Conservative firebrand and frequent critic of the president Rush Limbaugh on Monday praised Obama for his "effective" strategy that resulted in the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Reacting to Obama's announcement that a U.S. strike team had killed and recovered the body of bin Laden, Limbaugh said Obama deserved credit for the operation and retaining some policies of the Bush administration that resulted in his capture.


"We need to open the program today by congratulating President Obama. President Obama has done something extremely effective," Limbaugh said. "President Obama has continued the Bush policies of keeping a military presence in the Middle East."

Various news outlets picked up on the praise, after which Limbaugh sounded more like his old self: He said he was being sarcastic.

Limbaugh had noted Obama kept the prison at Guantánamo Bay open, which, according to Limbaugh, helped American intelligence locate bin Laden.

Limbaugh added that Obama was clearly the only one who wanted to send an actual team in to hunt down bin Laden and that most of the military brass just wanted to scorch the facility where the terrorist had been staying.

"President Obama perhaps the only qualified member in the room insisted on the special forces. Nobody else [insisted on that]," Limbaugh continued. "Our military wanted to go in there and just scorch the earth leaving no evidence of anything but President Obama single-handedly understood what was at stake here."

Limbaugh's comments come after reports that Obama had rejected a plan to bomb the facility where bin Laden was staying. According to those reports, Obama wanted proof that bin Laden had been killed. Limbaugh praised Obama for choosing to send a team — contrary, Limbaugh said, to what Obama's military advisers wanted.

"Obama alone understood that there would be Doubting Thomases," Limbaugh said.

This post was updated at 4:42 p.m.