2012 candidates respond to death of Kim Jong Il
December 19th, 2011
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

2012 candidates respond to death of Kim Jong Il

(CNN) - Candidates seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president reacted to the Saturday death of North Korea leader Kim Jong Il on Monday. See candidate statements after the jump.

Former U.S. ambassador to China and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman

"Kim Jong Il was a conscienceless tyrant. His death closes a tragic chapter for the people of North Korea and offers them the best opportunity to get on a path towards a more free and open society and political reform.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

“Kim Jong-il was a ruthless tyrant who lived a life of luxury while the North Korean people starved. He recklessly pursued nuclear weapons, sold nuclear and missile technology to other rogue regimes, and committed acts of military aggression against our ally South Korea. He will not be missed."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

"The death of vicious dictator Kim Jong Il provides some cause for hope but does not automatically end the reign of inhumane tyranny he and his father constructed. Twenty-three million people still live under North Korea's isolationist, inhumane and tyrannical policies. North Korea remains a nuclear power, and there is a great threat that those weapons might fall into the wrong hands if civil war breaks out."

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

"While we have one less dictator in the world who is oppressing his own people there is no indication that there is a hope for freedom on the horizon for the people of North Korea because his successor could quite likely be even worse than Kim Jong Il. And that's why – worse – together with the Chinese the North Koreans are actively working to help the Iranians to to obtain missile technology to deliver a nuclear weapon. This cannot be."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

"I believe that you have to recognize that when we have dictatorships that have nuclear weapons and are developing ballistic missiles, that the world is dangerous. I am not prepared to see Israel annihilated by the Iranians. I'm not prepared to see either the Iranians or the North Koreans sell nuclear weapons to terrorists. And I'm not prepared to risk any American city in the face of that kind of terrorism," Gingrich said at an event in Davenport, Iowa Monday. "I take very seriously the kind of dictatorship we're seeing in North Korea. The truth is, we have no idea what the successor will be like, whether the regime will become more open or become even more dangerous. Both in Iran and North Korea we have real challenges."

Filed under: 2012 • North Korea
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Ted van Tol

    Let's see. North Korea?........................................................................................................................
    I dont think Obama did a good job here! He was a good man, wasnt he?

    December 19, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Roy Moss

    That Perry even knows who Kim Jong Il is is surprising. Thank God for Google, huh Rick?

    December 19, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Thomas

    What did the GOP Marionettes say about the passing of Former Czech President Vaclav Havel ?

    December 19, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Neal kennedy

    U.S PRESIDENT. BARACK OBAMA 2009/2017. the world is a safer place when president obama is the leader of the free world.

    December 19, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. george of the jungle

    Obama did what he could with north Korea.what would you have him do? They do have nuclear weapons. Now that the father is gone maybe we will have better relations with his son who spent time inthe west. If not sanctions are all we can do and support the south who is very nervous now. Lets hope blow hards like gingrich don't make things worse.

    December 19, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. willie floyd

    When I heard this early today, I pulled out my globe to confirm my memory of world geog. that Australia is much closer to Japan and Korea than we are. I don't remember that we had troops in Aus. before, but I may be wrong. Knowing Kim was in very poor health, reportedly for quite sometime, could putting troops in Aus. have been forethought by our president to be in a better position to assist our allies in Japan and S. Korea?? I have feared N. Korea far more than any Arab nation for years. I may be way off base, but would appreciate comments from those of you who I'm sure are brighter than I. Prefer DEMS.-I don't trust very many Reps..!!


    December 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I wonder if any of them has given any thought to the successor, his inexperienced son who already has been made four star general and still hasn't hit age 30 yet. You can expect some sort of muscle flexing just to demonstrate that the country has not been weakened by the transition power. Something that will demonstrate to the world that N. Korea is even stronger than ever before. I think it will be something not good.

    December 19, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Hey, didn't Palin say North Korea was our ally? I am confident that Kim Jon Il's son will continue to oppress his people, much like republicans oppress Americans.

    December 19, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Paul1st

    So passing the leadership of N Korea to the spawn of Kim Jong Il is a path forward? What makes a 27 year old tyrant better than a 69 year old tyrant?

    And, does Perry realize that Kim Jong Il was not the leader of Pakistan? The threat of a civil war is N Korea is virtually nonexistent.

    December 19, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Phil in KC

    Are they the only 3 to comment or the only ones quoted for this article? I guess it's a good thing Herman Cain dropped out; he probably had no clue who Kim Jong Il was.
    I do think Huntsman has his rose-colored glasses on. I don't think anything is going to change in North Korea. At least for the time being, it will be more of the same. Let's just hope his young son doesn't go on some power trip and decides that he needs to prove himself.

    December 19, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Notice how Mittens waited to see what Huntsman said, then parroted it?

    December 19, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Publius Novus

    Romney: "This further emphasizes our country's need to increase its meager $662 billion defense budget."

    Gingrich: "This is a stallar opportunity to begin bombing."

    Perry: "We should build a wall all along the 38th parallel to protect South Korean boundaries."

    Bachmann: "We should bomb them before they get a chance to do any more abortions."

    Santorum: "Time to begin bombing."

    Paul: "Kim Jong Il was a bad man who didn't respect markets."

    Huntsman: "It's about time. Obama should have done this four years ago."

    December 19, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Food stamps for billionaires.

    Isn't there something congressional republicans can do to help the downtrodden wealthy Americans. Imagine the Kochs trying to get by on a mere $25 billion in combined profits. I am sure that if republicans can privatize social security, Dave and Chuck could net over $30 billion. Poor people need to send their spare change to the wealthy.

    December 19, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Max

    Poor responses...

    Very poor responses from ALL the candidates. At least, his family needs condolences like any other family members. These candidates are all so heartless...I'm sure if Obama passed away...they would all rejoice and care less for his wife and children.

    Very poor responses! Do they have families too???

    December 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Keith in Austin

    America is now a safer place! Good riddance!

    December 19, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes this is definitely the diplomatic, and mature way to try and get North Korea to rethink, or at least make themselves available for diplomatic dialogue, by calling their now dead yet revered leader every name in the book.
    These jokers would have us in WWIII within minutes of being sworn in.

    December 19, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Sergio D. Monterroso

    I wonder how many times Perry was asked to repeat his statement to his staff before he was allowed to go before the cameras and give it. I wonder if he even knows where North Korea is.

    December 19, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Stephen in VA

    Well, at least none of them said North Korea was our ally.

    December 19, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Max – I attended a university that was located in the heart of right wingnut country. You would never believe the cheers from these morons when President Kennedy was assassinated. So, I concur.

    December 19, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Did the Circus Clowns miss the public display of sorrow by North Korean TV announcers, and citizens?
    Why then would they express themselves so poorly?
    Regardless of how WE felt about this man,his people (at least some) respected and revered him.
    They've done nothing but disrespect his memory.
    This is why they call us "arrogant" ladies and gentlemen.

    December 19, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Indy

    “Kim Jong-il was a ruthless tyrant who lived a life of luxury while the North Korean people starved said Mitt Romney

    Living a life in luxury while the middle class suffers and pays for the wealthy in the US,sort of rings a few bells hey Mitts

    December 19, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. gg

    iam making a list of the countries north korea has attacked in the last 40 yrs

    December 19, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Vince

    Please...none of these people could point the country out on a map.

    December 19, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    @ Dominican Mama – "They've done nothing but disrespect his memory."
    Are you serious???? What part of this boil on the ass of humanity deserves respect????

    December 19, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    gg wrote:

    iam making a list of the countries north korea has attacked in the last 40 yrs
    Be sure to include the missle tests that N. Korea conducted a few years ago that flew over the Japanese mainland.

    December 19, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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