Counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan told Obama of the shooting at 5:26 a.m., the White House said. He has also been briefed by the FBI director and his chief of staff while on the way to the airport in Florida. Obama spoke with Aurora's mayor and Colorado's governor as well.
The Obama campaign has removed its negative ads targeting Mitt Romney for his time at Bain Capital and his tax records, and Obama's super PAC has suspended advertising in Colorado too. "We have asked affiliates to pull down our contrast advertising for the time being," said campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "It takes time for stations to be able to do this, but we are making every effort."
In his brief speech this morning, Obama said today should be focused on "prayer and reflection," for which he was applauded.
"There are going to be other days for politics," he said. As he ended his speech, his supporters chanted, "Four more years!"
Romney also spoke exclusively about the shooting at an event that had been campaign related.
"This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another and how much we love and how much we care for our great country," he said.
Ann Romney canceled an event in Michigan, and the Romney campaign has also pulled its ads in Colorado.
"Today we feel not only a sense of grief but perhaps also of helplessness," he said. "The answer is that we can come together."
The first lady and Vice President Biden also have canceled campaign events today. Michelle Obama was scheduled to be in Virginia, and Biden planned to raise money for Senate Democrats in Texas.
Neither campaign has said whether President Obama or Romney plan on visiting Aurora to talk about the shooting. Perhaps Obama's most memorable speech on tragedy was in Tucson, Arizona, after Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and six people died. In that speech, Obama invoked the life of a 9-year-old girl who was killed and said he wanted to live up to her expectations.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by ABC News correspondent Matt Negrin, with reporting by ABC's Jake Tanner, Mary Bruce and Emily Friedman in context here: abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/campaigns-cancel-events-pull-attack-ads/story?id=16819939#.UAmXp6Dh7No