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Obama: There will be other days for politics

10:25 AM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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US President Barack Obama speaks on the shootings in Aurora, Colorado at what was scheduled originally as a campaign event at Harborside Event Center July 20, 2012 in Fort Myers, Florida. 'Such violence, such evil, is senseless. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the live of another, we do know what makes life worth living,' he told a somber crowd in Florida. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

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FORT MEYERS, Fla. -- President Obama paid tribute to the victims of the Colorado shooting tragedy and asked for Americans to pray for the people of the Denver suburb where the shooting spree happened.

Obama's remarks came in Florida where he was scheduled to appear before a campaign event. But Obama spoke only briefly and centered his comments on the shooting tragedy. "There are going to be other days for politics," Obama said.

"This is a day for prayer and reflection." Obama said after he was briefed about the shooting early Friday morning, he immediately thought of his two daughters, who like most young people enjoy going to the movies. "If there is any take away from this, it's that life is fragile," Obama said "Our time here is limited and it's precious."

Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama have also canceled their events today, said campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. Obama also spoke with Gov. John Hickenlooper and the mayor of Aurora, the Denver suburb where the shooting occurred.

"We do not believe at this point there was an apparent nexus to terrorism," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Psaki said that Obama campaign officials have asked affiliates to pull down advertising for the time being.

The Mitt Romney campaign has also pulled advertising in the Colorado market, said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "It takes time for stations to be able to do this, but we are making every effort," Psaki said.

The Romney campaign said the likely GOP nominee will also address the Colorado incident today at a previously scheduled campaign event. In a statement earlier today, Obama called the shooting "horrific and tragic" and said his administration stands ready to help the people of Aurora, Colo.

"We are committed to bringing whoever was responsible to justice, ensuring the safety of our people, and caring for those who have been wounded," Obama said. "As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family. All of us must have the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers as they confront the loss of family, friends, and neighbors, and we must stand together with them in the challenging hours and days to come."

The President was notified of the shooting by his deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, John Brennan, at 5:26 a.m. EST, Carney said. He was also briefed a second time Obama was in Florida on the second day of a two-day campaign trip. Romney called the violence "senseless."

"We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief," Romney said in a statement.

"We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice." A gunman opened fire early Friday at a suburban Denver movie theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people, AP reports. A suspect is in custody.

USA TODAY

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