Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney Friday called the early morning fatal shooting at a movie theater in Colorado an "unspeakable tragedy."
Romney, appearing in Bow, N.H., at what had originally been billed as a campaign rally, said the news was heartbreaking and offered his "deepest condolences" for the victims and their families.
"I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father, a grandfather and an American," he said. "This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another."
He added, "There is so much love and goodness in the heart of America."
Romney urged all Americans to show their compassion for those that are suffering in the wake of the shooting.
"Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray that the wounded will recover and that those who are grieving will know the nearness of God," he said. "Today we feel not only a sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness but there is something that we can do."
He added, "We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering … and we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado."
Although the events of the shooting are inexplicable, Romney said that there were at least some answers evident in the response.
"What we do know is how evil can be overcome. And we're seeing that power today in the goodness and compassion of a wounded community," he said. "Now, and in the hard days to come, may every one of them feel the sympathy of our whole nation."
Romney also said he was confident that "there will be justice" for the victims, but emphasized that that was a matter for the future.
"Today is a moment to grieve and to remember [and] to reach out and to help," he said. "Each one of us will hold our kids a little closer, linger a bit longer with a colleague or neighbor … we'll all spend a little less time thinking about the worries of our day."
He added, "The answer is that we can come together. We will show our fellow citizens the good heart of the America we know and love."
In a rare détente in the hard fought presidential race, both Romney and President Barack Obama - along with their allies - have pulled political attack ads off the airwaves in Colorado in the wake of the shooting.
The Romney campaign also announced that the candidate's wife Ann Romney was canceling a previously scheduled campaign appearance Friday.
by RTT Staff Writer
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