President Obama Visiting With Families and Victims in Orlando
(ABC) -- President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are now in Orlando meeting with the families of victims and first responders there, after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest attack in the United States since 9/11.
A gunman killed 49 people in Sunday’s early morning massacre, and the president is offering his condolences to the victims’ families. It's his 10th visit to a community victimized by a mass shooting during his presidency.
Despite the political differences between the two, Obama was joined on Air Force One by Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., for the trip to the senator’s home state amid their calls for unity and solidarity.
Upon arriving in Orlando, Obama and Biden met with law enforcement officials and first responders to the Pulse nightclub, they then stopped at the Orlando Amway Center in downtown Orlando to meet with survivors and victims' families.
At Wednesday’s White House briefing, Josh Earnest said that “the profound sense of survivor’s guilt that some people are expressing is painful just to read, and I think it is important for the president of the United States, on behalf of the country, to show his support for these families and for these individuals.”
Earnest spoke about the emotional toll of these events on Obama, who has frequently traveled to the affected areas after catastrophes and attacks. “It would be impossible for him to not be personally affected by these kinds of conversations and these kinds of interactions," he said. "I think the president in the past has indicated that he draws on his faith as he considers fulfilling these kinds of responsibilities."
Obama was greeted upon arrival in Orlando by the state's Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a supporter of GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump. Scott complained in recent days that the president has not directly called him, even after he reportedly received calls from Trump and former President George W. Bush.