WASHINGTON (AP) -- The deadly shootings at a movie theater in Colorado have briefly silenced the presidential campaign, prompting both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to cut short their schedules and pull advertising in the state out of respect for the victims and their families.
Obama and Romney used campaign appearances on Friday to focus attention on the need for national unity in the aftermath of the shootings in Aurora, which killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. Their campaign teams rescheduled Sunday show appearances by top aides and surrogates, essentially providing a break in what has been an increasingly testy campaign.
The killing rampage injected a new tone into the campaign after Obama and Romney had clashed repeatedly over the economy, Medicare and tax returns.
Obama was set to start his second day of events in Florida when the shootings occurred, prompting his team to address the violence at a previously scheduled rally in Fort Myers, Fla., and scrapping an event in suburban Orlando. Obama told supporters in Fort Myers that the shootings served as a "reminder that life is very fragile."