Weekly Roundup: The candidates respond to tragedy

Last Updated by Campaign Connection editor on

The mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, pushed several key election issues into the spotlight this week. In their responses, both parties' candidates offered a glimpse into their general election platforms, as they tackled the debates around gun control and LGBT rights.

The 2016 primary season only officially ended on Tuesday, but the tragic events in Orlando gave America its first chance since the candidates clinched their nominations to weigh their reaction to a crisis.


PBS NewsHour Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton react to Orlando mass shooting Amy Walter and Tamara Keith join Gwen Ifill to discuss the latest in politics. Clinton and Trump's tactics underscored the divide between their campaigns. Clinton focused largely on policies surrounding gun control, surveillance of 'lone wolf' terrorist suspects and outreach to the LGBT community.

Trump cycled back to his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, suggesting a policy that would expand the ban to countries with a proven history of ties to terrorism. 

As the back-and-forth continued, Clinton also broached the issue of linguistics surrounding radicalization and Islam, which became a key talking point for both candidates.


Trump's remarks, especially his immediate Twitter response to the shooting, stoked condemnation from President Obama and Clinton, but also from many Republican lawmakers, some of whom withheld endorsement of the presumptive nominee.


PBS NewsHour News Wrap: Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ slammed by Obama, Clinton Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump faced criticism for his call to ban Muslim immigrants

In response to the political conversation, PBS NewsHour fact-checked both candidates' words on terrorism, while Washington Week reflected on the experiences of LGBT Americans. As calls for an assault weapons ban began to surface from some lawmakers, Marketplace looked at the prevalence of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in mass shootings in America.


As details about the massacre in Orlando were coming to light, the final primary of the season in Washington, D.C. pit Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders against Clinton for one last time. Clinton won the primary and turned her sights toward unifying the Democratic Party, as questions about Sanders' plans in the weeks ahead still remained. NPR looked back at the influence of Sanders' campaign on the 2016 race so far.

The question of whether Sanders would concede to Clinton loomed large ahead of a livestreamed address by the senator on Thursday. There was no concession, but Sanders said he looked forward to working with the former Secretary of State to defeat Trump at the ballot box – while also making clear that his fight was not over.