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. deb

    Thanks President Obama!! We all appreciate your great courage and determination in making this a success!! I hope all Americans simply leave it at this–and NOT make it all about politics.

    May 2, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  2. cjk1953

    This is a victory for America! It does not belong to Bush OR Obama. Let's stop the political posturing for just one day!

    May 2, 2011 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  3. jack

    Bunch of clowns

    May 2, 2011 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  4. Duncan

    "President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice – and we did."

    LOL.. Seriously.. LOL

    May 2, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  5. Maj. Sam Christian, USAR (Ret.)

    Mitt Romney has always been a classy guy!

    He is the only one with the common decency to credit the President, although careful not to mention his name. Exactly what's in their Kool-Aid? Where has our basic sense of fairness gone? Not one of the haters had the courage to crawl out from their birther madness. Listen to Pawlenty, "President BUSH promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice – and WE did." How rude! Rev. Huckabee is quick to welcome Bin Laden to hell. How can he be so blind to the greed and prejudice of his own band of mental midgets.

    President Obama demonstrated awesome leadership and poise. Is he one of us now? I am proud of our fellow patriots for their service and sacrifice. But to these bunch of losers, whose sole purpose to to represent the suckers of the lifeblood from our economy and the poor, I say, time to give it up...

    Get ready to be spanked in the polls!

    May 2, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  6. Nash

    I like many of Americans are very relieved of hearing about the demise of Ben Ladin. H e whas been on the run for so long. The military are keen and brave in tracking down his foot steps.. All the praise goes out to them and their families which kept them going.

    May 2, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  7. lynn


    Go team Obama and Navy Seals!

    And thank you Mr. President!

    Most of all, thank YOU Lord Heavenly Father!

    May 2, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    ONE mentioned BUSH (what a crap of CRAP!!!) – POORlenty and NO ONE mentioned President Obama!!!! What a MISSED opportunity.........................GOBAMA!!!!

    May 2, 2011 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  9. bobby

    i pray that now people that will give obama the credit he desered. and i pray that this let people know do not mess with us. anyway obama 4 more years

    May 2, 2011 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  10. Vicki Brown

    I am grateful for this President and it took only two years.

    May 2, 2011 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  11. john

    I notice that Romney and Pawlenty included President Obama in their congratulations, but the others did not.

    May 2, 2011 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  12. Obama is, always will be my President

    Haters, just will not give credit where it is due. That ok America knows and they will remeber you come 2012.

    May 2, 2011 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  13. JulesT

    We have an amazing Armed Services and an amazing President. Thanks to all of you for your sacrifices, and erseverance bringing bin Laden to justice.

    Sarah Palin forgot to thank the president as well, so I will do it for her ~ Thank You President Obama!

    May 2, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  14. A Citizen

    Bachmann, Palin and Santorum MUST have been SO THRILLED they Forget to Say: THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT!

    May 2, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  15. caliconor

    Notice only one of these idiots congratulate Obama. While it was a joint effort, if it had been Bush, you know they'd all be giving him credit. Morons. I applaud Pawlenty for at least having the decency to do that.

    May 2, 2011 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  16. A Citizen

    Thank You Mr. President! Mission Accomplished!

    May 2, 2011 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  17. carly

    Surprise! Only Pawlenty had the balls to thanks Obama by name for getting the job done. What a group of losers.

    May 2, 2011 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  18. Josaphat,Daniels.

    These potential loosers never ceases to amaze me. They are disgustingly rotten beyond the core, only huckabee was the
    one who gave credit to the president but the others can't put their politics aside. romney's phony credit is shinning on his
    face, pawlenty giving more credit to bush than to Obama. palin and bachmann, I can't even understand what those sore
    quitter and loser respectively' were saying. santorum always wanting to say something and not having something to say.
    It doesn't matter if Obama kills adolf hitler these republican nutcases will never appreciate President Obama as a great leader.

    May 2, 2011 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  19. Carlos

    Mitt and Huckaby at least had the decency to give credit where credit is due – the rest of these bozos can't even bring themselves to thank Obama – LOL silly people...silly.

    May 2, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  20. MongoLike

    Pawlenty and Romney have the classiest response. The other's just couldn't bring themselves to congratulate the President. Palin's is of course the longest and rambles.

    May 2, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  21. Jimm

    Notice that only Pawlenty mentioned a President...and it was not Obama.

    May 2, 2011 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  22. JAN

    why wasn't "the donald" interviewed? he has been acting like a candidate. he took credit for Obama 's release of his birth certificate;will "the donald" take credit for this too? congrats to the military,the president, and all of those who were involved in the taking down of the mastermind of terror, murder,and destruction of mankind!

    May 2, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  23. ATL Guy

    Does Palin, Saxby Chambliss and others have a problem saying the word "President Obama"? Of course they do. They are going to such lengths to not give the President credit for staying focused on this issue through all of the Republican birther nonsense.

    May 2, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  24. mboma

    I salute the brave men and women of the armed forces, the intelligence services and the President of the United States of America. Man up Sarah, Bachmann and Rick and give this president his props. USA, USA, USA...

    May 2, 2011 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  25. Mario Chávez

    I wanted to read the reactions and wording of the statements made by GOP presidential hopefuls. Pawlenty's words are the classiest: short, to the point, and congratulating our Armed Forces and our President, even if Mr. Obama is an adversary. Romney is more subdued and worded in such a way to avoid a pat in the back of a political adversary ("and the president"). Huckabee's statement has strident overtones ("welcome to hell, bin Laden"? –it could be construed as "I am also in hell, welcome!"). Bachman's and Santorum's show blatant ignorance of Islam, Sharia law and the nature of jihad, and they come across as noisy American loudmouths with no respect for non-Christian religions. Palin's words, of course, are "both churlish and in character," according to UK's The Guardian.

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