Politicizing Tragedy: Obama asks Newtown Mom to Deliver his Weekly Address

Photo Credit: Reuters

President Barack Obama has asked a mother whose 6-year-old son was killed in the Newtown, Connecticut massacre to deliver his weekly radio address, an unusual move expected to turn up the pressure on Congress to pass tougher gun control laws.

Francine Wheeler, whose son Ben was one of the 26 people killed by a gunman at an elementary school on December 14, will deliver the Saturday radio address, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Obama brought families of the Newtown victims to Washington on Air Force One on Monday, and they have been meeting with senators to urge them to support new laws that, among other measures, would require more background checks for gun sales.

“He believes their voices and resolve have been critical to the continued progress we’ve seen in the Senate,” Carney said.

Vice President Joe Biden has occasionally delivered the weekly address, but the short message to Americans is traditionally given by the president himself.

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