Some comments from top leaders and political figures about the shooting Saturday that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed federal Judge John Roll and several others in Tucson, Ariz.
“It’s not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does, listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors. That is the essence of what our democracy is about.
” Gabby Giffords was a friend of mine. She is not only an extraordinary public servant, but she is also somebody who is warm and caring. She is well liked by her colleagues and well liked by her constituents.” — President Barack Obama.
“We do not know yet the motivation behind these shootings. But what we do know is that there is simply no justification, no rationale for such senseless and appalling violence in our society.” — Vice President Joe Biden.
“This is a national tragedy and an extremely sad day for our country. Congresswoman Giffords is a true advocate for the people of Arizona and is an exceptional member of Congress. My prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family, her staff and all the victims of this senseless act of violence.” — U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been one of my good friends in the House of Representatives. When she was brutally shot, Gabby was out doing what she loved to do — meeting with her constituents in a local setting, allowing people to speak to her directly about the issues that concerned them. This act of shooting Gabby and many others is an act of unthinkable, uncivilized brutality and we all fear acts like this could have a chilling effect on our democratic system. — U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District
“I am shocked and saddened by the horrific shootings in Arizona today. My prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all of those who were killed and injured in this senseless attack.” — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine
“I was horrified and deeply saddened to learn of the unspeakable tragedy in Tucson. My thoughts and prayers are with Representative Giffords, her staff, and with all of the families whose loved ones were killed or injured as a result of this deplorable rampage. Our nation is the greatest in the world partly because our constituents can have unfiltered interactions with those individuals who represent them in the U.S. Congress.” — U.S. Sen Olympia Snowe, R-Maine
“This mass shooting at a public gathering targeting public officials, citizens and staff adds another layer of concern to this tragedy. Any assault on representative democracy must not be allowed to succeed in thwarting or muting citizens’ access to their elected representatives.” — U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
“Congresswoman Giffords is a strong fighter, and the news, as it goes by in the day, has improved in terms of her condition. We are all very prayerful as we learn more.” — U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“Like most members of the House, Gabby Giffords thought nothing of going out and about among the people, to be close to the people, as members of ‘The People’s House’ do almost daily. Gabby courageously continued to do just that despite death threats and attacks on her office, all apparently related to her work in the House.” — U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-Washington D.C.
“We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years. Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.” — Chief Justice John Roberts.
“Congresswoman Giffords is a good friend, and I find it especially saddening that such a heinous crime would occur while she was fulfilling her congressional responsibilities. All of us will work to ensure that justice will be served fully and swiftly.” — U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
“This is a sad day for our country, and acts of senseless violence such as this one affect us all. Congresswoman Giffords is one of our most dynamic members of Congress. As a representative of a neighboring state, I have watched her career closely and admired her work on behalf of the state of Arizona.” — U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“The Department of Homeland Security has offered all possible assistance to the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, who are leading the investigation. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her family and staff, and all those who were injured in this difficult time.” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
“Ms. Giffords represents a new generation of principled and thoughtful political leaders that have come to Washington in recent years.” — Defense Secretary Robert Gates
“We at the Tea Party Express are shocked and saddened to hear about the terrible tragedy that took place in Tucson today. It is appalling that anyone would commit such unthinkable violence against Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, her staff, a sitting federal judge and the many other victims and families impacted. — Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer.
“Today’s horrifying shooting in Tucson shocks the conscience of decent Americans everywhere. When such an unspeakable act occurs, and lives are taken in violence, we rightly respond with comfort and support because that is the only way we know to show that evil does not triumph over goodness in the world.” — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.