How the Presidential Nominees Responded to the Orlando Mass Shooting

June 12th 2016

Aron Macarow

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took to Twitter to express their sadness about Sunday morning's attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which 50 people are expected dead and another 53 people injured. The shooting came as many LGBT Americans celebrated Pride Month across the country:

Bernie Sanders also responded in an interview on "Meet the Press," retweeting a statement on his official account:

Other key players in the 2016 primary race also weighed in as America woke up to the stunning news of the shooting, which is being described as the nation's worst mass shooting and one of the deadliest attacks against LGBT people in U.S. history. They included Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former GOP Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former GOP Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan:

The violence erupted early Sunday when a gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub that was packed with at least 320 club-goers.

Former Republican presidential contender Ben Carson also spoke, responding to Fox News that we "have to get much more serious" about terrorism:

Meanwhile, Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott assured the public that all resources would be devoted to assisting in the aftermath of the attack.

Democratic Michigan State Rep. Jeremy Moss had a pointed political response, connecting the shooting to recent national conversations around bathroom access for transgender people. Calling the mass shooting "horrifying and shocking," Moss separately tweeted his support for policies supporting safe bathroom access for the transgender community.

Not everyone responded with shock and sorrow. In a tweet deleted shortly after it was posted, GOP Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick posted a photo with the words of Galatians 6:7. The verse in the image read: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick responds terribly to Orlando shooting.

Although the tweet does not mention the attack directly, many took it to be a direct response and a condemnation of the gay victims. Others, however, said that it may have been a previously scheduled tweet that simply posted at an inopportune moment.