Democrats’ Press Conference

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Following the Governor’s speech, House and Senate Democrats address the shootings and call for a more civil tone at the legislature.

Senator David Schapira: I really want to express my appreciation to the speaker for doing what he did over in the house today in not having points of personal privilege and, instead, in honoring the victims and the victims' families in Tucson. And I also want to show my appreciation to the governor for putting aside politics for the day and for delivering a state-of-the-state focused on the mood of today. And with that, I'll turn it over to Senator Landrum Taylor.

Senator Landrum Taylor: We will always have this as a day that we will remember. And what happens from here, which direction we go, we set the course. We set the -- the roadmap of that direction.

Chad Campbell: It's been a reflective time for me these past 48 hours and given me a new appreciation for being a public servant, as well as being blessed enough to be born and living in this state and country. And I hope we can all keep that in mind as we move forward. Thank you.

Ruben Gallego: This is still a loving state. This is a state that I moved many years ago after my service to my country, to move to raise a family. I think it's indicative we look at who rushed to the scene to help. People of all different color, all different walks of life and religions, there to help out the congresswoman as well as the other victims. We need to remember that in light of what's said. Let's not remember what one lone gunman did. Let's remember what almost every Arizonan did on that day at that mall. They all reached out and tried to help out our victims. As well as through their prayers and through their calls, they did reach out and we have come together as state. So please remember that, especially in these tough times. Thank you.

Albert Hale: This is, for us, a time of reflection. Reflecting on how we got here as a people. All the reflection has to go back to all the campaigning rhetoric and all the things that have been said. Our elders teach that once you say something you can never take it back. So I hope in these times we're careful about what we say about one another. It's time for healing, time for good words, words of peace, words of love. Thank you.

Senator David Schapira: Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema: We're all incredibly grieved about the tragedy that occurred on Saturday. We're worried, we're hoping and praying for the nine individuals who are still today fighting for their lives and we mourn the loss of the six lives that occurred on Saturday. Our hearts go out to their families, to their friends. Our hearts go out to those individuals present at that Safeway Saturday morning who either witnessed or victims of that tragedy and in particular, grateful for the many, many people who despite their own injuries, despite the fear and chaos, reached out to help their fellow individuals and, indeed, we believe saved the lives of, certainly, Gabby Giffords and perhaps others in that very morning. We have an important task in front of us here in Arizona, and that's to obviously continue to hope and pray for those who are fighting for their lives today and help them along as we recover. And as we do that, think we have an opportunity to help our state recover, our nation and indeed the world, who is suffering and grieving as we all are here today. And we have an incredible chance and opportunity to reach forward and create -- an incredible chance to create a different politics here in Arizona and in the country. And I have seen a great display of that start here today on the grounds of the Arizona state capitol. I think David Schapira said it well when he called for the healing of the world. And I can tell you that Democrats of today pledged to begin that process and to heal our state and country and the world. Thank you.

Steve Farley: I first was thrust into this when my campaign manager, Daniel Hernandez, called me from the ambulance where he was holding Gabby's head in his hands. Running toward the bullets instead of away in order to save her life. We found him covered in blood in the driveway to the hospital. We went in with family. My 11- year old daughter, my 16-year-old daughter, set a example for me that I've been trying to follow since then. Gabby's mom just arrived and the rest of the family had not. My daughters knelt at her feet and took her hand in theirs. And for the next hour, they held hands and Gloria stroked their hands and looked deeply into their eyes and they did what they could to help her feel better. We must all do, as leaders now despite our personal pain, is we must band together and we must make people feel better about what happened. Which seems impossible at first, Because it's such an unspeakable act. But that candlelight vigil that night, after having spent a horrifying day with the family in the hospital, coming out, there was word that's came to me that morning that I repeated to the crowd about 200 or 300 people holding candles. It was beautiful. Said you can't stop hope with a bullet. The crowd started chanting and singing that and the spirit of love and reconciliation was rising above the crowd. There was no anger. It was everybody no matter what their beliefs were, coming together and asking for love and reconciliation and that's the spirit over Tucson right now. Over all of southern Arizona. Over the entire United States, at this point. And I believe that we will move forward from this terrible moment and look back and see we've crossed a threshold, a threshold in a new day of politics in which we do not trash one another on either side, where we work together, where we follow in Gabby's model for how you work with people you don't necessarily believe with. Where you work with people and understand that we're all working toward a common goal of creating one state, one nation, together. Making this a better place for everybody. We may not agree with the ways to get there, but we do agree with the goal. And I was so encouraged by the words of Speaker Adams, majority leader Tobin today, the governor today, because I believe they'll be partners in this goal. I pledged the governor today. And if I have ever said anything hurtful or hateful in spite of my best interests, they would call me on it if I ever do that. I will never say anything hateful or hurtful again about somebody else I have a disagreement with because we must break this mold. We must move forward. We can here in Arizona show the rest of the nation how to govern in a civil manner and work together as a society.
Senator David Schapira: Daniel Hernandez is a name known around the world today. Because he, instead of running away from bullets, ran toward them in order to help to save his friends and perhaps has saved the life of Congresswoman Giffords. And I would like to introduce him. [Applause]

Daniel Hernandez: I come today wishing I was here under different circumstances. I speak today with a heavy heart. Congresswoman Giffords was not just a boss. She was someone I admired greatly for years and someone I considered a family friend. For years, I had followed her career and when I finally got the opportunity to work with her in 2008 on the congressional campaign, I was excited and when I had the opportunity to work with her again in 2010, I continued to be excited because Gabby's one of those who is the most endearing, most kindhearted and most approachable politician you'll ever meet, but above all, she is just a kind heart and that's what I want to emphasize. She is still with us. She's a fighter. We know Gabby has been fighting for southern Arizona and all of Arizona in congress for the last couple years, but she is now fighting for her life and we need to make sure we're sending our thoughts and prayers to her. But we know that Gabby would want us to make sure we're sending thoughts and prayers to those who lost family members on this horrific day. Those in the hospital because although the Congresswomen is the one getting the most media attention there were other victims and I know that she would want us to honor these victims and making sure we pay our respects to them and their families. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is someone who will continue to fight and I know she'll pull through it and I look forward to being able to work with her again.

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