Approximately 10 hours after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, only two presidential candidates have issued statements expressing support for either the three victims or the women’s health organization.
Of the 17 candidates, only former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have put out public statements in response to the massacre, which lasted approximately five hours and resulted in the deaths of one police officer and two civilians.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 27, 2015
We proudly #StandWithPP of Colorado Springs and the brave law enforcement personnel who fought to protect it.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 28, 2015
As of Friday night, none of the 14 Republican candidates had mentioned the shooting. President Obama has also not issued a formal statement at that point, though White House officials released a statement on Friday afternoon saying that Obama had been briefed on the situation.
The lack of response from presidential candidates may have been because of the Thanksgiving holiday. However, some candidates tweeted about other topics as details of the shooting unfolded Friday evening.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for example, sent out a tweet about his campaign merchandise.
Stay warm this winter with our new cold-weather bundle. Shop now and save! https://t.co/ciXinNZaIo
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 28, 2015
Though Rubio’s tweet was likely scheduled in advance, the unfortunate timing was met with some hostility.
Shortly after the shooting suspect was apprehended, Trump also released a statement insulting a New York Times reporter he had made fun of earlier in the week. The reporter suffers from a physical disability.
President Obama weighed in early Saturday, angrily decrying the frequency with which mass shootings have occurred in recent years and calling for legislative action on gun control. “This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough,” he said.
“May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save — and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing.”
On Saturday morning, Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that he was praying for the victims and emergency responders involved in the standoff.
Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 28, 2015
Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley also tweeted his condolences on Saturday.
My thoughts and prayers are with those in Colorado. #StandWithPP
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) November 28, 2015
Republican candidates Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, and Mike Huckabee commented on the attack Sunday, calling the event tragic but continuing to spread claims that Planned Parenthood was selling baby parts. Ben Carson also commented on the attack, calling it a hate crime.