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Obama to Tucson Wednesday for Memorial Service in Wake of Shootings

4 years ago
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President Obama on Monday hailed the citizens who showed "extraordinary courage" during and after Saturday's shooting spree in Tucson, which left six dead and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Politics Daily has confirmed with a White House official that Obama will travel to Tucson on Wednesday with First Lady Michelle for a memorial service at the University of Arizona.

A White House staffer told Politics Daily that Obama will call all the families of the victims -- but not every family yet was ready to deal with a call. The White House said that the calls will continue through the week. "The president is assuring them that all is being done to try and get to the bottom of this. He is offering his full support and thoughts and prayers on behalf of himself, Michelle and the entire nation," the White House said in a statement.
The White House has gone to lengths to make sure the public knows how much the president is focused on the Saturday massacre. The administration released detailed information about Obama swinging into action a short time after he was notified of the shootings, including his meetings with incoming chief of staff Bill Daley and others and calls made to public officials and families of the victims of the rampage.
On Saturday, Obama was notified of the slaughter at about 1:20 p.m. EST by Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and John Brennan, his top security adviser. By 3 p.m. he was in briefings and started making calls, including leaving a message for Mark Kelly, Giffords' husband and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
Those briefing Obama included FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder, Daley, Brennan, Messina, Legislative Affairs chief Phil Schiliro, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Scheduling and Advance Chief Alyssa Mastromonaco and others.
At 4:46 p.m. Obama addressed the shocked nation from the State Dining Room, saying he had already dispatched Mueller to Tucson to coordinate the investigation and that he had discussed the situation in calls to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.
On Sunday, Obama talked to both Arizona senators, Republicans Jon Kyl and John McCain, the family of Gabe Zimmerman, the Giffords staffer who was killed and the family of the 9-year-old who was shot, Christina-Taylor Green.
The president and Mrs. Obama observed a minute of silence on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, and each cancelled their public schedules for Tuesday. Obama postponed a visit to Schenectady, N.Y. to the General Electric energy plant. Mrs. Obama will reschedule what was to have been a major announcement with business leaders dealing with "food formulation, availability and affordability."
On Monday morning, Obama received two briefings from Brennan; on Sunday he had three, as well as a conversation with Mueller.
During a joint press availability on Monday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama opened with remarks about the tragedy.
"Obviously all of us are still grieving and in shock from the tragedy that took place. Gabby Giffords and others are still fighting to recover. Families are still absorbing the enormity of their losses. We have a criminal investigation that is ongoing and charges that no doubt will be brought against the perpetrator of this heinous crime," Obama said.
"I think it's important for us to also focus, though, on the extraordinary courage that was shown during the course of these events: 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 I think that speaks to is the best of America, even in the face of such mindless violence.
"And so, in the coming days we're going to have a lot of time to reflect. Right now, the main thing we're doing is to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who've been impacted, making sure that we're joining together and pulling together as a country. 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," he said.

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We are all to blame for this, we all watch the news we want, we don't say a word if it's hatful or not, so why should the goverment react any differnt. we allow the news media to be hateful, because thats want we want to hear. And it's both republicans and democates.

January 11 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Will Obama be a stand-up President and apologize for leading the vitriol dialogue in the US? WIll he retract his comments on "hand-to-hand" combat, "get in their face" and bringing a gun to a knife fight" or will he use this tragedy as a political lever? We shall see tomorrow if Obama is growing into the role or, if he continues to show the immaturity and lack of experience that has plagued his stay in office to date.

January 11 2011 at 5:42 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rccthatsme's comment

Love Obama of the best presidents we have ever had....He is a strong leader but compassionate.

January 11 2011 at 10:00 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply

In the aftermath of this tragedy we have the Westborough Baptist Church using this as a soapbox to view their opinions and disrupt another funeral. When is enough ,enough.Now Arizonais trying to pass a law making it illegal for the protesters. Does it take a tragedy like this to make people finally act.

January 11 2011 at 5:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Thank you Mr President for acknowleding those brave American citizens that put their fellow citizizens above their own safety. This truly does represent the best of America and what we really stand for. Americans are just like family...we can fight each other, but we'll damned sure not let anyone else take a swing at us and get away with it.

January 11 2011 at 4:22 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I wonder if Obama will ask the dems to "get in the face" of the oppostion or to fight them "hand-to-hand" or "bring a gun to a knife fight." Maybe he will ask them to view the mockumentary about assasinating Bush. No wait, maybe watch Olbermann, Mathews and Maddows spew hatred 6 hours/day on TV.... Oh, I know it was Palin's map, not the 03 target map used by Dems. Maybe the left rallies calling for violence during theBush admin.. no wait, the vitriol is from the right. The nuts on the left ARE the problem, trouble is the public schools are producing millioins more and letting million of others pour in over the southern border. This Country will be thrown into riots, compliments of the left and a smaller right protecting itself.

January 11 2011 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sarah Palin is my hero, can't beat her, what a great intellectual, I believe she graduated from Harvard with highest honors. I just read this news.

Are you speaking humorously in such a time?

January 11 2011 at 3:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Horrified by this crime and equally horrified by the political fallout. If our President goes to the memorial as the leader of this country and not use it as a political tool, he will put this country on the path to healing. If not, this demonization of all things conservative, will divide our country more than it is today.

January 11 2011 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I do hope that tomorrow, this president has enough respect for the dead and injured to offer a REAL Prayer. He, to my knowledge, has not done that yet, at least to the public. We are still a Christian Nation, no matter what some say. Have always been and will, by the Grace of God remain a Christian Nation.

January 11 2011 at 2:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's wonderful for the families that the President of the United States and First Lady will attend the services, but it would be truly shameful and an insult to the memory of the fallen and wounded if it was used as a platform to move his political agenda forward. If during his remarks he mentions gun control, health care, limits on conservative freedom of speech or even alludes to any politcal issue would be an outrage. I hope he remains respectful of the reason he's there in the first place.

January 11 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

FANTASTIC !! The people who live in Tucson will now have to deal with all of the traffic and security that comes with every Oblahblah visit that disrupts their community just so he can have another photo op... The man is absolutely SHAMELESS ! Wherre was this guy for the funerals of the soldiers killed by his Muslim brother Major Hassan ?? Where was this guy for the funerals of the 11 oil rig workers who died on the deep water rig that Obama himself said was a safe rig and gave it praisee...

January 11 2011 at 2:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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