that only one of them had the decency to mention Obama and congratulate him. He signed off on the mission, and he has kept the often-forgotten promise he made during the election: to get Bin Laden. Too bad only Tim Pawlenty is giving him credit, and remembering the the old maxim that partisanship ends at the shore. I am surprised Trump isn't dispatching his own team to confirm that we got him, then lying about it afterwards.

    May 2, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  12. SpiritedLadey

    I find it very interesting that most of the comments from these Republicans do not give President Obama the thanks he should receive for carrying out the goal of finding Osama bin Laden. Only two of these people did. By the way, Mr. Romney, "our intelligence community, our military and the president." I noticed the word "our" being used here until you came to president; Should I assume that you don't consider Mr. Obama your president?

    May 2, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  13. ja

    now we can just reassign President Obama, as president 2012, the gop can donate the campaign funds to charity, and stop ego tripping

    May 2, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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