The tragic shootings of a Democratic congresswoman and nineteen others Saturday did little to ease the vitriol in the national dialogue, but President Barack Obama’s speech saw liberals and conservatives converge with praise.
In a televised memorial address Wednesday night at the University of Arizona, the president called for national unity in the wake of the tragedy that badly injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and left six others dead, including a federal judge and an aide to Giffords.
“Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken — and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness,” Obama said in an emotional speech honoring the victims.
Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, usually a vociferous critic of Obama, wrote in the Washington Post that the president was “brilliant and courageous” in his remarks.
“He shined a light on the victims and the heroes and told their stories, which had been lost amid the shameful debate that erupted following the attack. In so doing, he gave voice to their courage and sacrifice — and reclaimed the narrative of the day for them,” Thiessen wrote, referring to the speech as “genuine” and comprising “elegance” and “eloquence.”
At the National Review, contributor Jack Pitney wrote: “President Obama gave a fine speech reminding us that there is more to life than politics, and more to politics than self-interest.”
David Frum, also a former Bush speechwriter who now runs his own blog, said the “president’s challenge, as so often, was to make a human connection. In that, he succeeded tonight. He paid tribute to the individuality of the lost, honored the pain of the bereaved, and was crucial in bringing together the collective community acknowledgement of grief that is the only available comfort to those who mourn.”
Philip Klein of the conservative American Spectator opined that “for his first time in office, Barack Obama sounded like the president of all Americans.”
Obama, a father of two young girls, choked up while speaking of the inexplicable death of a nine-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green, in the Tucson shootings.
As the country mourns the victims and looks ahead, the president invoked his vintage calls for transcending partisanship, indirectly urging political adversaries to refrain from assigning blame upon each other.
“[W]hat we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another,” Obama said. “As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
“I believe we can be better.”
Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks
Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.
The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.
Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.
Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy
President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.
"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.
"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.
"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.
Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad
Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.
In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:
Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.