Obama reflecting after shootings
January 10th, 2011
02:04 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama reflecting after shootings


WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama spoke about the shootings in Tucson, Arizona again on Monday saying he was reflecting about what happened not only as the commander-in-chief but also as a father.

"Right now, the main thing we're doing is to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who have been impacted, making sure that we're joining together and pulling together as a country," said Obama, "and, as President of the United States, but also as a father, obviously, I'm spending a lot of time just thinking about the families and reaching out to them."

President Obama made the comments during a press availability with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the Oval Office. The president also praised the Arizona citizens who helped wrestle the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, to the ground.

"I think it is important for us to also focus, though, on the extraordinary courage that was shown during the course of these events," President Obama said. "A 20 year old college student who ran into the line of fire to rescue his boss; a wounded woman who helped secure the ammunition that might have caused even more damage; the citizens who wrestled down the gunman. Part of what part of what I think that speaks to is the best of America, even in the face of such mindless violence."

Asked if he planned on going to Arizona soon, President Obama indicated that he would go but that nothing has been finalized.

"There is no doubt that we will establish some mechanism, memorial, during the course of the next several days, and when we have that we will announce it," said President Obama.

"But I think it's going to be important, I think, for the country as a whole as well as the people of Arizona to feel as if we are speaking directly to our sense of loss, but also speaking to our hopes for the future and how out of this tragedy we can come together as a stronger nation."

During the remarks, President Obama also mentioned the death of two French citizens who were taken hostage in Niger. The two were killed during a rescue attempt over the weekend.

In addition to the remarks, President Obama received two briefings Monday morning from National Security Adviser John Brennan and over the weekend spoke with FBI Director Robert Mueller.

On Sunday, Obama spoke with some of the families of the shooting victims including nine year old Christina Taylor Green and the family of Gabe Zimmerman the congresswoman's aide who was killed. The president also spoke to the state's two Republican senators, Sen. Jon Kyl and Sen. John McCain.

On Saturday the president called Representative Gifford's husband, Mark Kelly. In addition, he also called Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, and Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Arizona.

Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Root and stem

    Why has Mr. Obama not shown any such concern for our Military ?

    Why did Mr. Obama endorse violence with guns ? He did it. That is fact. And CNN ignores it.

    January 10, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    I have to give Obama credit here for heading off the ugly tendency some have displayed for pointing fingers at some Republicans for this tragedy. It is clear that this crime is another result of mental illness and not a political statement. Using it as a political tool is pathetic.

    January 10, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. felicia

    Yes we are Mr President thank you for the kind words on behalf of the united states of america.

    January 10, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. The Other Michael in Houston

    Darn shame that a political figure has to get shot in the head before people decided to come together. Are you happy now Republican Jihadist, I knew one of you nut cases was going to carry out Palins orders. But a child lost her life as well as 5 other people. Since Palin and her group started this nonsense, she needs to be prosucuted for at the very least, accessory.

    January 10, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. sara

    Forever the Decent person with the hardest task, Mr. President. God bless you and the decency of the United States.

    January 10, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. diridi

    pres. obama, it is sad, and outrageous....GOP thugs know this...go for obama 2012....God bless pres. obama...no repealing health care...restrict immigration....nation needs it...direly...

    January 10, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We should be pulling together as a country Mr. President, but that's hard to do when you've got these hate mongerers such as Palin, Limbaugh and Beck. I want revenge. They provoked and incited these right wing lunatics and should be held accountable.

    January 10, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    good luck with that Mr. President. There may be a slight cooling off period but you can bet by summer or maybe before all the same junk is slowly going to start creeping back in because the GOP will be geariing up for 2012 and their only success is to use fear and mis-information tactics on the country to get support. You already have Rush coming out as usual blaming the left, they never do anything wrong nor want to accept responsibility for their role in the current climate. Until the ones doing this stuff stop the denial and that's not just on the right but some on the left as well, it's going to continue until another tragic occurence happens Right now you probably have some nutjobs angry at you for even suggesting that we come together as a nation.

    January 10, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    I am ready to UNITE and I will try to understand those that I disagree with! But, are those whom I disagree with READY to UNITE with me???? If both sides are READY – then America will seem more UNITED!

    I think, in general, Americans are united – Sometimes, however, we're HEAD STRONG – DEAD WRONG and afraid to admit it! I see some good on the RIGHT but would I admit it – maybe NOT! And I am sure it's the same on the RIGHT about the LEFT!! We feel more comfortable in our nest and only lash out on the "uncomfortables" – it’s human nature!!

    All of this is HEALTHY!! It becomes UNHEALTHY when you have people out there that take it too seriously and are ready to KILL when provoked. Therefore, it's up to the politicians and/or the radio activist to TONE the HATRED down!!! That’s NEVER going to happen because you have groups outside of politicians that spew a lot of HATE and MOST politicians will NOT repudiating the message!

    Just my opinion!! I will continue to support our current leader, President Obama, as he MOVES AMERICA FORWARD in a POSITIVE direction!!

    January 10, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Squigman

    The voice of reason. Seems this voice has always been the voice of reason, and yet there's always been the hate mongers of radio, and television that have done everything possible to drown out this voice with rhetoric and mis-information designed to agitate the masses. Now that violence has happened, the hate and fear mongers are voicing their innocence in all matters that had to do with targeting, and discord at meetings. To those who hate, you're leaders are showing their true colors, and their colors are running for cover. Hopefully, their 15 minutes of fame have come to an end.

    January 10, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Well, don't hold your breath. The right wing spin machine in in full victim card mode. Everyone and anyone who opnts out the FACTS regarding the vitriolic rhetoric they've been spewing for the past 2+ years is going to be painted by them AND THE MEDIA as at fault for dividing us. The GOP can't let go of the rhetoric because it works on their base and the media doesn't want them to stop it because it helps generate controversy to sensationalize for ad revenue.

    January 10, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Patriots Salute the Flag! Traitors don't!!!

    Please tell your followers. They are on this site obitually bashing Palin and the Republicans blaming them for whatever is wrong with this country. If you can get results then you may be worth keeping. If you fail then we as a nation need to move on to something better. Don't forget tell the media to watch what they print and to make sure it is the truth and nothing but the truth.

    January 10, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. wiredweirdoinSF

    Any regrets about calling those of us who disagree with him enemies or telling us he would bring a gun to a knife fight????
    Anything from Harry Reid about calling us neanderthals or Nancy Pelosi about the astroturf??? Yet we have this Congressman Grady ready to further abridge or rights and Clyburn speaking out against talk radio. Go to any union meeting and you will hear violent rhetoric and threats. Classmates in Arizona, said the guy was a whacked out, drug using liberal, why blame Palin and Limbaugh and not mention Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Grayson Schumer, etc>? Kinda sounds like Rahm Emmanuel taking advantage of a crisis again doesn't it.

    January 10, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Name king

    Hey that is so right we don't need any one on the dems side to retaliate to bring the whole democratic party down. We've got too many divisions over the globe to be included with countries that thinks division is progress.

    January 10, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. gt

    did harry reed hear that....

    January 10, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |