Supporters of President Barack Obama bow their heads during a moment of silence for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shootings on Friday. Obama spoke about the shootings at what was originally scheduled to be a campaign event in Florida.
President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took a break from the traditional partisan rhetoric in their weekly addresses to the nation, focusing instead on Friday’s shooting at a Colorado movie theater.
Obama, whose campaign suspended advertising in the key presidential swing state in the wake of the tragedy, said the federal government is ready to do everything necessary to bring the perpetrator of the crime to justice.
Twelve people were killed and 59 wounded when a gunman opened fire during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century 16 complex at Aurora Town Center in Aurora, Colo. The alleged shooter in custody has been identified as 24-year-old James Holmes.
Obama told Americans in his address “such evil is senseless — beyond reason.”
“If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life if fragile,” Obama added. “Our time here is limited and it is precious.”
The president suggested “everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection” this weekend for the victims, their families and those still struggling to recover.
Boehner said the GOP’s weekly address had planned to focus on the economy. Instead, he joined Obama in sending condolences and prayers to those affected in Aurora.
“At a time like this, we count our blessings,” Boehner said. “And as we do, we come to be reminded that the depth of our grief also reveals the depth of our love and our resolve.”
The Ohio Republican said while much is still to be determined, such as the motive of the shooter, the resolve of the nation is clear.
“I know that when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly,” he said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.