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. Richard T. Nelson

    Why is it that I have a hard time giving Cantor any credibiity? He has a history of no shame in manipulating truth.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Windroot

    I love it. Eric Canotr is accusing Democrats of "'fanning the flames' of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members 'as political weapons.'" Talk about chutzpah. One thing we can agree on. Enough is indeed enough. You lost the elction. You lost the vote on health care. Get over it.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thinker

    Release the messages. I think I would question his statements, especially since the GOP wouldn't know the truth if it bit them. They have been encouraging this violence, and if they have been victims, they should be out there condemning it, instead of like John Boener, justifying it by saying people are mad.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris (Chino Hills)

    Aww poor baby. The angry mob turns its head towards the GOP now? What a monster radio and talk shows have created.

    Of course, those that believe they are doing the right thing by threatening others must realize they are breaking the law by doing this and that they are not standing for democracy, which they pretend to, when they perpetrate this. They are just sheep looking for some way to direct anger.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve Richards

    So Cantor says "It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. ... Enough is enough. It has to stop." Yet he mentions his own office getting shot at once? what a hypocrit. Plus his office is in virginia, every building there has bullet holes.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    I hope that fact that this violence and general incivility is going both ways convinces people that we need to unify and condemn any actions, directed at anyone.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Janet Van der Dussen

    Eric Cantor is blaming the victim. Now that he has become the target of the violence that he and his fellow Republicans have incited, he wants it all to stop. Unfortunately, once this kind of hatred is set loose, it's hard to put it back in the cage. Using gun sites on a map to identify Dems who voted for Health Care Reform, constantly talking about how angry the American people are, and waving flags to an out-of-control crowd outside the Capital building are just a few examples of "fanning the flames." Everyone should watch the outstanding film, THE FISHER KING. Radio talk show celebs and TV talk show hosts have stirred up many people with misinformation, lies, and inflammatory language. If someone gets killed over this, I think they should be held responsible for it as though they helped perpetrate the crime. All the the politicians and media know how powerful words are. There is no excuse for this violent language.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. C Haskett

    Wait, let me see if I understand this; Cantor is trying to state that Democrat complaints about receiving threats are a incitement to violence? That's completely insane.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Phillip

    Now, the republican party is crying out for this to stop when they started this in the first place. It's a sad world we live in when politicians can create more problems then the problem itself. It's sad when the United States can spen billions of dollars to blow someone up but scream and threaten american citizens safety when trying to provide them with health care. I just don't understand.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    When did this alleged incident occur at Rep. Cantor's Office in Virginia? He does not say. was it this weeekend or years ago? This smells like another republican attempt to blast the democrats. I'm sure Cantor would have used this incident for his own political reasons if it had occurred recently...anything to stir up the tea baggers and their lunatic fringe...all done in the support of Republican obstruction of health care reform, especially.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank Meis

    As a life-long Republican, I detest these acts of violence against Democratd or Republicans or whomever...................

    If one of these cowards (shooter) is caught, the penalty should be severe.

    Remember, there is still the vote (ammo) even if its "down-the-road".

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lary123

    Terrible thing that viloence is happening because of healthcare issues. Maybe our elected leaders will speak in a more calm manner without political threats. Republicans need to calm down and realize when they say something extreme the rightwing nuts take it to the next level.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    This is atrocious. If you don't like the way a political endeavor turned out, deal with it. Grow up and stop trying to intimidate politicians with your immature actions. There's no reason to threat or shoot at an individual because they feel differently about a policy than you do.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ratnok, Denver, CO

    Gotta love how Republicans (getting a taste of their own medicine) love to continue to take shots at Democrats. You can just feel the deep hypocrisy of his statement "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."

    He should lead by example and SHUT UP.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    This article is factually inaccurate. It's clear from Rep. Cantor's statement that it was his CAMPAIGN office, not his official district office, that was shot at. I'd suggest that detail be clarified.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
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