Conflict & Justice

Gaddafi dead: GOP candidates react


Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks on trade issues on the Microsoft campus October 13, 2011 in Redmond, Washington.


Stephen Brashear

Several Republican presidential candidates have now responded to the news of toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's death on Thursday.

Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a statement saying that Gaddafi's death "should" bring an end to the conflict in Libya, and said the U.S. must play a role in securing any stockpiles of weapons Gaddafi left behind.

“The death of Muammar el-Qaddafi is good news for the people of Libya. It should bring the end of conflict there, and help them move closer to elections and a real democracy," Perry said. “The United States should work closely with Libya to ensure the transition is successful, and that a stable, peaceful nation emerges."

Speaking to reporters in Iowa, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said it was "about time" Gaddafi was killed.

In a Twitter message, Herman Cain said simply: "Gaddafi is gone, that's good. Now the question is: What's next?"

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said in a statement that the world would be a better place with Gaddafi.

More from GlobalPost: Gaddafi news live blog

“For more than 40 years, we lived with the Muammar al-Qaddafi regime and the atrocities he orchestrated," Bachmann said. "It is my hope that Qaddafi’s reign of terror will be replaced with a government that respects the people of Libya and one that will be a good partner with the United States. Hopefully, today will also bring to an end our military involvement there, something I opposed from its beginning."

And former Governor Jon Huntsman called the development "positive news" but "just one step in a long and tumultuous turnover that is coming to Northern Africa."

"It is my sincere wish that this news accelerates Libya's transition to a society that respects openness, democracy, and human rights," Huntsman said. "I remain firm in my belief that America can best serve our interests and that transition through non-military assistance and rebuilding our own economic core here at home."