Discuss as:

Obama: 'If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon'

President Obama addresses the Trayvon Martin case from a White House Rose Garden event.


President Obama today commented on the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, saying he wanted to express his empathy to the youth’s parents.

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: if I had a son he'd look like Trayvon,” Obama said during a last-minute press conference arranged to announce his nomination for president of the World Bank, Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim.

While he said he wanted to refrain from commenting on the ongoing investigation surrounding Martin’s shooting, allegedly by a neighbor on community watch in Sanford, Florida, Obama did say he thought the episode should spur “soul searching to figure out how something like this can happen.”

 “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened,” he said.

Before he took the question about Martin from NBC’s Mike Viqueira, Obama praised his nominee for the World Bank position, noting his long resume in public health including a stint at the World Health Organization as the director of HIV/AIDs research in 2004, which Obama said would help inform his work at the World Bank.

“The leader of the World Bank should have a deep understanding about the role development plays in the world,” Obama said.

“I believe nobody is more qualified to carry out that mission than Dr. Jim Yong Kim.”

While the United States has led the World Bank since the bank’s inception in World War II, Kim will still have to clear approval by the World Bank board of 187 member countries which will make a decision by the bank’s semi-annual meeting on April 21st.