Full Text Obama Presidency July 22, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Honoring Victims of Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting after Visiting Victims at University of Colorado Hospital

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Obama Consoles Aurora as City Begins Healing

Source: NYT, 7-22-12

President Obama came to Aurora, Colo., to meet with survivors of a rampage at a movie theater. The police said they had finished collecting evidence out of the suspect’s apartment….READ MORE

Source: WH. 7-23-12

President Barack Obama hugs Stephanie Davies (July 22, 2012)President Barack Obama hugs Stephanie Davies, who helped keep her friend, Allie Young, left, alive after she was shot during the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. The President visited patients and family members affected by the shootings at the University of Colorado Hospital July 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Sunday, President Obama traveled to Aurora, Colorado to meet with the survivors of the movie theater shooting and offer solace to families of the victims.

“I had a chance to visit with each family, and most of the conversation was filled with memory,” the President said. “I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day.”

During his visit to University of Colorado Hospital, the President had a chance to meet Allie Young and Stephanie Davies, and speaking to reporters, he described their story.

During the film, Allie and Stephanie were seated near an aisle and when the gunman began his attack by tossing a canister of gas into the crowd, Allie, just 19 years old, stood up to warn those around her. She was hit in the neck by a bullet, which punctured a vein.

Stephanie, the President said, dropped to the ground beside her friend, applied pressure to Allie’s wound to slow the bleeding, then dialed 911 with her cell phone. Even after Allie told Stephanie to run, the 21 year old stayed by her friend — and when first responders arrived, Stephanie helped to carry Allie to a waiting ambulance.

Doctors expect Allie to make a full recovery.

President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora (July 22, 2012) President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo., July, 22, 2012, following his meetings with families of victims killed in last Thursday’s shootings. Standing with the President, from left, are: Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., Police Chief Dan Oates, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

“I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did, or the courage that Allie showed,” President Obama said.  “And so, as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it’s worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie, because they represent what’s best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come.”

Read his full remarks here.

Remarks by the President After Hospital Visit

Source: WH, 7-22-12 

University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, Colorado

6:40 P.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I want to begin by just thanking all the state, local, and federal officials who have responded magnificently to this tragedy.

Governor Hickenlooper, who has already been dealing with a range of natural disasters here in the state, has been an extraordinary example of strength.  The Mayor, who has only been on the job seven months, and obviously has responded with great strength and leadership.  The Police Chief, who — we had an opportunity to speak over the phone — Chief Oates has been dealing with as difficult a set of circumstances as any law enforcement officer deals with, and he and his officers have done everything right, by the book, with great courage and great determination.  And so we are very proud of them.  And I think I speak for the entire congressional delegation who is here as well.

Scripture says that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.  Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And when you have an opportunity to visit with families who have lost their loved ones — as I described to them, I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband.  And I think that the reason stories like this have such an impact on us is because we can all understand what it would be to have somebody that we love taken from us in this fashion — what it would be like and how it would impact us.

I had a chance to visit with each family, and most of the conversation was filled with memory.  It was an opportunity for families to describe how wonderful their brother, or their son, or daughter was, and the lives that they have touched, and the dreams that they held for the future.  I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day, and that the awareness that not only all of America but much of the world is thinking about them might serve as some comfort.

I also tried to assure them that although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away.  And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.

And I also had a chance to give folks some hugs and to shed some tears, but also to share some laughs as they remembered the wonderful lives that these men and women represented.

I also had a chance, fortunately, to visit some folks who are going to be okay, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the staff at this hospital.  And I just want to thank everybody who’s worked tirelessly here to deal with this tragedy.

Some of the stories are remarkable.  You see young people who’ve come in and just two days ago, or 36 hours ago, or even 24 hours ago, it wasn’t certain whether they’d make it.  And now suddenly, their eyes are open, they’re alert and they’re talking. And it reminds you that even in the darkest of days, life continues, and people are strong and people bounce back and people are resilient.  And particularly, given the fact that so many of the victims were young, it is a great blessing to see how rapidly they’re able to recover from some pretty devastating injuries.

There’s one particular story I want to tell because this was the last visit that I had and I think it’s representative of everything that I saw and heard today.  I had a chance, just now, about five minutes ago, to visit with Allie Young — Allie is 19 years old — and I also had a chance to visit with Allie’s best friend, Stephanie Davies, who’s 21.  Stephanie was actually downstairs with Allie as well as Allie’s parents when I walked into the room.

And I don’t think this story has been heard — at least I hadn’t read it yet — but I wanted to share it with you.  When the gunman initially came in and threw the canisters, he threw them only a few feet away from Allie and Stephanie, who were sitting there watching the film.  Allie stood up, seeing that she might need to do something or at least warn the other people who were there.  And she was immediately shot.  And she was shot in the neck, and it punctured a vein, and immediately she started spurting blood.

And apparently, as she dropped down on the floor, Stephanie — 21 years old — had the presence of mind to drop down on the ground with her, pull her out of the aisle, place her fingers over where she — where Allie had been wounded, and applied pressure the entire time while the gunman was still shooting.  Allie told Stephanie she needed to run.  Stephanie refused to go — instead, actually, with her other hand, called 911 on her cell phone.

Once the SWAT team came in, they were still trying to clear the theater.  Stephanie then, with the help of several others, carries Allie across two parking lots to where the ambulance is waiting.  And because of Stephanie’s timely actions, I just had a conversation with Allie downstairs, and she is going to be fine.

I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did, or the courage that Allie showed.  And so, as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking as it is for the families, it’s worth us spending most of our time reflecting on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie, because they represent what’s best in us, and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come.

To the entire community of Aurora, the country is thinking of you.  I know that there’s going to be a vigil and an opportunity for everybody to come together.  And I hope that all those who are in attendance understand that the entire country will be there in prayer and reflection today.

So thank you.  God bless you.  God bless all who helped to respond to this tragedy.  And I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country, but also reflect on all the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on Earth.

Thank you very much, everybody.

END             6:50 P.M. CDT

Full Text Political Headlines July 21, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Speaker John Boehner Offers Thoughts on Shooting Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Boehner Offers Thoughts on Shooting Tragedy in Colorado

Source: ABC News Radio, 7-21-12

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images

Putting aside his initial plan to discuss the U.S. economy in this week’s Republican address, House Speaker John Boehner offers prayers for the those affected by the Friday mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., and appreciation for the efforts of first responders at the scene.
“We join President Obama in sending condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those who were killed and wounded. And we all say ‘thank God’ for the police, the first responders, the doctors, and the nurses whose swift and heroic efforts saved lives,” Boehner says in the address….READ MORE

Weekly Republican Address: Speaker Boehner on the Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado

Source: Speaker.gov, 7-21-12

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) offers prayers to those affected and appreciation for the heroes who responded swiftly to the horrific tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

Download Audio   |   YouTube   |   Download Video

“Hello, I’m John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“My plan today was to share some thoughts with you about the economy.  But life, they say, is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

“There is still so much, too much, to sort out about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  Words cannot capture the horror, or make sense of something so senseless.  So I won’t try.

“This much I know.

“I know that when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly.

“We join President Obama in sending condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those who were killed and wounded.  And we all say ‘thank God’ for the police, the first responders, the doctors, and the nurses whose swift and heroic efforts saved lives.

“At a time like this, we count our blessings.  And as we do, we come to be reminded that the depth of our grief also reveals the depth of our love and our resolve.

“Scripture tells us that the faith that sustains us is ‘the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.’  We may not yet see or fathom comfort for the mourning, but we’ll stand by them and we’ll stand together, as one nation, in the difficult hours that lie ahead.

“May God bless the grieving families – and yours.  And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

“Thank you.”

Full Text Obama Presidency July 21, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Remembers the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

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Obama’ Weekly Address: ‘Time for Prayer and Reflection’ After Colorado Shooting

White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy

Following the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, President Obama urges Americans to take “some time for prayer and reflection” this weekend while offering condolences to families of the victims.

In his weekly address, Obama remembers the at least 12 victims of the Aurora, Colo., tragedy early Friday morning, calling them lives lost from “senseless” violence that can be difficult to understand….READ MORE

President Obama honors the victims of the tragedy in Colorado, the people who knew them and loved them, and those who are still struggling to recover.

President Obama tapes the weekly address

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room, White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 7/20/12

Weekly Address: Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

Source: WH, 7-21-12

President Obama honors the victims of the tragedy in Colorado, the people who knew them and loved them, and those who are still struggling to recover.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

 

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Remembering the Victims of the Aurora, Colorado Shooting

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
July 21, 2012

As many of you know, early on Friday, at least twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  Dozens more are being treated for injuries at local hospitals.  Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.

We are still gathering all the facts about what happened, but we do know that the police have one suspect in custody.  And the federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice.  We will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all our people.  And we will stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.

Even as we come to learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings.  Such evil is senseless – beyond reason.  But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes that life worth living.

The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved.  They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors.  They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled.  And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile.  Our time here is limited and it is precious.  And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives.  It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another.  It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose.  That’s what matters.  That’s why we’re here.

I’m sure many of you who are parents had the same reaction I did when you first heard this news: what if it had been my daughters at the theater, doing what young children enjoy doing every day?  Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter this weekend, as I’m sure you will do with your children.  But for those parents who may not be so fortunate, we need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis.  Let us keep all these Americans in our prayers.  And to the people of Aurora, may the Lord bring you comfort and healing in the hard days to come.

Full Text Political Buzz July 20, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Statement on the Aurora, Colorado Shootings: Ann And I Are Saddened By Today’s Tragedy In Colorado

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

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Romney Reacts to Colorado Shooting

Source: NYT, 7-20-12

Mitt Romney dispensed with a scheduled campaign speech to offer condolences to the lives shattered in “a few moments of evil in Colorado.”…READ MORE

Mitt Romney: Ann And I Are Saddened By Today’s Tragedy In Colorado

Source: Mitt Romney, 7-20-12

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on this morning’s tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado:

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief.  We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

Full Text Obama Presidency July 20, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks on the Shooting at a Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

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The Tragedy in Colorado

Source: WH, 7-20-12

President Barack Obama pauses for a moment of silence for the victims of the Colorado shootings (July 20, 2012)President Barack Obama pauses for a moment of silence for the victims of the Colorado shootings, following his remarks in Fort Myers, Fla., July 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Just after midnight, a gunman walked into a busy movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire into the crowd. Police report that 12 people have been killed and dozens more are currently being treated for injuries.

Just moments ago, President Obama discussed the shooting, calling on the country to stand with those who have been touched by the tragedy:

[Even] as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.  The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

Earlier, the President spoke with both the mayor of Aurora, Steve Hogan, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — and pledged the full support of federal law enforcement to aid the investigation.

To read President Obama’s full remarks, click here. To read a statement from the President, click here.

Vice President Joe Biden has also issued a statement.

Update: President Obama has issued a proclamation that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and at all public buildings and grounds until sunset on July 25.

Remarks by the President on the Shootings in Aurora, Colorado

Harborside Event Center
Fort Myers, Florida

10:44 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me, first of all, say how grateful I am for all of you being here, and how much we appreciate everything that you’ve done.  I know that there are a lot of people here who have been so engaged in the campaign, have sacrificed so much, people who’ve been involved back since 2007. (Applause.)  And so I want all of you to know how appreciative I am.

And I know many of you came here today for a campaign event. I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters that we face as a country and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election.  But this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family.

By now, many of you know, many of you have heard that a few miles outside of Denver in a town call Aurora, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater, and dozens more are being treated for injuries at a local hospital.  Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.

We’re still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora, but what we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody.  And the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.  (Applause.)  And we will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all of our people.

We’re going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.  And I had a chance to speak with the Mayor of Aurora as well as the Governor of Colorado to express, not just on behalf of Michelle and myself, but the entire American family, how heartbroken we are.

Now, even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this.  Such violence, such evil is senseless.  It’s beyond reason.  But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.  The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved.  They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.  They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.

And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile.  Our time here is limited and it is precious.  And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives.  Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another.  (Applause.)

It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose.  That’s what matters.  At the end of the day, what we’ll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others.  That’s why we’re here.

I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news.  My daughters go to the movies.  What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day?  Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children.  But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

So, again, I am so grateful that all of you are here.  I am so moved by your support.  But there are going to be other days for politics.  This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.

So what I’d ask everybody to do, I’d like us to pause in a moment of silence for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day.  So if everybody can just take a moment.

(Moment of silence.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  I hope all of you will keep the people of Aurora in your hearts and minds today.  May the Lord bring them comfort and healing in hard days to come.

I am grateful to all of you, and I hope that as a consequence of today’s events, as you leave here, you spend a little time thinking about the incredible blessings that God has given us.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Obama!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
10:51 A.M. EDT

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