President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden flew down to Orlando, Florida on Thursday to show solidarity with the victims of last weekend’s attack.
The two wanted to show that, "Americans stand shoulder to shoulder," with the people of central Florida, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One.
"There's no more tangible way to show support," Schultz said, "than by traveling to the city where this horrific incident occurred."
Mr. Obama and Biden are meeting privately with the families of the victims and survivors as well as local law enforcement. The shooting early Sunday at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, left 49 people dead and 53 wounded.
"He wants to make sure that those families who are going through this unimaginable pain know that the president of the United States is there with them," Schultz said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, flew to Orlando on Air Force One with Mr. Obama and they were expected to have "a conversation" on the flight, said Schultz, who suggested it would not be related to the senator faces about reconsidering running for reelection to the Senate this year.
Neither the president nor the vice president were slated to speak publicly during the trip Thursday. Mr. Obama has spoken publicly about the attack since it unfolded Sunday.
The president has often traveled to places where there have been mass shootings including Tucson in 2011, which was the shooting involving then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Aurora and Newtown in 2012, Charleston last June and Roseburg, Oregon, last October after the shooting at a community college.
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