Gabrielle Giffords shooting stirs outpouring of concern and support
In the hours after Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot in Tucson Saturday, politicians across the country, including President Obama, Sarah Palin and John McCain, offered sympathies to the victims.
An excerpt of the remarks:
President Obama — “Gabby Giffords was a friend of mine. She is not only an extraordinary public servant, but she is also somebody who is warm and caring. She is well liked by her colleagues and well liked by her constituents. Her husband, Mark Kelly, is a Navy captain and one of America’s valiant astronauts.
“It’s not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does — listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is all about. That is why this is more than a tragedy for those involved. It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country.
“What Americans do at times of tragedy is to come together and support each other. So at this time I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping all the victims and their families, including Gabby, in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have been injured, we are rooting for them. And I know Gabby is as tough as they come, and I am hopeful that she’s going to pull through.
“Obviously our hearts go out to the family members of those who have been slain. We are going to get to the bottom of this, and we’re going to get through this. But in the meantime, I think all of us need to make sure that we’re offering our thoughts and prayers to those concerned.”
Sarah Palin — “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.”
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security: “I am deeply saddened by reports that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Chief Judge John Roll and others were attacked this afternoon in Tucson, Ariz. 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.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz): “I am horrified by the violent attack on Rep. 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.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R- Ohio): “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- San Francisco): “Our prayers and thoughts are will all of them. ... Congresswoman Giffords is a great patriotic American.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: “I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she’s actually a friend. She’s always been a noble public servant.”
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.): “Caryll and I send our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Judge John Roll and the others who were killed and injured today in Tucson. Judge Roll, who presided over the federal District Court in Arizona, was an exceptional judge and a good friend.
“We pray for the recovery of Rep. Giffords and the others who remain in critical condition. Congresswoman Giffords is also a good friend, and I find it especially saddening that such a heinous crime would occur while she was fulfilling her congressional responsibilities.
“All of us will work to ensure that justice will be served fully and swiftly.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.