Late last night, President Obama announced that U.S. forces had found and killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. Below, early word from likely 2012 Republicans. The comments – quite telling, in their small way – fall into distinct categories.
• Classy: Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty (who credit Obama)
• Heavy-metal: Mike Huckabee ("... madman ... murderer ... monster ... Welcome to hell ...".)
• Sly: Rick Santorum ("we were vigilant in taking him out")
• "O"-mitting: Sarah Palin (No props for the president)
• Huh?: Michele Bachmann ("... my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.")
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."
Mitt Romney: "This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president."
Tim Pawlenty: "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 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. ... It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden."
Rick Santorum: "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."
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."