The presidential hopefuls spoke out against the violence

By Stephanie Petit
Updated June 12, 2016 11:30 AM
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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty;Scott Olson/Getty;Charlie Neibergall/AP

Presidential candidates are weighing in on the tragic nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left at least 50 people dead and injured at least 53 more.

During an interview on Meet The Press Sunday morning, Bernie Sanders reacted to the horrific mass shooting in Orlando by calling for automatic weapons not to be sold in the United States.

When Sanders was asked by Chuck Todd for his reaction to the attack on the Pulse nightclub, he said, “It’s horrific. It’s unthinkable, and just hopes go out to those who were shot that they can recover, and I’ve got to tell you for 25 years now, I’ve believed that we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people, and we’ve got to do everything we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them. Criminals and people who are mentally ill, so that struggle continues.”

Hillary Clinton took to Twitter on Sunday morning to share her thoughts:

“Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL,” she wrote. “As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act.”

The tweet was capped with an “H,” showing Clinton composed the message herself. A following tweet shared the same message in Spanish.

Clinton also released a longer statement on Sunday afternoon:

“I join Americans in praying for the victims of the attack in Orlando, their families and the first responders who did everything they could to save lives.

“This was an act of terror. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hard at work, and we will learn more in the hours and days ahead. For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.

“This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.

“Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.

“This is a time to stand together and resolve to do everything we can to defend our communities and country.”

Donald Trump sent a straightforward tweet relaying information about the tragedy.

“Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded,” it read.

Trump also issued follow-up tweets and attacked Obama’s response.

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He tweeted, “Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”

Trump continued: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”