Sandy Hook mom to deliver presidential radio address
April 12th, 2013
04:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Sandy Hook mom to deliver presidential radio address

(CNN) – The White House's full court press for passage of gun violence legislation will continue this weekend when a mother whose son was killed in the Connecticut school shootings uses the bully pulpit of the presidential weekly address to make a personal plea.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Friday told reporters President Obama asked Newtown, Connecticut parent Francine Wheeler to tape the weekly address heard on radio and seen on the internet. Wheeler's six-year-old son Ben was killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Wheeler and other families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook have been in Washington this week to lobby Congress for passage of a gun bill.

Carney told reporters the president has been in contact with the families this week. "[H]e believes their voices and resolve have been critical to the continued progress we've seen in the Senate."

A senior Obama administration official tells CNN Wheeler wrote the remarks with her husband and she taped the address in the library at the White House Friday morning. The address features only her and her husband on camera, and she begins speaking by herself.

Carney told reporters this is the first time someone other than the president or vice president in this administration has delivered the weekly presidential address but he did not know the history in other administrations.

CNN found one instance in the George W. Bush administration when first lady Laura Bush delivered the address on the Taliban oppression of women and children in Afghanistan.

President Ronald Reagan began the practice of delivering a weekly radio address on current issues in the 1980's and all succeeding presidents have followed the practice.


Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Elaine Connelly

    @ kat: Are you serious? I am a conservative and I absolutely abhor Obozo, he is a shill, a liar and a thief. He can't even prove he is an American. He is NOT CONSERVATIVE BY A LONG SHOT. ENJOY YOUR KOOLAID IT WILL ONLY LAST UNTIL OBOZO TAKES CONTROL OF YOU AND THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR YOU. You will surrender to the latest form of Hitler. SHEEPLE.

    April 12, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. freedom

    @Mary M

    Nobody is degrading these families who suffered unconscionable horror. Obama is the one degrading them – he is the one who should be held accountable for using them in this shameless way to promote his agenda.

    April 12, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "He's using this heartbroken woman as a prop to further his agenda."

    I'm pretty sure she gets to decide whether she wants to speak out about gun violence/safety, not you, and I'd bet even further that she'd take offense to your presumption that she's just some dumb, mindless animal being led around by Obama. Grow up and show some respect. She's being given an opoprtunity to do and say what she feels is right and you achieve nothing but insulting and degrading her by making your petty, asinine arguments.

    April 12, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Mike

    Facing potential nuclear war with N. Korea, international terrorism, and heightened anxiety in the Persian Gulf...and yet, we should disarm.

    April 12, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "One assumes "just saying" has never been shot in the head. "

    Based on its posts, I was sort of assuming the opposite.

    April 12, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. California

    Democrats are so anti-Americans and against the 2nd amendment.

    Amazing how many are posting here today.

    April 12, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. California

    SHAME on you democrats for politicizing a terrible tragedy like this.

    April 12, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Sandman

    I am not against common sense but I don't think there is any left. Nothing in the current bills would have done anything to stop or prevent Sandy Hook. There is nothing in the current bill that does anything about illegal gun ownership. Also the tactics being used are right from the Adolf Hitler play book. Check you history.

    April 12, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. apothecary

    Just Sayin said:" i hear if this doesn't work obama will actually dig up one of the dead children and have a ventriloquist speak for them. the ultimate in human tragedy exploitation... the democrat party."

    There are 2 possibilities here. Either this poster doesn't actually believe this nonsense and is simply trying to fan the flames, or the poster does actually believe this nonsense.

    I am not sure which is more pathetic.

    April 12, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. bev

    The President is not using anyone, they love their children and believe in what they are saying. I have lost a child in a tragedy and I try to help people that have experienced the same learn how to cope. Until you have experienced this terrible loss– my suggestion is you keep your mean-spirited comments to yourselves or to other republicans who say the same things-anyone with love & compassion is not interested.

    April 12, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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