New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged President Obama's response to the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying the nation needs action, not rhetoric, to deal with gun violence. 

"President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough," said Bloomberg in a statement. "We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress."

In his response to the tragedy, a teary-eyed Obama said, “we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

The politically independent Bloomberg is the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he organized to counter the influence of the National Rifle Association. In the last election he formed his own super PAC to support candidates who back tougher gun restrictions, among other issues. 

Live blog: Updates on the Newtown school shooting