(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.