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Hearing reports of Qaddafi’s death earlier this morning, Mitt Romney said it’s “about time.”

“This was a tyrant who has been killing his own people and of course is responsible for the lives of American citizens lost in the Lockerbie attack. And I think people across the world recognize that the world is a better place without Muammar Qaddafi,” Romney added.

Marco Rubio, after appearing on Fox News to commend France and Brittain on the death of Qaddafi, released the following statement:

“Justice has been done today. For decades, Muammar Gaddafi terrorized the Libyan people, bankrolled international terrorism and spread instability among its neighbors. He masterminded numerous terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of hundreds of fellow Americans. We are impressed with the tenacity of the Libyan people in reclaiming their freedoms and honor the service of American and NATO forces that courageously assisted on this endeavor. Gaddafi has now joined the list of failed and disgraced tyrants that have faced justice from their own people. We still have a long and arduous road ahead as we partner with the free Libyan people to build a more prosperous and democratic future.”

Melody Barnes, White House domestic policy advisor, is leaving at the end of the year to pursue private-sector opportunities and spend time with family. President Obama, in a statement, said he “will always be grateful that a woman of Melody’s brilliance, creativity and heart led our domestic policy team during such a challenging time for our nation.”

“Melody has left a lasting legacy, developing and implementing policies that have helped remake our education system, spurred innovation, and fostered opportunity and equality for millions of Americans.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls Qaddafi’s death “important,” CNN reports. “A bloody war with Qaddafi waged against his own people now comes to a close,” she added.

Also from CNN:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office called Moammar Gadhafi’s “disappearance” Thursday a “major step” in the struggle by Libyans to “free themselves from dictatorship and violence.”

Watch the White House’s news briefing below. The AP reports that Libyan officials have told the U.S. about Qaddafi’s death, but the White House hasn’t made a statement yet.

Details of Qaddafi’s final hours in Sirte remain unclear, but the BBC has pieced together what it knows so far.

National Journal, citing a “senior Western military official” reports that Libya’s interim government has given NATO pictures and video evidence that should “leave no doubt” of Qaddafi’s death.

A new poll of likely Iowa GOP Caucus participants shows businessman Herman Cain continuing his surge, with a healthy seven point lead on former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, just inside the poll’s margin of error. Cain gets 28 percent of GOPers, Romney 21 and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is third at 10.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has fallen hard in the primary process, is sixth in the poll, behind the the top three candidates along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Just a month ago, Perry led Rasmussen’s polling of Iowa by eleven points.