Sen. Bill Nelson: "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Steven Sotloff. Let there be no doubt, we must go after ISIS right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that's intent on barbaric cruelty." Nelson also said he would file a bill that would give Obama "clear authority" to order airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. "This will ensure there's no question that the president has the legal authority he needs to use airstrikes in Syria," Nelson said. "Let there be no doubt, we must go after ISIS right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that's intent on barbaric cruelty."
Gov. Rick Scott: The governor canceled a campaign stop in Naples and asked for a moment of silence, the Associated Press reported. The governor then released a statement:
"On behalf of Ann and myself, and on behalf of all the people of Florida, we want to convey our sorrow and our condolences to the entire Sotloff family. We cannot begin to understand their grief. The people who did this are evil. They are not merely wrong, they are not adversaries, they are evil. And evil must be confronted and destroyed. . . . Last week President Obama said that his Administration does not at present have a strategy for dealing with ISIS – these immoral evil people. I think I can speak for all Floridians and all Americans when I say that the time for a strategy is now, and part of that strategy needs to include destroying them."
Charlie Crist: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sotloff family today. This brutal murder of an innocent man who sought to document suffering in the world demonstrates the type of evil we confront in this struggle. We will defeat this evil just as we have time and time again throughout our history."
Sen. Marco Rubio: "Steven Sotloff was a man of enormous courage and decency. Through his journalism, he demonstrated deep personal compassion toward the Middle East and its people. . . . As Steven was a native of Florida, my office has been in contact with his family throughout their ordeal, and today my heart goes out to all who loved him as they make the painful transition from fear to grief. . . . The horrifying clarity of ISIL's message toward America should have been met from the beginning with an equally clear opposing message. . . . If we do not act now to assist our Iraqi partners and moderate Syrians who oppose ISIL, as well as utilize our own forces to directly target ISIL's leadership, the result will be more suffering and tragedy for our people."
Rep. Alcee Hastings: "I am truly saddened and alarmed by reports of Steven Sotloff's ruthless beheading by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a video posted on the Internet. Just two weeks following the tragic execution of fellow American journalist James Foley, it is clear that ISIS presents a direct threat to the lives of innocent Americans, as well as peace and stability in the region. As our nation's government and intelligence community work diligently to authenticate the video, my thoughts and prayers go out to Steven's family during this most difficult time. The United States will not tolerate these heinous acts on its citizens."