So far, we’ve seen statements on Libya from Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum. Santorum also spoke on it yesterday in New Hampshire. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain have not released statements.
ROMNEY: He takes the stance of telling the new Libyan government what to do. NBC’s Garrett Haake with the statement:
"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. 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."
PERRY: He says the news “is cause for cautious celebration,” per NBC’s Carrie Dann:
"The crumbling of Muammar Ghadafi's reign, a violent, repressive dictatorship with a history of terrorism, is cause for cautious celebration. 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."
HUNTSMAN: He said, per the Washington Post that he was “hopeful -- as the whole world should be -- that [Khaddafy’s] defeat is a step toward openness, democracy and human rights for a people who greatly deserve it.”
SANTORUM: He had maybe the hottest statement of the candidates, giving President Obama little to no credit, and intimates that the uprising in Egypt made the U.S. and “allies in the region,” presumably Israel, less safe.
"Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph. The stated task from the very beginning for this administration was to determine whether the US can positively influence the direction of the successor government. As we have seen in Egypt, the euphoria of toppling a dictator does not always result in more security for us and our allies in the region."
Yesterday in New Hampshire, per NBC’s Jo Ling Kent, he said:
"Look we have cast our lot with the rebels with this administration, and I think it's important that we capitalize on that. Hopefully in the last few weeks and months we have been working with the rebel forces and working with their ears and developing relationships and trying to see what we can do with our allies in NATO to make sure that the successor to Khaddafy is not as bad as the dictatorship that Khaddafy had. So working as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, in this case hopefully working out that NATO is a partner in this effort, hopefully working with the French, Italians and Brits, have some constructive role to play as a NATO operation in establishing a stable republic in Libya."
CAIN: Cain hasn't yet released a statement on Libya, NBC’s Ali Weinberg reports, but as part of a written statement released yesterday over Syria, Cain said:
“Yet again, the Obama Administration has called for the head of another foreign government to step down. If this is another veiled signal from this administration that it supports democracy there, then the President should just say so. In Egypt and Libya, the Obama Administration called for Mubarack and Qaddafi to step down. The questions that still linger in both of these countries are ‘To what do these nations transition?’ and ‘Who should we recognize in their stead?’”