*President Obama arrived in Orlando, Fla. Thursday afternoon to meet with relatives of people killed in the shooting rampage as well as with survivors of the June 12 massacre.
Obama was joined on the flight by two Florida lawmakers — Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Corrine Brown (D) — while another, Sen. Bill Nelson (D), flew down with Vice President Biden, officials said.
Upon arrival, Obama shook hands with Gov. Rick Scott (R), a fierce critic of the president who had recently noted that Obama hadn’t called him directly in the wake of the shootings, while former President George W. Bush and the current presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump called immediately.
Obama also greeted Mayor Buddy Dyer (D), who presented POTUS with an “Orlando United” T-shirt.
While laying flowers at a memorial downtown, about a mile and a half from the club where the shooting occurred, Obama said the city was “shaken by an evil, hateful act,” reports the Washington Post. Obama said that he and Vice President Biden met with the family members of people slain in the shooting, calling their grief indescribable.
“Our hearts are broken, too,” Obama said he told the relatives. “We stand with you.”
He continued: “Our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or even just a disturbed individual to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons, and they can do so legally. Today, once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents and they asked, ‘Why does keep happening?’ And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. They don’t care about the politics. Neither do I.”
The visit was meant demonstrate that “Americans stand shoulder to shoulder” with Orlando, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters during the flight.
The shooting rampage early Sunday left 49 people dead and dozens more injured. Hours before Obama arrived, officials in Orlando said that nearly two dozen people injured in the shooting were still hospitalized, six of them in critical condition.
Watch Obama’s full remarks in Orlando below:
Watch raw footage of Obama’s arrival in Orlando below: