WASHINGTON — Setting aside for the moment the political campaign and their sharp differences over the economy, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on Saturday urged a grieved nation to come together to embrace and pray for the victims and families of the senseless tragedy in Colorado.
The president, in his weekly address to the nation, disclosed no new information about the gunman who opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., saying that even as authorities were gathering facts, "we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings."
"But while we will never know what fully causes someone to take the life of another," he said, "we do know what makes that life worth living."
Obama spoke of the 12 people killed in the shooting — mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. "And if there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's a reminder that life is fragile."
He will travel to Colorado today to visit with victims of the shooting and their families.
Boehner began his Saturday message by saying he had intended to talk about the economy. "But life, they say, is what happens when you're busy making other plans," Boehner said.
"We join President Obama in sending condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those who were killed and wounded," Boehner said. He closed his remarks by citing the Bible.
"Scripture tells us that the faith that sustains us is 'the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,' " he said. "We may not yet see or fathom comfort for the mourning, but we'll stand by them and we'll stand together, as one nation, in the difficult hours that lie ahead."