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. evsrikumar

    great day for the US leadership and a lesson for other natiions facing terror problems not to forget and forgive

    May 2, 2011 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  2. Amanda Brodie

    Nobody Cares What the GOP hopeless have to say tonight. Our commander in chief, President Obama said it all. Justice has been done.

    May 2, 2011 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  3. John

    Palin went out of her way to avoid thanking the president. Very classy.

    May 2, 2011 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  4. sukatra

    Stupid republicans.

    May 2, 2011 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  5. Donald Trump

    I demand to see a certificate of death, preferably the long form version.

    May 2, 2011 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  6. Chuck in Jasper Ga.

    What strikes me most is the lack of mention of Obama by many of these "leaders". They show a total lack of respect for not only the current president, but the position itself. I would never vote for any of these self-serving, narcissistic buffoons. Most assuredly the quitter and bigot Palin.

    May 2, 2011 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  7. DonnieH.

    Wow... Only Romney and Pawlenty gave President Obama any credit. I guarantee Fox, the Tea Party and the Right are all working overtime trying to figure out a way to discredit President Obama and the role he played. Even though they had no trouble flying in with their Mission Accomplished banner or touting Bush's and the Rights accomplishments after the capture and execution of Saddam Huessein. Those that belittle this and choose instead to look for reasons to demonize the President only proves that it was never the President's policies or leadership that were the problem. It was him. And no matter what his accomplishments they will never give him any credit. That would mean admitting they were wrong or lying about the reason they hate him. We all know that will never happen...

    May 2, 2011 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  8. D-HENRY

    For the most part republicans give credit to the military for fighting the good fight and the POTUS for having the heart to pull the trigger on the raid. Except Sara Palin who congratulate everybody but the POTUS. She needs to give credit when its due.

    May 2, 2011 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  9. Dick Tracy

    Is Palin still bitter in her loss to the President that, she can't acknowledge Obama's successful pursuit of bin Laden. After all, Bush failed to capture this notorious terrorist.

    May 2, 2011 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  10. dj burn

    Obama got Osama and it took him 2 years to get him while Bush try for 7 years. this is victory for all freedom loving people and re-election for Obama sorry tea baggers

    May 2, 2011 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  11. BD70

    I noticed Bachmann and Palin didn't mention President Obama. How petty.

    May 2, 2011 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  12. david williams

    Hate to be happy about anyone being killed but I can't help it.

    May 2, 2011 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  13. Souther girl

    Why is it that Palin has so MUCH hate and divide in her heart that she can't even say Mr. President Job WELL DONE as well?!

    That's right that would stop her from adding to her millions she make disrespecting the President since McCain used her on the GOP National stage!

    May 2, 2011 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  14. allen

    people should not be complaycent because those followers will try something..

    May 2, 2011 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  15. rIck doughton II

    Amazing as I look at these comments. Only mitt romney & tim pawnlenty gave the president a thumbs up! If I were republican then these would be the only two to get my vote! The rest of this group need to grow up!

    May 2, 2011 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  16. theidiotspeaksagain

    It's easy to see which ones act presidential and which ones just act petty. Good Job Mr. President.

    May 2, 2011 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  17. phil

    It says GOP potential. What about Trump? And what about Paul? Not saying what I think about them – I'm saying be honest reporters. If you say the hopefuls, you should include them.

    May 2, 2011 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  18. Matthew A

    this truly is a day of thanksgiving and triumph for the American people. In spite of our recent economic and employment hardships, our deadly and destructive national disasters, and a military that has been exhaustivly deployed to the middle east; today we truly can remember the why and how of 'God bless America.' Let us celebrate this day with joy and humility, and let us never forget the price that was paid to bring an end to such a tyrant.

    May 2, 2011 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  19. kaitlyn

    a message to all terrorists. you can run but cant hide. please lets make this world a better place to live in.

    May 2, 2011 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  20. arapikos

    To My President Obama,
    You said that you would ensure that he would pay for his adventures.–Another promise kept.
    God's Blessings on you, our military and all others who handled the repose of Osama bin Laden with dignity-
    the American way.

    May 2, 2011 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  21. Barry

    From Michelle Bachman: "the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism." LOL!! Does she ever proof read or does she just try to ad lib all her speeches. This is classic of her. What is Sharia-compliant? I am quite certain she doesn't know, but it does look important though doesn't it. LOL! Shes a riot!

    May 2, 2011 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  22. Bobby Marks

    Justice has been served!

    May 2, 2011 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  23. The Donald

    Hey, whey is the President getting all the attention and not me?

    As the only GOP candidate with any following, I'm thinking of changing my hair color from this dead fox to a dead skunk. Salt and pepper look, whatta ya think republicans?

    May 2, 2011 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  24. Well

    Celebrating death will not bring freedom, only more death.

    May 2, 2011 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  25. Cliff Vegas

    "Sharia-compliant terrorism"? Michele is talking out of her posterior orifice again...

    May 2, 2011 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
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