Political leaders unite praising death of ISIS leader

Republicans, Democrats pledge support

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi believed to have been killed in a US military raid, sources say.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi believed to have been killed in a US military raid, sources say. (Copyright 2019 CNN)

The world has spent the day reacting to the news that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.

That includes something we don't see much of in this day of divided politics: both sides of the political aisle praising the same thing.

The news was teased late Saturday night with a cryptic statement from President Donald Trump, who said on Twitter, "Something big has just happened."

Within hours, news organizations learned of a military raid in Syria that killed Baghdadi.

President Trump then spoke to the nation Sunday morning.

"Baghdadi's demise demonstrates America's relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders," Trump said. 

Nancy Soderberg, a former United Nations Ambassador, said this is a positive for America despite it being in Syria, where the U.S. recently withdrew troops.

"The president has been rightly focused on trying to decapitate ISIS, and our armed forces deserve great credit, and the focus on this is clearly a win for the United States," she said. "With that said, the overarching policy in the region is one of betrayal of our allies."

The odd thing in this age of politics was seeing both sides supporting the same action.

Within hours of the president's statement, Democratic candidates for president were speaking out.

"I congratulate our special forces, our intelligence community, and all our brave military professionals," former Vice President Joe Biden said. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren also gave her approval. 

"I am grateful for the skill and courage of our special operations and intelligence professionals," she said.

News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney points out their focus is on the military, not the president.

"They are going to be begrudging giving the president any credit," Mullaney said. "So they naturally and rightfully will praise the military and special operations and the intelligence community. But in the end, it's a presidential decision."

One issue that is becoming somewhat political is the fact that the administration did not inform congressional Democratic leaders about the raid.

That move goes against usual norms for operations of this magnitude. The administration is saying it did not alert Democratic leaders fearing there would be leaks to the news media that could jeopardize the operation.

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