WINTER PARK, FLA. -- President Obama cut his two-day Florida campaign swing short Friday after 12 people were shot to death early that morning in a movie theater in the Denver, Colorado, suburb of Aurora.
The alleged gunman was arrested in the parking lot of the theater complex.
The president spoke about the tragedy in Fort Myers late Friday morning before returning to the White House.
He said it was occasions like these that put things into perspective, and reminded us that there are things vastly more important than the day to day petty squabbles that can consume us of we let them.
He took note of the intensely personal nature of this tragedy for the families, and said that the prayers of this nation were with those who were suffering in the aftermath of the shooting.
President Obama was in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach Thursday. He was scheduled to speak on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park this afternoon, but that event was cancelled when the president got word of the shooting.
The president, in Jacksonville, described plans to help veterans get back into the workforce and to help pare down the debt by using money no longer being spent on the wars from which these people have returned.
The president's overall plan will pay down the national debt in a balanced way and still make the investments needed to create jobs and grow the economy over the long haul.
The White House release said the president will also repeat his call on Congress to act now to give middle-class families some certainty by preventing a scheduled tax increase on 98 percent of Americans, including families across Florida.