GOP presidential candidates weigh in on Libya

GOP presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman — using distinctly different spellings of the dictator’s name — were the first Republican presidential candidates to comment on the assumed end of Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year reign in Libya.

In a statement issued Monday morning, Perry expressed restrained optimism for the embattled countries future and America’s future relationship with Libya.

“The crumbling of Muammar Ghadafi’s reign, a violent, repressive dictatorship with a history of terrorism, is cause for cautious celebration,” Perry said. “The lasting impact of events in Libya will depend on ensuring rebel factions form a unified, civil government that guarantees personal freedoms, and builds a new relationship with the West where we are allies instead of adversaries.”

Romney offered a hopeful comment about the future of the country and a caveat for the new government.

“The world is about to be rid of Muammar el-Qaddafi, the brutal tyrant who terrorized the Libyan people. It is my hope that Libya will now move toward a representative form of government that supports freedom, human rights, and the rule of law,” he said. “As a first step, I call on this new government to arrest and extradite the mastermind behind the bombing of Pan Am 103, Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi, so justice can finally be done.” (RELATED: TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: Will Gaddafi’s downfall vindicate Obama’s war?)

Huntsman offered a hopeful response to the weekend’s events.

“The impending fall of Colonel Gaddafi is one chapter in the developing story of a nation in turmoil. Gaddafi has been a longtime opponent of freedom, and I am hopeful — as the whole world should be — that his defeat is a step toward openness, democracy and human rights for a people who greatly deserve it.”

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of likely Republican voters had Perry leading the field with 29 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann trailed with 18 percent and 13 percent respectively. Huntsman got 1 percent.

Follow Caroline on Twitter

Watch: BBC reporters attacked by Gaddafi forces

  • Dduck226

    Huntsman is an Obama butt boy. The guy paid $1/2 a million to Obama’s campaign to get appointed ambassador to China and he thinks we won’t notice. When Obama was asked who he feared most as a political opponet…he said Huntsman. Does he think we’re that stupid? I guess he does. And I guess we are.

  • Pingback: Official Chinese documentary reveals military cyber-attacks against US | Today's Defense

  • truebearing

    Lets celebrate Europe’s great victory…..or is it the jihadist’s victory…..or is it the UN’s greatest victory…..or is it a victory for leading from behind, or with your behind, like Obama does. Any way, lets celebrate with song!

    Please indulge my anticipation of Obama’s next speech, and everyone he ever gives: And now to celebrate Obama’s next Castroesque blatherathon, a song, sung to the tune of Cream’s “Tales of Brave Ulysees”: Tales of Brave ObamaYou thought his leaden blather would bring you down forever,As you listened to a liar tell of feats he’s never done.Pompous self promotions pierce your ears with rank vainglory,As he conquers distant countries with Tales of Brave Obama,How our naked ears are tortured by the serpent sweetly lying,His silver tongue, both forked and swift, does always sing self-praise.And endless martial gloating, from  arrogant Narcissus,Conflicts his speech when he’s abroad, where all he does is diss us.He thinks his speech is wondrous, like he is the messiah,Carving deep blue worries that this man has lost his mind.Tiny people’s freedoms lay choked in his long fingersAnd he wants to take you with him to the dark land of the statists.His name is Aphrodeity, and he’s making our life hell,And you know you cannot let him rule,  he’ll ruin our great land.With Tales of Brave Obama, how our naked ears are tortured,By the serpent sweetly lying.The tiny people’s freedoms lay choked in his long fingers,And he wants to take you with him to the dark land of the statists.

    • doncicciofitipaldi


  • magicbeans

    And Huntsman shouldn’t even get 1%.

  • Anonymous

    Perry’s and Romney’s comments stressed freedoms for individuals.

    Openness, democracy, and human rights……..those are globalist talking points, arent’ they?

  • Humorless

    The GOP was for ousting Qaddafi before they were against it.

    • magicbeans

      Isn’t that a John Kerry sayng. I think everybody is for ousting Qaddafi but now were on the hook to build another nation. Or do you think France is going to pay for it?

    • doncicciofitipaldi


  • Steve Polich

    Hmmmm.  So they are done condemning Obama for moving too quickly, too slowly, too aggressively, and not aggressively enough?  Sadly, there was not enough of a boost to our military/industrial complex…only $1.1 billion spent.

    Hang on, folks!  I am sure that you will be able to criticize the aftermath: not enough aid, too much aid, too much active participation, not enough active participation.  No doubt that the political system will have a little socialism sprinkled in with the unfettered market forces about to be unleashed on an unexperienced populace…there is always that.  And, of course, it won’t be a shining republic of Christianity…you can always start reiterating Obama’s muslim roots again….See?  A silver lining after all.

    Of course, let’s not mention how George W mainstreamed Ghadafy or how Britain traded a terrorist of oil leases…  Shhhh.   None of that please.

    Rick Parry can criticize Obama for not getting it done better because the military does not respect him enough.

    Cheer up, Republicans, there are many ways to spin this great accomplishment by Obama! 

    • magicbeans

      Don’t count your chickens. We’ve only just begun in this stupid Libya thing. Now we have to build a nation.

      • doncicciofitipaldi

        “WE”? LMFAO!!!!!!

    • truebearing

      If Obama picked a fight with a little girl and managed to win, you’d be ecstatic about that too.

      The fact is, it shouldn’t have taken more than two weeks to topple Khaddafi. The Rhode Island National Guard could have kicked his ass.

      What was our national interest in inserting ourselves into an internal struggle in Libya? Be specific. Why isn’t Obama doing somethiong in Syria, where thousands are getting killed by Syrian and Iranian Republican Guard troops? Why didn’t Obamao support the Iranian democracy protestors? The answers will be slow in coming to those questions, won’t they, hotshot.

      Before you run out of meth and your manic elation fades, maybe you can explain what the outcome will be now that a power vacuum exists, and the Muslim Brotherhood is poised for more conquest. You idiots blathered incessantly about democracy and the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, but it turns out Beck was right about it turning into an Islamist theocratic state. Democracy and freedom are out and Islamic theocracy is ascendant. Obama had his hand in that debacle too, dim wit. Have you heard that the leftist “pro-democracy” protestors are getting beaten and driven out of the square in Cairo? All Obama succeeded in doing there is helping radical Islam. Methinks he is a Muslim. His actions are  benefitting jihadists most of all.

      • Steven Polich

        You make some great points!  We should just prop up every two-bit dictator around the world for ‘stability’.

        Thank for demonstrating the ‘damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t’ Republican perspective.  Or did I take the bait?  You were just cleverly agreeing with me…

        You see everything in black and white, sir.  Muslim = Terrorist.  There will always be a religious element to any political system anywhere.

        • doncicciofitipaldi

          HEAR HEAR

        • Anonymous

          welcome to the big, dangerous world, steve. yes, we often must make choices to support the lessers of two evils. without these strongarm leaders to keep them under control, the warring tribes that make-up their country’s populations will wreak havoc. with the assistance of the muslim brotherhood and iran, the so-called ‘arab spring’ has quickly devolved to an islamic caliphate nightmare. we admitted that we had no idea who these ‘rebels’ in libya are and they are now already calling for sharia ‘law’ as the basis for their ‘constitution’. is this really preferable to our dealings with ghadafi ?

      • doncicciofitipaldi

        “Democracy and freedom are out and Islamic theocracy is ascendant.”