Boehner meets with Newtown families
June 12th, 2013
05:14 PM ET
8 years ago

Boehner meets with Newtown families

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner told CNN his meeting with the family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings was "very good."

Several relatives of those who died in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December returned to Capitol Hill six months after the tragedy. The massacre left twenty school children and six educators at Sandy Hook elementary school dead. The group sat down with Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to discuss their efforts to push for legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.

Boehner declined to say anything more about the discussion with the group, or about any gun-related legislation coming up in the House this year. Earlier on Wednesday he told reporters at a press conference, "our hearts and souls go out to these families and the tragedy that they've all been though and so they've asked and we're willing to sit down and talk about their interests."

After the meeting in the speaker's Capitol office Cantor, who on another occasion had met with some Newtown family members, told reporters, "I was struck again by the incredible pain that they are going through. I just can't imagine as a parent that kind of pain. My heart goes out to them."

"I thanked them for their courage and willingness to come forward and to talk to us," Cantor said, adding, "I know that they are continuing to seek how to solve the problem and we're going to continue to go and listen to them and work to try to do just that."

One member of the Newtown group who participated in the meeting with Boehner and Cantor declined to comment to CNN, saying the group had to move onto another meeting with a lawmaker.

Some families met earlier in the day with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the chief sponsor of legislation strengthening the background check system. That measure failed in the Senate earlier this year but Manchin and other Democratic leaders have renewed efforts to push the bill through Congress. Boehner has repeatedly said the House will not take up the gun issue unless the Senate passes something.

Vice President Joe Biden has scheduled an event for next week to call attention once again to the issue of gun violence.

Filed under: Connecticut • Eric Cantor • Gun control • John Boehner
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    GOP talking points: Using this tragedy for photo ops, Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor? We loved to blame Obama, so it is only fair we now blame both of you for exploiting their grief.

    June 12, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Tea Party Thomas

    John Boehner would make a great president once we impeach Obama and Biden.

    June 12, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    This sort of thing only does good when employ a concomitant fight for their interests, John. We all feel bad for those folks - so what?

    June 12, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    This meeting was a photo op for the Speaker Boehner and Rep Cantor since they are in the pockets of the NRA.

    June 12, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    As I recall, Mr Boehner was just tooooooooo busy to pay a visit to Rep. Gifford when she lay mortally wounded. Things must be getting a little hot for the GOTP to get off their duff and do this.

    June 12, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Clarity

    It must have been incredibly painful too for those parents to meet with those two hypocrites, knowing they wil do nothing but listen with blind ears.

    June 12, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. sammy750

    This guy is voted against the people there. He is a waste of their time. Boehner has done NOTHING since 2010 when he was elected House Speaker. He was elected because the plan of the Republicans was to do nothing, and that continues to today.

    June 12, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. JustAO

    How bout asking the families how the meeting went with top GOP congressmen who voted down moderate gun control? Who cares what politicians think since they aren't the ones who's families were gunned down.

    You can't ask GOP who believe in not having empathy for events or circumstances they have not went through to care about these families tragedies. It's not in GOP thinking to have empathy for others pain. Read from their website. All policies written are directed for wealthy corporations and exclusive Christian voters ONLY.

    June 12, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. DJ Reality

    John Bohner is as useless as they come. Going to Newtown months after the tragedy there. Next he's going to meet with Hurricane Katrina survivors.

    June 12, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. saywhat

    Hypocrisy and bigotry, the hall marks of the dominant mindset in Congress.
    Selling out to lobbies like NRA and then visiting the victims families.

    June 12, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Len

    Just a photo op. I am sure they got a phone call from the NRA immediately after the meeting!!!

    June 12, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Jack

    Now, Stand up to the NRA!

    June 12, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    We have to deal with the REAL problem.........which is that we have NO database for metal illness in this country........and that is essential to reducing these kinds of attacks. Period.

    Guns themselves, were NEVER the issue. Mentally ill persons, wandering our streets, is the REAL problem.

    June 12, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. jesse

    "This was just a photo op for him" it was for the president as well

    June 12, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    LOL – you mean, he WAITS Till NOW, to do this ??? LOL – – – political games, at it's best.

    June 12, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. ge

    what were they payed

    June 12, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Pete

    Why doesn't Boehner,Cantor tell the truth that shortly after arriving in Newtown someone called in a threat and all schools were in lock down mode...A disgruntled Newtown mother said after being asked about their arrival said to tell republicans GO HOME!!!

    June 12, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  18. okfine

    Mr Boehner is using these families

    June 12, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. thompstl79

    I'm confused by peoples comments on here. Why is it a photo op now but when the POTUS flies them on Air Force One it's not a photo op.

    June 12, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  20. rs

    "I thanked them for their courage and willingness to come forward and to talk to us," Cantor said, adding, "I know that they are continuing to seek how to solve the problem and we're going to continue to go and listen to them and work to try to do just that."
    And the GOP response will be to take any wingnut legislation the NRA and ALEC give them that will ensure that criminals, terrorists and the insane have unfettered access to military grade weapons. That's how much they "felt their pain".

    In other words, the GOP has already been paid for by the NRA. Perhaps if the Newtown parents brought cash instead, Boehner and Cantor might do something constructive.

    June 12, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. Victor

    I'm sure that if I had been a Newtown resident, I would have stayed home. I'm not too hep on hearing anything Boehner, has to say.

    June 12, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Dallas

    The inane remark by Tea Party Thomas above just shows how far the Republican party has sunk. Cut the BS Boehner, and do your job – at least pass background checks and stand up to the NRA.

    June 12, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. Bamador

    "Boehner has repeatedly said the House will not take up the gun issue unless the Senate passes something."

    In other words, "I have no control over the wack jobs in my party so I am going to sit on my thumb and wait for someone else to do anything about it."

    June 12, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Thomas

    They must have had an open bar and free drinks to get them to show up .

    Boehner / Cantor
    On the rocks 2016

    June 12, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. just me

    Did he meet them at a bar? Two birds, one stone and all that

    June 12, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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