Washington: President Obama again shed tears for the children of Newtown.
As he did on the morning of the 2012 mass shooting, Obama choked up Tuesday as he mentioned the “first graders” gunned down at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., while again proposing measures designed to combat gun violence in America.
“Every time I think about those kids, it makes me mad,” Obama said at the White House as he announced new executive actions designed to curb gun deaths.
The Newtown massacre claimed the lives of 20 children, and Obama’s emotional comments about the most innocent victims of gun violence inspired a flood of comments on social media.
Once frowned upon, crying has become more common for recent residents of the White House and aspirants for the presidency.
As recently as the 1972 election, reported tears from Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie undermined his bid for that year’s Democratic presidential nomination. A little more than two years later, President Richard Nixon fought back tears as he departed the White House following his resignation.
Some observers mocked then-Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., for crying when she announced in 1987 she would not seek the presidency. Schroeder later denounced a “dual standard” in which crying women are criticized for being too emotional, while tearful men are lauded for their sensitivity.
In 2008, however, Hillary Clinton choked up in the days before the New Hampshire primary — and went on to score a surprise victory over then-Sen. Barack Obama.
As president, Obama has been known to shed a tear or two, including an emotional set of remarks to his staff after his re-election in 2012.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted that Obama has often described the day of the Newtown shooting as the saddest of his presidency. Said Earnest: “Now even three years later, the thought of those first graders being massacred is terribly sad and really tragic, and really emotional for the president of the United States, who has two daughters.”
In his gun violence remarks Tuesday, Obama said, as he started to choke back tears:
“Our right to peaceful assembly — that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our inalienable right to life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high-schoolers in Columbine, and from first graders in Newtown … First graders.”
President Obama delivers a statement on executive actions to reduce gun violence on Jan. 5, 2016 at the White House in Washington. Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images
Source: USA Today