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President Obama has been widely praised for his comments about the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama said Friday. Newt Gingrich, however, saw the president’s words as “disgraceful” and “appalling.” In Sean Hannity’s radio show, Gingrich blasted the president for mentioning Martin’s race, saying he was purposefully being divisive, reports ABC News.
“What the president said in a sense is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like,” Gingrich said. “Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background. Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?”
At a campaign event in Kenner, La., Gingrich expanded on his remarks, mentioning the fact that there are dangerous neighborhoods in the country without ever mentioning race, reports the National Journal. “We have got to get beyond any sense of some American group being the other,” Gingrich said. “Every young American is endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Gingrich have all described the case as a tragedy and have called for further investigations. Romney said the “terrible tragedy” is “inexplicable at this point.” Santorum said that the fact that police didn’t immediately pursue the shooter “is another chilling example of obviously horrible decisions made by people in this process,” reports CNN.