WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will travel to Colorado today to meet with families of the victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting rampage, the White House announced Saturday.
He will also meet with local and state officials on his visit, which he is making ahead of a previously scheduled three-day trip to Western states for official and campaign events.
The president cut short a campaign trip in Florida on Friday after learning of the tragedy and returned to the White House for meetings with senior officials to discuss the situation.
A spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said no final plans had been made for a memorial service honoring the victims of Friday’s deadly rampage. Earlier Saturday, officials in Colorado said the state’s congressional delegation would attend. It was not clear whether Obama would attend.
Obama had been scheduled to leave Washington on Monday, stopping first in Nevada for a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. The White House now says Obama, after stopping in Colorado, will travel to San Francisco this evening.
Both Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, curtailed campaigning after the massacre in Aurora. They also pulled their campaign ads – most of which are relentlessly negative – from view in Colorado.
Romney will travel overseas this week to meet with leaders of foreign nations.
The Republican presidential candidate leaves Tuesday on a six-day swing to the U.K., Israel and Poland.
Romney’s campaign depicts the trip as “an opportunity for the governor to learn and listen,” said Lanhee Chen, the Romney campaign’s policy director.
The first stop is London, where he’ll attend the Summer Olympics, hoping for a spate of stories recalling his role in rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He’ll also meet with current and former British leaders and raise campaign money.