Texas Politicians Vary on Who Gets Credit for Bin Laden Death

When it comes to acknowledging those responsible for bringing down Osama bin Laden — which politicians are understandably eager to do — there is a noticeable inconsistency in whom Texas' leaders are choosing to mention in their official statements.

Local students gather in front of the residence of former US President George W. Bush after hearing news of Osama bin Laden's death

When it comes to acknowledging those responsible for bringing down Osama bin Laden — which politicians are understandably eager to do — there is a noticeable inconsistency in who Texas' leaders are choosing to mention in their official statements.

Virtually all give credit to the armed forces, but there appears to be some disagreement about which leaders deserve a similar nod. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst thanks former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama (in that order). U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, thanks Obama, but not Bush. Gov. Rick Perry — like Attorney General Greg Abbott and Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones — mentions neither.

"The governor is focused on thanking the military men and women who put their lives in harm's way to get the job done," says Perry spokesman Mark Miner. "This isn't about taking credit. It's about keeping our country safe."

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn mentions both, but thanks neither. "In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush promised a fearful, grieving nation that those individuals responsible for this atrocity would be brought to justice," he says. "Now, nearly a decade after those horrific attacks, President Obama informs us that justice has finally been served." U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison thanked both presidents and the military.

Some take the opportunity to make a political point. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, plugs the reauthorization of the Patriot Act: "Despite yesterday’s victory, we cannot afford to leave our intelligence community without the resources it needs to dismantle terrorist organizations, identify threats from groups and individuals, and interrupt terrorist plots." And while he calls the mission a "significant victory," he makes no specific mention of either Obama or Bush — or the armed forces.  

Below is a chart with a sampling of Texas politicians and whom they mentioned in their statement:


ObamaBushMilitary/Intelligence
Gov. Rick Perry (R) X
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) X X X
 
Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) X
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D) X X
Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones (R) X
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) X X X
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) X X X
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R) X X X
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R) X
State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D) X
U.S. Rep. Francisco Canseco (R) X
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R) X  X
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R)   X
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R) — 

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