After shooting: Obama, Romney speak as parents - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

After shooting: Obama, Romney speak as parents

Posted: Updated:
James Holmes (Credit: University of Colorado Denver) James Holmes (Credit: University of Colorado Denver)
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hugs supporters after he spoke about the shootings in Colorado at an event in Bow, N.H., Friday, July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hugs supporters after he spoke about the shootings in Colorado at an event in Bow, N.H., Friday, July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Security increased at movies following shootings

    Security increased at movies following shootings

    Saturday, July 21 2012 6:46 PM EDT2012-07-21 22:46:59 GMT
    New York police posted officers at dozens of theaters around the city. 
    New York police posted officers at dozens of theaters around the city. Ticket-takers at a multiplex in Washington searched moviegoers' bags and purses. And one of the nation's biggest theater chains barred patrons from wearing masks or costumes. 
  • Colorado theater shooting suspect from San Diego

    Colorado theater shooting suspect from San Diego

    Saturday, July 21 2012 5:51 PM EDT2012-07-21 21:51:26 GMT
    A graduate student accused of killing a dozen people and wounding 59 others in a shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater early Friday grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, where his parents still live. 
    A graduate student accused of killing a dozen people and wounding 59 others in a shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater early Friday grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, where his parents still live. 
  • 12 killed, 58 wounded in Colo. theater shooting

    12 killed, 58 wounded in Colo. theater shooting

    Saturday, July 21 2012 2:06 PM EDT2012-07-21 18:06:09 GMT
    As the new Batman movie played on the screen, a gunman dressed in black and wearing a helmet, body armor and a gas mask stepped through a side door.
     
    As the new Batman movie played on the screen, a gunman dressed in black and wearing a helmet, body armor and a gas mask stepped through a side door. At first he was just a silhouette, taken by some in the audience for a stunt that was part of one of the summer's most highly anticipated films. 
  • Colorado suspect was brilliant science student

    Colorado suspect was brilliant science student

    Friday, July 20 2012 7:10 PM EDT2012-07-20 23:10:23 GMT
    James Eagan Holmes came from a well-tended San Diego enclave of two-story homes with red-tiled roofs, where neighbors recall him as a clean-cut, studious young man of sparing words. 
    James Eagan Holmes came from a well-tended San Diego enclave of two-story homes with red-tiled roofs, where neighbors recall him as a clean-cut, studious young man of sparing words. 
  • Mayor Sanders reacts to Colorado movie theater shooting

    Mayor Sanders reacts to Colorado movie theater shooting

    Friday, July 20 2012 5:04 PM EDT2012-07-20 21:04:24 GMT
    Mayor Jerry Sanders, who coordinated police response to a massacre in San Ysidro 28 years ago, called Friday's shooting that killed 12 at a Colorado theater "a tragic incident." 
    Mayor Jerry Sanders, who coordinated police response to a massacre in San Ysidro 28 years ago, called Friday's shooting that killed 12 at a Colorado theater "a tragic incident." 
  • Witnesses describe terror as gunman opens fire

    Witnesses describe terror as gunman opens fire

    Friday, July 20 2012 12:59 PM EDT2012-07-20 16:59:31 GMT
    An eager audience forgoing sleep to take in the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" instead were witnesses Friday to a bloody mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater. 
    An eager audience forgoing sleep to take in the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" instead were witnesses Friday to a bloody mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater. 
  • Colo. suspect's family: 'Hearts go out to' victims

    Colo. suspect's family: 'Hearts go out to' victims

    Friday, July 20 2012 12:49 PM EDT2012-07-20 16:49:11 GMT
    A former medical student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire,
     
    A former medical student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. 
  • Some of the deadliest mass shootings around world

    Some of the deadliest mass shootings around world

    Friday, July 20 2012 10:45 AM EDT2012-07-20 14:45:25 GMT
    It is one of the deadliest mass shootings in the history of US. Here is a look at some of the other mass shootings around the world. 
    It is one of the deadliest mass shootings in the history of US. Here is a look at some of the other mass shootings around the world. 

WASHINGTON (AP) — For a day, at least, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney stopped assailing each other and spoke as heartbroken parents.

The movie theater massacre upended the presidential campaign on Friday, obliging both candidates to cast aside the increasingly bitter tone of the race and reach for a rare moment of American harmony. Yet the moment itself was a political test, for a president charged with consoling a nation and for a challenger needing to show that he could rise to the occasion.

"There are going to be other days for politics," Obama said from one key electoral state, Florida. From another one, New Hampshire, Romney said much the same.

It was more than an unusual case of agreement between the political foes. At times, they sounded just like each other, speaking of evil and of prayer, of the unfulfilled dreams of those killed, of the need to put aside daily and petty grievances to appreciate life and show compassion to others.

The president openly wondered of his 14-year-old and 11-year-old daughters: "What if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater?"

Addressing a crowd that had gathered for what was expected to be a raucous political rally, he said somberly, "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."

Likewise, Romney said to his audience, "Each one of us will hold our kids a little closer." He said, "I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and grandfather, a husband, an American."

Amid their calls for unity and prayer, both men said nothing of gun control, a polarizing issue that has been all but absent from the campaign debate this year. Both Romney and Obama have shifted with the times, moving away from stances that favored tougher gun control laws.

The issue may rise anew.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, said, "You know, soothing words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it. ... Instead of the two people — President Obama and Gov. Romney — talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, OK, tell us how."

On Friday, Obama and Romney swiftly stripped their day of overt campaigning that surely would have seemed crass given the enormity of the tragedy. They scrambled to yank all their television spots, attack ads or otherwise, from Colorado stations — though strongly critical ads continued elsewhere — and both campaigns pulled their top surrogates off the politically driven talk shows this Sunday.

Nothing else mattered as the country absorbed the news that a man opened fire on people watching the new Batman movie in an Aurora, Colo., theater outside Denver. Twelve people were killed and dozens more were wounded by a suspect said to be using an assault rifle, a shotgun and a handgun in the attack.

"If there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile," Obama said in Fort Myers, Fla.

"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," Obama said. "Ultimately, it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love another. It's what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning, to give our lives purpose."

Romney spoke outside a Bow, N.H., business, at a podium stripped of campaign paraphernalia, in front of a large American flag. He set a tone by saying that he and his wife, Ann, joined Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in offering condolences to those whose lives had been shattered.

"This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another, and how much we love and how much we care for our great country," he said.

In Florida, Obama was notified at dawn about the shootings. He canceled a second Florida event and came back to the White House, immediately getting an Oval Office briefing about the investigation. The U.S. flag at the White House was lowered to half-staff, and Obama ordered similar action at all federal facilities.

Obama telephoned Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates and told him to expect full support from the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies.

It was unclear whether, after the first shock, the episode would inject the volatile issue of gun rights into the election debate.

Twenty years ago, polls showed that a substantial majority — nearly 80 percent in 1990 — supported stricter limits on guns. Now Americans appear evenly divided between those who want tougher restrictions and those who want to stick with current laws.

As a U.S. senator, Obama voted to leave gun makers and dealers open to civil lawsuits, and as an Illinois state lawmaker he supported a ban on all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter state restrictions generally on firearms. Romney backed some gun control measures when he was governor of Massachusetts, and when he challenged Sen. Edward Kennedy in 1994 he declared, "I don't line up with the NRA."

This spring, competing for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney told the NRA he was a guardian of the Second Amendment.

Following last year's killing of six people and the wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., Obama called for a series of steps to "keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place."

Among those steps was a better background check system. And White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday that system has improved.

But the administration has offered no legislation or detailed updates about how it is pursuing the president's previous promises.

"The president believes that we need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights of Americans, while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing law do not get them," Carney said.

Others, including Mayor Bloomberg, were looking for more specificity. The question is simple, he said in a radio interview: "What are they going to do about guns?"

__

Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Tamara Lush in Fort Myers, Fla., Steve Peoples in Bow, N.H., Brian Bakst in St. Paul, Minn., and Mark Smith, Laurie Kellman, and David Espo in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.