Text of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement Friday on the shootings in Colorado, as transcribed by Roll Call:
Good morning and thank you for joining us, the senator and me, on this very sad day. And thank you to Father Christian for beginning this gathering with a — with a word of prayer.
Our — our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy.
Ann and I join the president and first lady and all Americans in offering our deepest condolences for those whose lives were shattered in a few moments, a few moments of evil in Colorado.
I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and grandfather, a husband, an American. This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another and how much we love and how much we care for our great country. There’s so much love and goodness in the heart of America.
In the coming days, we’ll surely learn more about the lives that have been lost and the families that have been harmed by this hateful act. We’ll come to know more about the talents and the gifts that each victim possessed. And we’ll come to understand the hope and the opportunity that’s been lost.
Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray that the wounded will recover and that those who are grieving will know the nearness of God.
Today we feel not only a sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness.
But there is something we can do. We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy laden, and we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado.
This morning, Colorado lost youthful voices which would have brightened their homes, enriched their schools and brought joy to their families. Our prayer is that the Comforter might bring the peace to their souls that surpasses our understanding.
The Apostle Paul explained, ‘‘Blessed be God who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble.’’
What we do know is how evil is overcome and we’re seeing that greater power today in the goodness and compassion of a wounded community. Grieving and worried families in Aurora are surrounded with love today, and not just by those who are with them and holding them in their arms. They can also know that they are being lifted up in prayer by people in every part of our great nation.
Now, and in the hard days to come, may every one of them feel the sympathy of our whole nation and the comfort of a living god. There will be justice for those responsible, but that’s another matter for another day. Today is a moment to grieve and to remember, to reach out and to help, to appreciate our blessings in life.
Each one of us will hold our kids a little closer, linger a bit longer with a colleague or a neighbor, reach out to a family member or friend. We’ll all spend a little less time thinking about the worries of our day and more time wondering about how to help those who are in need of compassion most.
The answer — answer is that we can come together. We will show our fellow citizens the good heart of the America we know and love.
God bless you for being here and sharing together this moment of sorrow. And God bless the United States of America.