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President Obama, 2016 candidates express shock, sadness over Orlando mass shooting

The shooting has shocked the nation.


April Siese

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 12, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 3:19 pm CDT

A mass shooting occurred at a prominent LGBT Orlando night club early Sunday morning. At least 50 people have been killed and at least 53 have been injured in one of the largest such tragedies in American history.

As officials continue to investigate the incident, prominent politicians are speaking out about the events. Unsurprisingly, a majority of those in government who’ve made public statements have omitted the fact that the venue, Pulse, celebrates minorities and the LGBT community and had been hosting a Latin night when the shooting occurred.

The White House issued a memo on Sunday morning stating that President Obama had been briefed about the tragedy.

Regarding current presidential candidates, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump was one of the first to issue a statement, followed by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

It’s particularly telling that Trump would merely cite facts rather than express condolences regarding the shooting. Whereas former GOP candidate Marco Rubio appeared to put aside his staunch, anti-LGBT policies in the face of a mass shooting, the Donald simply called the event “really bad.”

Late Sunday morning, Trump issued two follow-up tweets appearing to use more buzzwords and push his opaque policies rather than sending his regards to those affected by the tragedy.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was traveling to Orlando on Sunday morning and similarly echoed Rubio’s statements of sadness and shock. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has also expressed his condolences.

Bernie Sanders, the only candidate to appear on Sunday morning political talk shows, spoke in depth about the incident on NBC’s Meet The Press.

“I’ve gotta tell you, 25 years ago, I believed in this country that we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people,” Sanders continues. “We’ve got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them: criminals, some people who are mentally ill. So, that struggle continues.”

Update 11:55am CT, June 12: This piece has been updated to include follow-up responses from Donald Trump.

Update 2:15pm CT, June 12: Clinton and Sanders have issued full statements regarding the Orlando shooting.

The president has similarly spoken about the matter, addressing the American public Sunday afternoon.

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*First Published: Jun 12, 2016, 11:27 am CDT