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Five bizarre GOP reactions to bin Laden’s death

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, May 2, 2011 12:58 EDT
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WASHINGTON – The news that Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday during a U.S. firefight in Pakistan led to heaps of praise for military service members and President Barack Obama, even from his biggest political adversaries. Some GOP responses, however, have been pretty bizarre.

Here’s a roundup of some of the stranger reactions.

1) Obama’s base didn’t want this

MSNBC anchor and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough (FL) suggested that killing bin Laden required Obama to defy his base and his beliefs.

“I think Republicans should stand up and certainly salute Barack Obama for making some — again, for making some very tough choices that his own base did not want him to make,” Scarborough said. “That takes courage, that takes leadership, and we saw the results of that courage and leadership saying no to his own base yesterday.”

Scarborough added that for Obama, this required “going against his own ideological leanings” — even though Obama vowed as a candidate, “We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda.”

2) ‘Welcome to hell, bin Laden’

“It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden,” said ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), a potential 2012 contender, in a statement celebrating bin Laden’s death.

Bush’s ex-adviser Karl Rove had similarly vivid remarks when discussing his reaction to the news.

“I had a sweet taste of revenge,” Rove said on Fox News. “I’m glad he’s rotting in hell, which is exactly where I think he is this morning.”

3) Bush deserves the credit

Although numerous top Republicans invoked President Bush’s counter-terrorism policies as having led to the raid that killed bin Laden, none went quite as far as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

“All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue,” Rumsfeld wrote in a Facebook statement.

4) Killing bin Laden vindicates waterboarding

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tweeted on Monday morning:

Unless King knows something the rest of us don’t, waterboarding had nothing to do with tracking down or killing bin Laden.

5) F!@# Pakistan’s ex-president!

Republican strategist Jon Henke had some choice words for former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf after he questioned the legitimacy of the U.S. operation that killed bin Laden.

 
 
 
 
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