Republicans Applaud bin Laden’s Death

Monday, 02 May 2011 10:57 AM

By Dan Weil

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Republican leaders -- from former President George W. Bush, to House Speaker John Boehner, on down the line -- are expressing the same sentiment as ordinary Americans. The feeling: thank goodness for the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Politico reports. And some GOP heavies had praise for President Barack Obama for his role in going after the mastermind terrorist.

republicans, applaud, bil laden, deathBush offered a particularly dignified response. “Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida network that attacked America on September 11, 2001,” he said in a statement.

“I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude.”

Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney also was complimentary to Obama. He called the killing “a victory for the United States and a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission,” Politico reports.

“At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who’ve paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11,” Cheney said in a statement. “I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team.”

But Cheney cautioned that the threat from al-Qaida isn’t over. “Al-Qaida remains a dangerous enemy. Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on,” he said. “We must remain vigilant.”

Boehner pointed to the role of both Bush and Obama in capturing bin Laden. “This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al-Qaida and radical extremism around the world,” he said in a statement.

“I want to congratulate — and thank — the hard-working men and women of our armed forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success. I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.”

Sen. John McCain, Obama’s opponent in the 2008 election was very gracious toward the president.

"The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it," he said in a statement, The Hill reports. "I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement."

But like Cheney, McCain cautioned that al-Qaida hasn’t been vanquished. “While we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al-Qaida and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them,” he said.

GOP Rep. Pete King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, pointed out that both Obama and Bush deserve credit for the takeout of bin Laden, The Hill reports. "Today, the American people have seen justice,” he said.

"In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.' President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda."

Several Republican presidential candidates commended Obama also – including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Politico reports.

"This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere,” Romney said. 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."

As for Giuliani, he said, "I feel a great deal of satisfaction that justice has been done, and I admire the courage of the president to make a decision like this because if something had gone wrong, everyone would be blaming him.”

Then Giuliani hastened to add his support of the military. “I admire the courage and professionalism of our military intelligence officials who carried this out and this is a great victory against terror. Nobody can minimize it,” he said.

Here are reactions from other potential GOP candidates:

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.”

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.”

Mike Huckabee: "It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. 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."

Rick Santorum: "This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. … We will continue to be vigilant until the enemy has been subdued.”

Michele Bachmann: “I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community. Their persistence and dedicated service has yielded success in a mission that has gripped our nation since the terrible events of 9/11.”

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