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Sarah Palin, Republican candidates react to death of Osama bin Laden

May 01, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau

Sarah Palin said Sunday the nation is "united in celebration and gratitude" following the death of Osama bin Laden.

"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," the former Alaska governor wrote in a post to her Facebook page. "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," she said.

Other Republicans, including those likely to run in the 2012 campaign to replace President Obama, also weighed in. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor whose plans remain uncertain, was blunt.

"Welcome to hell," he said in a statement.

Notably, few give the current commander in chief credit. Here's a sampling of the reaction:

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." The leader of Al Qaeda -- responsible for the deaths of 3,000 innocent citizens on September 11, 2001, and whose maniacal hate is responsible for the deaths of thousands of U.S. servicemen and women -- was killed by U.S. military. President Obama confirmed the announcement late last night. DNA tests confirmed his death and his body is in the possession of the U.S.

"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."

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. Let history show that the perseverance of the U.S. military and the American people never wavered. America will never shrink from the fight and ultimately those who seek to harm us face only defeat. Today, justice is done, but the fight against radical Islamic terrorism is not yet over."

Minnesota Rep. 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. 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 Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: "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 ten 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. As we were vigilant in taking him out, we need to demonstrate we will continue to be vigilant until the enemy has been subdued."

Another up and coming Republican star, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, did praise Obama's administration, if not the man himself.

Christie: "I want to commend President Obama's Administration for its commitment and dedication to finally bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. As the former U.S. Attorney and now Governor of New Jersey, I speak for all the families of this state who have courageously endured the unspeakable and devastating consequences of terrorism. There is hardly a life that has gone untouched in New Jersey by the horrifying assault on American soil that took place on September 11th and today, after years of waiting, justice has finally been delivered. While our fight against terrorism continues, Osama bin Laden's reign of terror has come to an end, sending a clear signal that even in the face of immeasurable horror, democracy and freedom continue to prevail."

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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