Now we want to turn back to washington where president obama did speak today about the tragedy in his emotional press conference, talking as commander in chief and as father of two young daughters.... See More
Now we want to turn back to washington where president obama did speak today about the tragedy in his emotional press conference, talking as commander in chief and as father of two young daughters. Here abc's chief white house correspondent jake tapper now. Reporter: As flags were lowered to half staff at the white house this afternoon. Our hearts are broken today. Reporter: President obama reacted not as a president, but as a parent. I know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief they do. Reporter: It was an emotional side of the president rarely seen in public. He repeatedly wiped tears. And paused to compose himself. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Reporter: It was almost two years ago the president was called to be consoler in chief after a different act of gun violence in tucson where congresswoman gabby giffords was shot and six others were killed. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. Reporter: Today the president recited a grim list of other places now known for horrific gun violence on his watch. Shopping mall in oregon, a sikh temple in wisconsin, a movie theater is colorado. Today the president suggested he might take some action. We're going to have to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. The only action we know for sure he would take is this one. This evening, michelle and i will do what I know every parent in america will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we'll tell them that we love them. And we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. Reporter: Earlier tonight, the president was scheduled to spend time with the first lady and first daughters, we're presuming that hug took place. House speaker john boehner announced that he would forego the traditional weekly republican address so the president could speak for the entire nation at this time of mourning.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.