Jeb Bush Cancels Charleston Campaign Appearance as 2016 Candidates React to Tragedy

Bush, Hillary Clinton and the pack take to Twitter to send prayers to the victims of the church shooting

Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty

Jeb Bush has called off a planned campaign appearance in Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday and is instead sending prayers to the shaken city, where police say Dylann Storm Roof, 21, shot and killed nine people after sitting in on a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

Bush, the Republican former governor of Florida who launched his presidential campaign this week, was just one of several 2016 candidates to join the outpouring of condolences and horror over the Wednesday night attack on Bible-study students.

Bush was to appear Thursday at the Charleston Maritime Center as part of his kickoff tour of early-primary states that are seeing a lot of candidates in advance of 2016 voting.

Earlier on Wednesday, before the vicious attack on Charleston’s historic black church, Democrat Hillary Clinton spoke at Trident Technical College in North Charleston about income inequality. Within hours, her message to the people of South Carolina took a somber turn:

Rand Paul, the candidate who’s also the junior U.S. senator from Kentucky, also weighed in:

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And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, released a statement saying churches are supposed to be sanctuaries – places “of refuge and respite from the earthly [that] connect us to the heavenly.”

“The Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., became a scene of unspeakable carnage because an evil person violated the sanctuary where earth and heaven meet and turned it into a place where earth and hell meet. … All Americans join in the condemnation of this act, but for Christians, such horror is especially painful because a holy place for peace and prayer has been infected and desecrated by demonic violence. The prayers that were interrupted by a mass murderer will be continued by a grieving nation.”

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