Obama, Boehner, Palin and others react to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting

Vince Coglianese Contributor
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President Barack Obama: (Written statement, see here for statement to press) “This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded. We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “It is with the deepest sadness that we have received word of the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and her constituents. This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy, and today is a very sad day for our country. My prayers, and the prayers of all Members of Congress, go out to her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, their family, and to all of the staff and others who were victims of this horrible attack. Congresswoman Giffords is a brilliant and courageous Member of Congress, bringing to Washington the views of a new generation of national leaders. It is especially tragic that she was attacked as she was meeting with her constituents whom she serves with such dedication and distinction.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): “I was deeply horrified to learn today of the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, her staff, and the residents of Tucson on this sad day.   As this serious situation continues to develop, I remain in close communication with leaders of both parties, the Speaker’s office and the Sergeant at Arms.  We will remain in constant communication regarding any schedule changes.”

Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC): “My prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff and the other victims of the shooting this morning, as well as their families and friends. This act of violence weighs heavily on my heart and my mind as information continues to unfold about this mindless attack. Whether through words or weapons, violence has no place in our democracy and all of us have a responsibility to foster a climate in which we can exchange ideas and views passionately but peacefully.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “My prayers are with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her family, her staff, and all the victims of today’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Congresswoman Giffords is a devoted and insightful public servant, and a passionate advocate for her constituents—but more than that, she is my dear friend. To all those who are privileged to know Gabby Giffords, who know her spirit and graciousness in public life, today’s cowardly attack is devastating. But it is equally devastating to every American—to everyone who cares about our democracy. Our form of government, like all human things, is imperfect and flawed; but one of its greatest virtues is its power to resolve questions of the greatest import without violence. An attack on a member of that government—of whatever party or whatever views—is an attack on that principle, in which every American has a stake.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: “I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Arizona. There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence. Gabby is a steadfast representative for southern Arizona and both she and John are dedicated public servants.”

Attorney General Eric Holder: “Today’s tragedy in Arizona was a senseless act of violence that has already resulted in devastating loss, including the death of Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll and four other individuals and the wounding of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a number of others. All of those who were killed or injured and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. As the President said, FBI Director Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation. The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today’s events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy. I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts.”

Gov. Sarah Palin (AK): “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

Gov. Jan Brewer (AZ): Please join me in prayer for the health of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several other individuals who were shot this morning in Tucson.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “I have nothing but wonderful things to say about her.”

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO): “I saw her yesterday, never even suspected it would be the last time.”

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL): “Words cannot express the pain and sorrow I feel…”

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “My tears are flowing, and I am stunned and angered that Gabby Giffords was savagely gunned down.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “Our thoughts and prayers are with Gabrielle Giffords, her family, and her staff”

Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL): “This is an absolute tragedy.  Gabby and I briefly served together on the House Science Committee where she was always approachable about working on matters of national interest.  The wife of an astronaut and a devoted public servant, Gabby has been a tireless advocate for her district and state.  All our hearts are heavy today for her, her family, staff and constituents.  They are all in our prayers.”

Rahm Emanuel (Chicago mayoral candidate): Gabby is a friend, a former colleague, and a respected public servant who was doing what she loved most: meeting her constituents.

Spencer Giffords (father): Her father Spencer Giffords, 75, wept when asked if his 40-year-old daughter had any enemies. “Yeah,” he told The Post. “The whole tea party.”

Jesse Kelly (her Congressional opponent): “We are all deeply saddened by this morning’s shooting. Gabrielle Giffords, the other victims, and their families are in our prayers.”

Randy Pullen (AZ GOP Chairman): “Senseless acts of violence like these are shocking, disturbing and have no place in our country.”

E-mail from Capitol Police: “Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities in Arizona are investigating a shooting in Tucson, Arizona in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Multiple others were shot as well. Congresswoman Giffords has been transported to a local medical facility with serious injuries. The suspect is in custody. No further details on the motive or other victims are available at this time. The U.S. Capitol Police are directly involved in this investigation. As more information is developed, it will be provided. In the interim, all Members and staff are advised to take reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal security.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): “I am deeply saddened by today’s tragic shooting of my colleague Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff and residents in Tucson, Arizona. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, along with those impacted by this senseless act of violence.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion.  I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families.  I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones. Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.”

Herman Cain (Radio host, possible 2012 presidential candidate): I would like to extend my prayers and condolences to those hurt by today’s senseless shooting in Arizona. Please keep Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the countless other victims in your thoughts and prayers.

GOP Chairman Michael Steele: “I am deeply shocked and horrified by the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, and her constituents. Today’s senseless act of violence is an attack on the American ideal and goes against our country’s deeply held democratic values. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Representative Giffords and the families of all of those who were victims of this national tragedy.”

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine: “The terrible act of violence in Arizona has left us all aghast.  It is a sad day for America and our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Giffords and all the victims of this tragedy. The facts of this criminal act are still to be determined, but we thoroughly condemn what happened in Arizona today. We must all reaffirm that there is no place in our country for violent attacks of this kind on public servants or any citizen for any reason. I know that I speak for our entire Democratic family in saying that my heart goes out to the victims of today’s shooting and to the families of those who have perished as a result of this act of violence. My prayers continue to be with those who have suffered from and are responding to today’s tragic event in Arizona.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden: “We at NASA are deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting of Representative Giffords and others at Saturday’s public event in Tucson. As a long-time supporter of NASA, Representative Giffords not only has made lasting contributions to our country, but is a strong advocate for the nation’s space program and a member of the NASA family. She also is a personal friend with whom I have had the great honor of working. We at NASA mourn this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to Congresswoman Giffords, her husband Mark Kelly, their family, and the families and friends of all who perished or were injured in this terrible tragedy.”

Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn

Statement from SEIU President Mary Kay Henry: “Today is a sad day for all Americans. As a country, we know there is no place for the sort of terror and hate reported in Tucson, Arizona. On behalf of the 2.2 million nurses, janitors, homecare aides, bus drivers and other members of the Service Employees International Union, I would like to express our deepest condolences to all those touched by this tragedy. From Representative Gabrielle Giffords who is battling for her life to those who were injured and killed, you will be in our prayers now and in the coming days and weeks.”

Statement from House Sergeant at Arms: “As local and national law enforcement authorities continue to investigate the tragic incident which took place in Arizona today, I would like to make you aware of the following measures which are being taken in conjunction with the U.S. Capitol Police… If you are scheduled to be in a public forum (town hall meetings, rallies, etc.), and feel uncertain about your safety, immediately contact the U.S. Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section or the Sergeant at Arms.”

Statement from House Democratic Whip Stenny Hoyer: “The Republican leadership has announced, in consultation with Democratic leadership, that there will be no legislative action in the House next week that does not relate to today’s tragic event in Arizona. Consideration of Health Care Repeal legislation has been postponed to a later time. We are all keeping the victims and their families in our prayers.”