Newtown victim's mom to give Obama weekly address - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Newtown victim's mom to give Obama weekly address

? David Wheeler speaks and Francine Wheeler holds a picture of their son Ben during the launch of the Sandy Hook Promise event. ? David Wheeler speaks and Francine Wheeler holds a picture of their son Ben during the launch of the Sandy Hook Promise event.
NEWTOWN, CT (AP) -

The White House says the mother of a Newtown shooting victim will deliver the weekly presidential radio and Internet address.

President Barack Obama typically gives the talk, focusing on a topic that's in the news or a policy the White House is pushing.

This week, Obama has asked Francine Wheeler to deliver the address instead. Wheeler and her husband, David, lost their 6-year-old son Ben in the December schoolhouse shooting in Newtown.

"I am honored that the President asked me to give the Radio Address this morning. We were grateful this week to be able to speak directly to Senators about our children and our hopes that no other parent should have to experience our grief," said Francine Wheeler in a statement. "I am equally grateful today to speak directly to the American people about the common sense solutions that are currently under debate."

Francine Wheeler will become the first citizen to deliver the Presidential Radio Address during Obama's term.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says Obama believes the voices of Newtown families have been critical to progress on gun control.

The families have been in Washington lobbying members of Congress. The Senate cleared its first hurdle for gun control legislation on Thursday and will consider expanded background checks next week.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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