What was to be a spirited campaign event became a solemn moment of morning as President Obama dropped politics Friday to offer a somber moment in observance of the massacre inside a Colorado movie theater.
Just hours before the president was to fire up voters in the battleground state of Florida, a gunman had opened fire at an early screening of the new film The Dark Knight Rises at a theater in Aurora, Colo. The assailant, identified in news reports as 24-year-old James Holmes, opened fire inside the theater — killing 12 and injuring another 50, including reportedly a three-month-old baby.
“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,” Obama told those in Ft. Myers, Fla., to attend the expected campaign rally.
Obama says that he had spoken with the mayor of Aurora as well as the governor of Colorado following the attack, which the president described as ” evil,” “senseless,” and “beyond reason.”
The president led a moment of silence in Ft. Myers for the Coloado massacre.
Obama told the crowd in Florida he was grateful that they had come out to see him.
“But there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection,” he says.