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Obama, GOP candidates weigh in on teen's death

Obama, GOP candidates weigh in on teen's death

By AP. CREATED Mar 23, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is using unusually personal terms to speak about the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.

Speaking to reporters at the White House today, Obama said if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin, the teen killed by a neighborhood watch member in an Orlando suburb last month.

The Justice Department and FBI have opened a civil rights investigation into the case and local authorities have convened a grand jury to determine whether to charge the shooter, George Zimmerman. Obama called the incident a "tragedy" and said Martin's parents are right to expect that "every aspect" of the case will be investigated.

The Republican presidential candidates are also weighing in.

Referring to the Florida law that gives people latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight, Rick Santorum says: "Stand your ground is not doing what this man did."

Newt Gingrich says people should have a right to self-defense, but the question in this case is whether Zimmerman was the instigator.

Mitt Romney calls the shooting a "tragedy," and echoed the president's call for a thorough investigation.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)