TAPPER: It seems to a lot of observers that you made the political calculation in 2008, in your first term and in 2012 not to talk about gun violence. You had your position on renewing the ban on semiautomatic rifles that then Senator Biden put into place, but you didnít do much about it. This is not the first issue ó the first incident of horrific gun violence of your four years. Where have you been?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, hereís where Iíve been, Jake. Iíve been president of the United States, dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. I donít think Iíve been on vacation.
And so, you know, I think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize what we do here in Washington. And as I said on Sunday, you know, this should be a wake-up call for all of us to say that if we are not getting right the need to keep our children safe, then nothing else matters. And itís my commitment to make sure that, that we do everything we can to keep our children safe. A lot of things go ó are involved in that, Jake. So making sure theyíve got decent health care and making sure theyíve got a good education, making sure that their parents have jobs ó those are all relevant as well. Those arenít just sort of side issues. But thereís no doubt that this has to be a central issue. And thatís exactly why Iím confident that Joe is going to take this so seriously over the next couple months.
What a frustrating question and answer. I have sided with and voted for Republicans all my life -- not because of social beliefs, but regarding economic/government issues. I'm an open book now.
If you want my vote as a Father of a 5 year old public school child, you will do something about the guns. That is and will continue to be my number one priority.