President Donald Trump earned high praise from CNN and other political commentators Monday after he delivered prepared remarks on the deadly shooting in Las Vegas. Reading from a teleprompter, Trump called the attack "pure evil" in a short speech that did not veer off path. CNN called his statement "pitch perfect."
"My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief," Trump said to begin his speech. " Last night a gunman open fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil."
"I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many," he added. "The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something we will always be thankful and grateful."
The president then went biblical, quoting a scripture from the Bible and asking God to look over the families of the victims.
"Hundreds of our fellow citizens are suddenly mourning the loss of a loved one," he said. "To the families of the victims we are praying for you and we are there for you. And we ask God to see you during this dark period."
Trump's surprisingly measured response garnered him praise and the highly-desirable "presidential" descriptor.
Trump's teleprompter statement on the Vegas massacre was spot-on presidential
— Jackie Calmes (@jackiekcalmes) October 2, 2017
On CNN, John King noted that, unlike other terror events, Trump had only sent out one tweet about the attack, enough for King to describe his response as “presidential.”
Moments later, CNN’s Jeff Zeleny said Trump was focused on “unity” and that he had, thus far, behaved very "presidential."
Poppy Marlow was also effusive in Trump's praise, marveling at how he avoided to inject politics in his speech.
At the end of the day, Trump's words remain hollow until he and Congress act to stop prolific gun violence in America. Like his order of the flag to be set at half staff, symbolic gestures and words should not be criterions of presidential.