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. Anne

    Hmmm...except for Tim Pawlenty, not one word of appreciation or congratulations from these chumps for President Obama's efforts in this operation; probably stuck in their throat to say it. Bin Laden was eliminated under Obama's watch in less than 3 years of his presidency; what was Bush's excuse?

    May 2, 2011 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  2. Cliff Vegas

    A very good study of reactions from GOP hopefuls. Only Romney and Pawlenty could bring themselves around to mentioning POTUS' role in bin Ladin's death. Romney mentions Obama by name. Okay Mitt – you have my attention. I'll be watching you...

    May 2, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |

    Snooki Palin will also sell you a shirt for $13, just like at the circus. Anything for a buck.

    May 2, 2011 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  4. scott

    yeah right!!! right now, in middle america(excuse the pun) idaho, or whereever the rnc chair sits...the rnc and these candidates, who a week ago, were like vote for me vote for me, are now saying no way in hell, do i want to be the sacrifical lamb to go up against president obama, the baddest man on the planet...gov. barbor dropped out a week ago, i would be willing that maybe, gov romney, newt gingrinch, maybe gov huckabe and a couple other potential 2012ers will start to drop out of the race.

    May 2, 2011 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  5. peter

    Cangratulations to president OBama and men in uniform for job well done.

    May 2, 2011 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  6. Barnacle Bill

    This is a joke. These people all hate New York and New Yorkers. For them to claim that they actually cared about any of those people is disingenuous, at best. Republicons have used 9/11 to funnel money to their welfare states under the guise of protecting them against a terror attack, when any intelligent person knows that no terrorist is going to waste their time attacking Kentucky or Alabama.

    No, terror attacks will be in the biggest cities, and New York is ground zero for all of them.

    Stop pretending that you care about New York.

    May 2, 2011 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  7. Scott Weidie

    Has Donald Tump started to ask for Osama Bin Laden's death certificate yet? Perhaps he thinks President Obama is not telling the truth? There is no doubt conspiracy theorists will demand proof? The decision to bury Bin Laden at sea was brilliant to prevent him from being worshipped as a martyr. But even this will feed nay-sayers who are better off crawling back under their rocks rather than speaking out. But it is a free country....making a fool of onesef is not aainst the law! God Bless America!

    May 2, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  8. Rush L

    THey wouldn't say it cause they are too petty, but GREAT Job President Obama!

    May 2, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  9. michael , MN

    I bet it just about kills them to have to admit Obama did some thing good

    May 2, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  10. Dan

    These comments say it all, about the GOP candidates with class that is. Notice that only two give the President any credit for this event, I guess the GOP only has two people running that is not wearing blinders.

    May 2, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  11. Mike

    Oh the craziness that is Bachmann! I would like to know what "Sharia-compliant" terrorism really is. I think she learned the word 'sharia' and wants to apply it to everything she can. I may have to ask a friend, but Im fairly certain that sharia doesn't have a statement on terrorism (an idea that has no religion or ethnicity).

    May 2, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  12. Mike

    Note to Michelle Bachman: Terrorism is not sharia compliant. Nor is it jihad.

    May 2, 2011 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  13. betty brown smith

    notice how the three with class huckabee, romney and pawlenty mentioned president obama. the other three, the crazies...palin the bimbo, bachman the wicked witch and santorum the jesus freak gay hater, gave obama no credit...lol it must just kill them that obama is now an american hero.

    May 2, 2011 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  14. Bob

    You mean they don't disagree with Obama's decision to go in there???? Impossible!

    May 2, 2011 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  15. Arlene Sales

    Even thou I am extremely happy that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, I am truly afraid of what is to come. These evil heartless people will most definitely seek revenge on us Americans. All I can really think about at this moment is "God Bless and Protect us Americans"

    May 2, 2011 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  16. rickinmo

    Congratulations to our military, intelligence services and President Obama. I hope this stands as proof that skeptics who doubted President Obama's commitment to American security and completing unfinished work were wrong.

    May 2, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  17. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Couldn't help notice Sister Sarah, Manic Michele, and Ttricky Rick could not even mention the administrations role in this. Sorry guys, I am working hard to get the President re-elected in 2012

    May 2, 2011 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  18. Lejaune

    Trump: I won't believe it unless I see a long form of death certificate. My investigators told me it doesn't exist.

    May 2, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  19. Nathan

    Again, typical Republicans.....thank everyone and intentionally omit thanking the President for his leadership. President Obama promised it would be his top priorority. He picked up the ball where the previous president was not successful, yet only Gov. Tim Pawlenty posted a statement that credited the president for his leadership along with our servicemen.

    May 2, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  20. Carl M

    No comment from Trump! He must want to see the long form death certificate before he'll even believe its true.

    May 2, 2011 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  21. lighstar

    This is a great day for America,President Obama and the world. I commend the GOP candidates react to the news and to especially those who were big and MAN enough to give some credit to President Obama who all along said that Bin Ladin was hiding out in Pakistan. And to you Miss Palin your comment was weak – acknowledge that the President of the USA had everything to do with this capture . Be the Christian you are suppose to be and give credit where its due or then again maybe you are not sure what we are all talking about. Bravo to the USA. D. From Canada

    May 2, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  22. Philly P

    Wow, what amazing news to wake up too.Job well done President Obama & Bush. I just read some GOP responses to the news and only two Presidential hopefuls gave props to President Obama. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Former Gov. Mitt Romney....I just think that shows class on their parts!

    May 2, 2011 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  23. Afolabi

    Yes he can. Well done Mr president.I know your political foes are not happy and would not acknowledge you, but our great country appreciate you. Thanks and God bless you and the United States of America

    May 2, 2011 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  24. mitch

    Interesting....the GOP hopefuls who have a real chance at the nomination congratulate the President...the pathetic wanna-be's like Bachmann and Palin can't bring themselves to do that.

    May 2, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. skel

    Lil timmy pawlnothin praised bush 1st before Pres. Obama, what a asshole. Next sara painful did not thank the President at all, what a stupid moron. I guess donald punk wants to see the long form death certificate,stupid bafoon! As a person who went to the White House last night & who went thru hell as a fireman at the Pentagon on Sept 11 & went to ground 0 to help dig for my dead FDNY bros ,I thank the special opps troops, US Intell,& Pres Obama.

    May 2, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
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