Tearful Obama calls for ‘meaningful action’ to prevent future shootings

December 14, 2012

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: 

* An emotional President Obama wiped away tears as he addressed the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting that killed 27 people, including 20 children. “Our hearts are broken today,” Obama said at the White House. He promised “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this,” but did not say specifically what he might do. 

* New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) said that Obama must do more to prevent gun violence than to call for "meaningful action." "[T]he country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem – and take immediate executive action," Bloomberg said in a statement in his capacity as co-chair of Mayors against illegal guns. "Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We have heard that rhetoric before." In a separate statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he hopes the shooting will spur action on gun control. "We as a society must unify and once and for all crack down on the guns that have cost the lives of far too many innocent Americans," Cuomo said. 

* Hours after the shooting, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that it was not the time to discuss gun control legislation. “I think that day will come, but today’s not that day, especially as we are awaiting more information about the situation,” Carney said.

* Obama ordered that the flag be flown at half-staff at the White House and all federal buildings, military posts and naval stations and vessels though sundown Dec. 18 to honor of the victims of the Connecticut shooting.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Addressing recreational marijuana use in the states that recently legalized it is not a top priority for his administration, Obama said in an interview. “We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said of marijuana smokers in Colorado and Washington, where voters legalized the drug use via referenda on Nov. 6. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal,” Obama added. 

* After Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) predicted that Gov. Nikki Haley (R) might name his replacement on Friday, Haley's office responded with a statement saying that no announcement would be made on Friday. 

* In an interview, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) sought to put to rest speculation that he might run for president in 2016. "We're not going to spend any time on it, which essentially makes it impossible," he said. Hickenlooper also said he thinks he is too moderate to survive a Democratic primary. 

* For the first time, the conservative group Crossroads GPS's application to the Internal Revenue Service for recognition of tax-exempt status has been made public. A ProPublica report reveals that the nonprofit organization told the IRS that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy. While acknowledging in its application that the group would spend money on elections, it said "any such activity will be limited in amount, and will not constitute the organization's primary purpose."

With Aaron Blake

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Chris Cillizza · December 14, 2012