President Obama struck a somber tone at a scheduled campaign stop in Florida Friday, calling for a national time of reflection in the wake of a Colorado shooting spree that killed at least 12 people and injured 50 more.
"This morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as an American family," Obama said in Fort Myers, Fla. "If there's anything to take away from this tragedy it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and precious."
Obama cut short a day of campaigning in Florida and returned to the White House, where aides said he would continue to receive updates from staff on the aftermath of the shooting.
"There are going to be other days for politics," the president told his supporters. "This is a day for prayer and reflection."
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also expressed his condolences for the families and victims in the Aurora, Colo., shooting in which a gunman opened fire inside a movie theater during a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."
"Our hearts break with the sadness of this unspeakable tragedy," Romney said at a solemn event in New Hampshire. "There will be justice for those responsible, but that's another matter for another day."
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have asked television stations in Colorado to take their negative campaign advertisements off the air.