For once, Republicans and Dems can both agree on something.
Rep. James Clyburn congratulated the president on the successful counter-terrorism operation. (Photo: AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
If nothing else, the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden has elicited a temporary period of solidarity among Republican and Democratic leaders and lawmakers. They’re united in their certainty that eliminating bin Laden was the right thing to do and are feeling proud to be Americans. Some Republicans were even gracious enough to applaud President Obama’s actions.
Tomorrow this kumbaya spirit will probably end as the 2012 budget battle begins anew. In the meantime, here are some of the nice things lawmakers had to say.
“America is a strong, proud nation that will never allow our precious freedoms to fall under attack without mounting a great and mighty defense. Though it took years, the death of Osama bin Laden shows the righteous might of our citizens and our military in response to the dastardly attacks on innocent American civilians. I offer all those involved the thanks of a grateful nation.” —Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland)
“I think we can all agree this is a good day for America. Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done. The world is safer; it is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden. Today, we are reminded that, as a nation, there's nothing we can't do when we put our shoulders to the wheel, when we work together, when we remember the sense of unity that defines us as Americans. And we’ve seen that spirit, that patriotism, in the crowds that have gathered, here outside the White House, at Ground Zero in New York, and across the country: People holding candles, waving the flag, singing the National Anthem; people proud to live in the United States of America.” —President Barack Obama
“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 Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
“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.” —Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
“This is a great day for America and a tremendous victory in the global war on terror. Justice has been served. Congratulations to President Obama, the intelligence community, the team who conducted the successful operation and the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought over the last decade in the war against Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Our lives were changed forever on Sept. 11. And although many years have passed, we still struggle with the wounds ripped open that day. This finally brings some closure to those wounds.” —Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-South Carolina)
"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against Al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world. We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people. 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." —House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
“I want to commend our men and women in uniform for successfully developing and executing the plans to capture Al Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden. His death marks the end of a treacherous and tumultuous time in our world’s history. The Obama administration is to be commended for one of the most significant achievements in our nation’s efforts to combat terrorism worldwide. Although we recognize this victory as a new day in our nation’s efforts against global terrorism, we do recognize that the threat of terrorism still exists and we must remain vigilant.” —Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri)
“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.” —Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
“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.”—Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota)
“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 Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee
“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant accomplishment yet in the war against Al Qaeda. I commend the work of the U.S. Armed Forces and intelligence community for finding the world’s most wanted terrorist. I also wish to recognize President Obama for his decisive leadership as Commander in Chief. Today my thoughts are with the families of those bin Laden murdered in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Even before 9/11, Bin Laden killed Americans and others at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS Cole. Americans of all faiths recognized the end of a truly evil man last night. Osama Bin Laden was a murderer. I hope his death marks the beginning of the end of the Al Qaedaism ideology.”—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota)
“I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist. The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done. 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 while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that Al Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them.”—Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona)
“Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001. 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. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”—President George W. Bush
“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." —Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani
“The world is a better place without Osama bin Laden, but his just demise cannot erase the loss and suffering of the families and friends of those who died on September 11 or died fighting in the war since Sept. 11. So while we are celebrating this victory, we should take time to remember all who suffered and sacrificed and pray for them.”—Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
“Osama bin Laden’s death is welcome news for our nation and for those who stand with the United States in its efforts to crush al Qaeda and defeat terrorism. I commend President Obama for his leadership and salute the intelligence community and our men and women in uniform for tracking down bin Laden and bringing him to justice.”—Rep. André Carson (D-Indiana)
“The killing of Osama bin Laden closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world. We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our 10-year manhunt was in search of justice, not revenge. Terrorists everywhere must never doubt that the United States will hunt them down no matter where they are, no matter how long it takes. I commend President Obama and his national security team for never forgetting the need to secure justice for those who lost their lives nearly 10 years ago and for those who have lost their lives in the war against extremism that continues today. A single death does not end the threat from Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups. We must remain vigilant and committed to keeping the world safe and secure.” —Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
“As a New Yorker and as a Member of Congress who visited Ground Zero days after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, who witnessed the carnage and smelled death and destruction emanating from the ruins, it is difficult to find words that fully express my appreciation of our military personnel and intelligence professionals who brilliantly and successfully accomplished the mission which led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The courage, skill, confidence and capability with which they carried out this assignment are magnified by the degree of difficulty involved.” —Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York)
“Congratulations to President Obama and his National Security Team for the capture and killing of the world's most dangerous and evil criminal mastermind, Osama bin Laden. Although this is a time of exuberance, rejoicing and healing, America, as well as our allies, must be vigilant and on guard for retaliatory attacks from the extreme Islamic world. What strongly concerns me is that bin Laden was not found hiding in a remote cave, but in an urban area of Pakistan where the Pakistan Army’s premier training institution operates. This is a war that is nowhere close to being over.” —Rep. Allen West (R-Florida)