On Monday Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the President, nor the White House, “cannot and will not” comment on an ongoing case of an abortion doctor which has garnered national attention. The President has not always practiced this absence from public discourse. On March 23rd, 2012, the President said he was happy that there were multiple investigations into the Trayvon Martin case, which involved a man shooting a teenager and citing the “stand your ground” law as a defense. The President called for “soul searching” and said the case was a “tragedy” and that his thoughts were with the parents of the teenager.
QUESTION: Mr. President, may I ask you about this current case in Florida, very controversial, allegations of lingering racism within our society — the so-called do not — I’m sorry — Stand Your Ground law and the justice in that? Can you comment on the Trayvon Martin case, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m the head of the executive branch, and the Attorney General reports to me so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now. But obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.
So I’m glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what’s taking place. I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.
But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.