March 25th, 2010
01:52 PM ET

House GOP No. 2: Someone shot at my office

[Updated 1:49 p.m.] A Richmond police spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that a bullet was fired at Rep. Eric Cantor's campaign office.

"We are investigating the circumstance surrounding it," police spokeswoman Karla Peters said. Cantor disclosed the incident to reporters Thursday.

Cantor also accused Democrats of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons." Democrats immediately hit back against Cantor's accusation, repeating their allegations that Republicans are at fault.

"We disagree with the charge made by Rep. Cantor today that Democrats are using acts of violence for political gain," said Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

"Let's be clear: calling on Republican leaders who have contributed in part to this anger by wildly mischaracterizing the substance and motives of health reform to condemn these acts is entirely appropriate. Instead distracting from the issue with more attacks, we would again ask Mr. Cantor and other Republicans ... to ratchet down the rhetoric, condemn deplorable behavior and find ways to disagree on these issues without the charged rhetoric that we've been hearing from Republican leaders."

[Posted at 12:33 p.m.] Rep. Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House of Representatives, said Thursday that a bullet had been shot through a window at his district office in Richmond, Virginia. He also said he had received threatening messages.

He said he would not publicly release the messages out of concern that doing so would only incite further violence.

He also accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland - a member of the Democratic House leadership - of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons."

"Legitimate threats should be treated as security issues, and they should be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement officials," Cantor told reporters on Capitol Hill. "It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. ... Enough is enough. It has to stop."

Cantor, who is Jewish, said he had received numerous threats throughout his career both on account of his religion and his position in the GOP leadership.

More than 10 Democrats have reported trouble since the weekend health care vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters on Wednesday.

Windows have been smashed at Democratic offices in at least three states, and federal agents are investigating whether a cut gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman's brother was related to the lawmaker's yes vote.

Democratic congressional leaders have demanded Republicans join them in condemning a spate of threats and vandalism that has followed Sunday's vote on  a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system.

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Filed under: Health Care • Politics
soundoff (457 Responses)
  1. stephanie

    Mr. Cantor has a short memory. It's the Republicans that fanned the flames to all this hatred and violence. Including Sarah Palin. They encouraged those marchers and cheers their interruptions. The Republican Party has created a monster that they will regret they made. Now they'll see how the Democrats feel.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert G. Glaser, Ph.D.

    When Minority Leader Boehner makes remarks that include "bodily harm may come to you" in reference to a member of the Ohio delegation who changed his position and voted for the reconciilation bill coupled with his screaming antics in the chamber "Hell no, Hell no, Hell no..." pretty much cements in the minds of reasonable people that Rep. Boehner is a key element in a debate marked by factionalization, incivility and whining of the highest order. I suggest Rep. Boehner grow a pair and stand up and begin an honest campaign to get back what he has lost...but don't drag this country down by these weak histrionics that causes remarkable behavior that hasn't occurred in this country since pre-civil war days. I am from Ohio and remain ashamed of his antics–there is no excuse for this sort of bad behavior drunk or sober!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mitch

    He also accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland – a member of the Democratic House leadership – of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons."

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Do I even have to explain whjy this statement is absolutely ridiculous? Have there been ANYONE in the GOP that has publicly condemned the recent viloence and threats? They were happy as heck I'm sure until now...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    What?? Cantor accusing Democrats of "fanning the flames"??? What a load of crap.
    Talk about projection. This is Rove politics at its best. Exonorate yourself and with bold face lie accuse your opponent of doing what is you're doing.
    Funny that Cantor's dittoheads are out on the Capitol balcony stoking the flames. I do not hear anyone on the left threatening anyone. No Dems on the balcony ever. I've heard so many lies coming from Cantor's mouth that I can only assume that one of his dittoheads wants to give a "fair and balanced" approach to their violence. Another "big lie". The far right accuses Democrats of violating the Constitution. Yeah right! The Right are the first to keep us from voting (term liimits? What do Founding Fathers on say about term limits?), suing (tort reform) and concept of majority rule. Mob rule consumed with fear and loathing seems to be their approach to democracy and truth.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarcastro

    Nicely played Tea-Partiers. Your vision of a revolution is coming to fruition.

    Here's a thought- rather than this nonsense talk about how we need to "fight for our country" and "baby killer", each side tries to win an election in November. If you win, you can vote for what that majority that elected you wants.

    Or we can yell, scream, shout, cry, use a chalkboard to connect dots that don't exist, and shoot. Either way.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. William

    This is sad, that politicians need to insite people to the point of createing extremists. Healthcare overhall has been needed for many years. Finally it is here and the politicians can't stop there partisan bickering to allow the changes to be tested out? Everyone just needs to step back and take a breath. Let the american people know that disagreements are a normal part of government and disagreements will be addressed, within the government buildings.

    Also, why not let the american people speak about the healthcare changes. Supply a complete list of the changes, in layman language and put it to a vote for the masses.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CAB

    This is insane! Come on people. We live in the United States of America – the leading democratic nation in the world! If you don't agree with what the congress is doing use your vote, call your congressman's office, campaign. I'm willing to bet that the people who do this really don't know enough about the healthcare bill to speak sensibly about it, they are just mad and unhappy and want to blame someone so they choose the government representatives. Please lets act like civilized human beings. I thought Americans were better than that!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rusty Freedom

    So the Democrats are fanning the flames of violence? Boehner likened the bill to 'Armageddon', threats of violence at teabagger rallies and on hate radio get no rebuke at all from the GOP. This bill has been characterized as 'turning the US into a Socialist country', and 'the end of health care in America'. The party of NO has embarked on a campaign of fear-mongering and misinformation for political gain with utter disregard for the working class in this country. I was ashamed to hear the racist name-calling hurled at our politicians, of the direct threats, and the outright violence and vandalism.
    Since when did instituting a campaign of terror become part of America's democratic process? Are they taking a page from the Al Queda playbook?
    Franky, I am dubious of this man's claims – the GOP is clearly refusing to try to stem the violence against the Democrats. This claim of 'its' happening to us too' is simply too convinent. The bill has been passed, so why would a proponent resort to vciolence when his cause won?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ken2112

    This whole situation is getting out of hand but I must say for Mr.Cantor to accuse Democrates of "fanning theflames", he needs to stop and look in his party's own back yard before accusing the Dem's of inciting violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. allen

    I dont believe Cantor. This is to intended to obfuscate and distract attention away from the fact that tea-baggers vandalized and threatened democrats. To believe republican leadership that they too are in danger from the animal rhetoric that they unleashed is to be made a fool of.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marilyn Weller

    We need to take a look at people that encourage this type of violence – Glen Beck is the first that comes to mind – it is no longer a matter of free speech – Mr. Beck has crossed that line!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    I have to say I'm a registered Republican and I can't believe the ignorance of the people who are threatening our lawmakers. Whether we agree with them or not directing violence at them is not going to accomplish anything. We see the results of their extreme political differences, whether they be GOP or Democrat. They have enough problems getting stuff done without people threatening them. If you want change in DC then Vote when the time comes or keep your mouth shut.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tom

    This is insane. People need to calm down and pratice non violence. Havent we had enough killings in this country from real problems. Both parties are guilty their nothing more then gang leaders provoking their supporters to violence. These actions should digust every american not matter what side of the bill you are on.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Annette

    I think that he is not being honest and that is why he is not releasing the tapes. Good strategy by GOP supporters to have someone shoot out Cantor's windows. WHOr REALLY BELIEVES THIS. WE DEMS WON WHY RETALIATE. MAKES NO PHILOSOPHICAL SENSE. BETTER to let them and the Tea Partiers make a fool of themselves without doing anything.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vivien Wolsk, NYC

    Both the minority and majority speakers need to make public statements condemning any violence against eiither side. But the republicans need especially to condemn and reign in the extremists who are encouraging violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
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