Sandy Hook mom to deliver presidential radio address
April 12th, 2013
04:07 PM ET
1 year 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. California

    Just like democrats to politicize a tragedy.

    April 12, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Bill Shaw

    If a politician asked me to use some part of my life to further an agenda that would ultimately have no impact on it, and would have had no impact on it, I think I'd have a great deal of trouble not seriously offending the politician. In fact, even it it would have an impact, It would make me sick. Under pathetic in the dictionary, it surely refers to this president.

    April 12, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. rla

    Sorry for their loss but they are not Gods and no one elected them to tell us what to do!! Please grieve but the use of your emotions to push an agenda is beyond arrogant,

    April 12, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Joe06042

    It's extremely sad to read some of these post and the anger, resentment and underlying racism many of you have toward our President. I take heart in knowing you do not represent the best of this great country of ours, but its dimishing worse.

    April 12, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. SAM

    The article about the college knife attack in texas that left 14 wounded certainly disappeared from the news pretty fast. Oh ya it's true, they are not trying to ban knives...

    April 12, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    just sayin

    i am getting sooo tired of seeing these two clowns. please just go away and stop trying to take away our rights.
    -----------

    The above was a comment in response to the Gabby Gifford article. One assumes "just saying" has never been shot in the head.

    /just saying sarcasm.

    April 12, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Diane

    Smaller magazines may have saved some lives, but Adam Lanza left his smaller magazines home, he took his largest for maximum affect.

    April 12, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. scott

    stop punishing law abiding gun owners

    April 12, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. cindy johnson

    I think the President should stop using these poor people for his gun cause...

    April 12, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Mike

    This doesnt change my mind. Im pro-gun and will always be pro-gun. Yes, this sad for the families of Sandy Hook but until society treats what troubles it this wont stop there will be more death in some form. Death happens every day how many did we lose in this wkends weather in the south? I guess we're going after "God" next...right? Im surprised the president hasnt organized a banjo parade and marches with every Sandy Hook town member up and down D.C. like a dog and pony show. The president is well know as President in Props.

    April 12, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. freedom

    Obama is shameless. He's using this heartbroken woman as a prop to further his agenda. This is how far he will go. The worst president ever.

    April 12, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Alina77

    I saw this lady before, very nice woman , very strong... God help her tomorrow and always!!

    April 12, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Len

    Wow some unbelievable posts! Pretty outrageous and non-christian.

    AMERICA: Where guns are SCARED and LIFE is Worthless.

    April 12, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. I think therefore I am

    Joe06042-sounds like you resent people who use their brains to analyze a problem rather than make emotional nonsensical decisions. Where is the father from Sandy Hook that said he didn't support any further gun control measures? The national media doesn't want to hear what he has to say. Maybe he should have joined the bandwagon and gotten a free ride on AF1.

    April 12, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Brent Hoppe

    I quess that what you get with a communinty Service Presindent.

    April 12, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Getoverit

    @Joe06042
    It’s extremely sad to read some of these post and the anger, resentment and underlying racism many of you have toward our President.
    ---------–
    Ah, the race card again...... Yawn.......

    April 12, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Mike

    To Sam with him comment about the knives you are exactly right the knife thing in TX just went right off CNN's site, but of course CNN has a liberal agenda and they must stick to their script. LOL, what's so funny is we heard shouts and screams when dumb George W started guantanamo bay and we heard President in Props...aka Obama said we are going to close guantanamo bay....umm, where ya been liberal left? Where's those shouts and screams to close guantanamo bay? Oh, wait....doesnt fit their agenda when their boy's in the house. What hypocrites.

    April 12, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. MaryM

    Thank you Mrs Wheeler for your courage and strength. I can not even imagine the grief and heart ache you and the families of gun violence experience.

    To all you haters and foul mouth people degrading these families, may you rot in hell.

    April 12, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. whta

    I hate to say it, but I will. They (obama, other politicions) are no longer the caring people they were trying to seem. They are clearly trying to use the tradegy for politics.

    April 12, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Len

    Marcus:
    Would current legislation have prevented the Sandy Hook tragedy?

    Answer: Yes. If the ban on semi-automatic weapons would have been renewed by President Bush and the GOP, the person's mom would not have been able to purchase the weapon! They would have been banned. Remember: She purchased all her weapons legally.

    April 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. Elaine Connelly

    @Joe06042:
    I am sad that these parents lost their children. But if Obozo has his way, the children will be turned into Automatons, ready to die for dear leader just to further his socialistic ideology. These parents are being used and I don't think Obozo cares one bit. He is arrogant and selfish.

    April 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. I think therefore I am

    Mary M- You first

    April 12, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Just like democrats to politicize a tragedy."

    Just liek GOPers/Teatrolls to deflect from their lack of a ratioal substantive argument with petty distractions and straw man arguments.

    April 12, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Diane

    Emmett Tills mother had to use her raw emotion to literally show America we had a problem:

    She opened the casket of her 14 year old son who had been shot and brutally beaten because some white people felt they were losing their freedom. She opened it because Americans did not believe America had a problem....that open casket helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.

    The parents of those Newtown children are try to show you we really have a gun problem because like Emmett Tills mother America did not believe it until they looked in the casket.

    April 12, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. Mike Strasser

    We Americans are the most violent people in the world. No other country even comes close to the amount of murders, suicides, accidental killings, etc as us. There are way to many guns in this country. This is so obvious that the only way folks can deny this is by hiding in their delusional fear of the gov't (which, incidentally is us) taking their guns away.

    A side point. When did "camo" become fashionable? And why? A design made for soldiers in a war is now an everyday fashion statement. Tell me there ain't something very odd about that?

    April 12, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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