July 20th, 2012
01:19 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney calls for unity following Colorado shooting

Bow, New Hampshire (CNN) – A campaign rally for Mitt Romney was devoid of politics following a deadly shooting in Colorado Friday.

"I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and a grandfather, a husband and an American," Romney said in New Hampshire. "This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another."

A top Romney adviser said the candidate made the decision to set aside his usual stump speech to offer his own personal reflections on the tragedy.

"He wanted to say something," the adviser told CNN.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, introduced Romney to the crowd. Ayotte, who is rumored to be high on Romney's vice presidential search list, kept her remarks brief.

To offer a more respectful backdrop to the candidate's remarks, Romney's aides removed campaign signs from the event site in the early morning hours, an adviser to the GOP contender told CNN.

Instead, as Romney spoke to a crowd of approximately 200 supporters, an American flag was positioned behind on stage for the remarks. Another flag flapped in a light breeze overhead.

In his remarks, Romney said Americans' "hearts break" for the victims and families of the shooting, which took place at a movie theater outside of Denver early Friday morning.

"We pray that the wounded will recover, and that those who are grieving will know the nearness of God," Romney said. "Today, we feel not only a sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness, but there is something that we can do. We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy laden and we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado."

Ahead of Romney's remarks, a couple hundred people who came to watch to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee unleash his latest attacks on President Barack Obama instead were bowing their heads with Father Christian Tutor to pray on behalf of victims and their families.

"I ask all of you to join me in whatever way that you would like to offer a prayer for all those who are mourning and for, of course, our own nation under God," the priest told the crowd.

In an impromptu moment following his remarks, Romney stood just outside the seating area for his event, shaking hands and sharing hugs with nearly all of the supporters who stood in line to meet the candidate. "He just decided to do this," a top Romney adviser explained to CNN.

Tutor, the Anglican priest who gave the prayer and Sen. Kelly Ayotte joined him. Before he left Romney thanked the priest for his "very touching, very moving" remarks.

Romney's campaign said Friday they would pull television advertisements in Colorado.

In a statement released earlier Friday morning, Romney said he and his wife Ann were "deeply saddened" by news of the shooting, which took place at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.

"We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice," Romney wrote.

An adviser said Romney missed having his wife at his side in New Hampshire. Ann Romney was in Michigan for a campaign event that was cancelled in response to the tragedy.

READ MORE: Obama, after shooting, tells supporters 'Such evil is senseless'


Filed under: Mitt Romney • New Hampshire
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Babyboomer

    I thought both President Obama and Gov. Romney did a good job of expressing what I believe were heartfelt condolences for the victims in Aurora and their family members. I'm also glad they pulled the negative adds off the air in CO. Only wish they had pulled them nationwide.

    July 20, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -Taran

    rrd

    Woman In California so you think the only way to serve and protect our country is during a war? Surely Obama could have enlisted during peace time and help protect this country. Or was he too busy being a community organizer?
    --------------
    Yes, he wa busy being a community organizer, mastering his "victim" creation skills.
    ******************************************
    What relevance does this have with the events in CO? Can you dial down the sarcasm and hate for a day, out of respect for the dead?

    July 20, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -amlcpamaine

    Yeah, so how does this pablum jive with the Paul Ryan budget plan that Romney endorses? How about cutting ALL the education and medical programs that help a) keep wackos to a minimum and b) keep the ones who go wacko in situations where they won't hurt anybody. Ryan and Romney want to create a great-underclass-worker-life of those with paltry public education, limited medical care, no psychiatric care and no community service care, and stick the cost of dealing with their wacko behaviors on the rest of us (because the billionaires pay even less tax).

    Romney can't argue his way out of a paper bag when it gets to specifics, so he never does – just pablum and generalities.
    *******************************
    What direct bearing does your comments have to do with the people who died and were hurt in CO early this morning? Where is the direct relevance to the decisions taken by Governor Romney and the President to set aside politics for a day?

    July 20, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Expat American

    Obama is probably going to whine, blame Bush, and tell us that if he had a son, he would look just like this gunman.
    --–
    Sadly and utterly ridiculous.....

    July 20, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. ABCorrection

    @Disgusting. Well said. We should all be so reasonable and level-headed. Unfortunately, the extremism runs so deep on these message boards from both ends of the political spectrum that they can't "take a break" from the battle for even a time such as this. At some point, people, doesn't the hatred and such deeply rooted negativity start wearing on you? Believe it or not, there are good people out there. The least we can do is to, as both the President and Mr. Romney have suggested, try to put our differences aside and come together.

    July 20, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. rrd

    The Real Tom Paine, you're right now is not the time, but to answer your question go to Woman is California original post.

    July 20, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Michael B.

    @thinkingperson: GUN CONTROL IS NOT THE SOLUTION. The problem is that it makes good people not have access to a weapon, and the bad people will still find a way to get a weapon, and then there is nobody to stop that bad man from assaulting others. Why? Because of stricter gun control. You cannot stop someone who appears good and has no record from doing bad things, but you can give people who are good a way to stop them when it happens.

    July 20, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Mike

    You can go to any gun show and buy a gun without any problem....but that is the problem. People should have evry right to buy and own a gun but why make it so easy to do? The NRA is so good at strong arm tactics that the laws will never change. You can't touch that amendment but this same group has no problem with ignoring any of the others. Shame on them.

    July 20, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. sick of republican phonies

    Nice words...but as usual with Romney, totally empty and meaningless. Let's see how long before he's on his knees in front of Wayne La Pierre of the NRA again.

    July 20, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    -Taran

    rrd

    Woman In California so you think the only way to serve and protect our country is during a war? Surely Obama could have enlisted during peace time and help protect this country. Or was he too busy being a community organizer?
    ----–
    Yes, he wa busy being a community organizer, mastering his "victim" creation skills.
    ******************************************
    What relevance does this have with the events in CO? Can you dial down the sarcasm and hate for a day, out of respect for the dead?

    I'll try to respond to Taran once more. Rudy NYC exposed you for the liar you were months ago (remember the gas lie) and many of us remember that and are still laughing, so you're not even relevant anymore. You are just a liar supporting an even bigger liar, as expected.

    July 20, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Redleg

    Mental illness and instability is one thing that we cannot with 100% certainty predict. No doubt someone will diagnose him with some form of disorder, however, this is after the fact and is of no real relevance, with the exception defense in court.The solution for Bloomberg is to enact more legislation. People are violent, make more gun laws. People are fat, criminalize soft drinks over 16 oz.
    The saying that only criminals will have weapons is true. Ever worked in a prison? I have in two different states. Even with the absence of guns, criminals improvise weapons to seriously maim or kill. The lack of a gun does not stop them.

    July 20, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Taran

    @Woman in California, and I proved that Rudy was re-arranging the facts of what I said. So, the liar would be Rudy and yourself. Stop acting like an "angry black woman."

    July 20, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Taran

    @Woman in California, and I proved that Rudy was re-arranging the facts of what I said. So, the liars would be Rudy and yourself. I doubt CNN will post this (they usually don't post rebuttals to the lies of the left, I've responded 3 times but never makes it past the "moderator."). Stop being an "angry black woman."

    July 20, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Jose Canyusi

    "This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another."

    DOES THIS LOOK LIKE WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER???????

    July 20, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. AgeofInsanity

    I have nothing to say.

    July 20, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    rrd

    The Real Tom Paine, you're right now is not the time, but to answer your question go to Woman is California original post.

    Yes, Tom Paine is correct but there are negative responses on both sides rrd so stop being hypocritical.

    Is it a sad day in Americ? Yes, but until Americans are really ready to do something meaningful about it-it is just another day and nothing will change, including, our politics.

    July 20, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Carlos

    I am a gun owner but I never pull it out to wave around to prove my manhood unlike many from the NRA. Even though this violence was done by a lone individual, I place that blood squarely in the hands of the NRA. For those that says guns don't kill people, people kill people and if they didn't use guns they would use knives or clubs. I say let them use knives and clubs. At least they can only kill one person at a time and not injure more than 70 as is the case here.

    July 20, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    Michael B.

    @thinkingperson: GUN CONTROL IS NOT THE SOLUTION. The problem is that it makes good people not have access to a weapon, and the bad people will still find a way to get a weapon, and then there is nobody to stop that bad man from assaulting others. Why? Because of stricter gun control. You cannot stop someone who appears good and has no record from doing bad things, but you can give people who are good a way to stop them when it happens.
    ---------------------------------------------
    "Hey let's give everyone guns. That way when a criminal pulls his out, all us Amurkins practicing our 2nd amendment rights can start firing shot after shot." The crossfire would be even deadlier than the criminal's action. When will these dolts wake up??

    July 20, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. Tree

    Romney did not moved me.........nothing he say even a time like this comes from his heart. Just listen to him, am not trying to be evil but its the truth.............................................

    July 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. You People Aint Seeing Our Tax Returns

    “I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
    "I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney

    Wonder why Jon Huntsman calls him a perfectly lubricated weather vane?

    July 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. rrd

    Woman In California

    rrd

    The Real Tom Paine, you're right now is not the time, but to answer your question go to Woman is California original post.

    Yes, Tom Paine is correct but there are negative responses on both sides rrd so stop being hypocritical.

    Is it a sad day in Americ? Yes, but until Americans are really ready to do something meaningful about it-it is just another day and nothing will change, including, our politics.

    hypocritical? HA., HA. I feel sorry for you. I'll leave it that.

    July 20, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. WeR4Freedom

    Romney is great Christian. Look at what he does and stands for!! Way more than Obama and Clinton the adultrist who plays in a different presidential league than any other president in history. Lying under solem oath. We need someone like Romney to bring this country together and not like Obama who is tearing us apart. Enough of his change and
    Hope. All we can do is hope for the best for those people in Colorado now. Our prayers our with those families!!!

    July 20, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. anthony78

    This tragic incident doesn't save Romney from the tax issue. It actually hurts him because it puts the topic on hold for a while. Expect President Obama to bring it back up a bit later in the campaign, closer to voter time, when he won't be able to convince voters that he is trustworthy, or a fair tax paying American. He is still a tax evading, offshoring, outsourcing, better-then-thou, corporate raider and predator lender...

    July 20, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Why does RMoney need to remind us in every speech (even condolences) that he is an American. Is he suggesting WE are not? But then "you people" don't get to hear what's discussed in his "private quiet rooms". I don't trust him.

    July 20, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Fortinbras

    .Woa! 200 people! He sure is packing them in! I sense a record turnout for this man in November. They absolutely adore him!

    July 20, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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