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. socalgal

    Violence and threats are never acceptable. That said, this should be a wake up call for politicians to take note that citizens feel strongly about the bastardization of their representation and hijacking of democratic government intelligence. In other words, this ramming of 'health care' 'reform' down the collective throats of citizens who do not want it has galvanized the voices of those folks who heretofore have let politicians have their way without impunity.

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

    Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost. Let's see if the GOP can put them back into the bottle now.

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

    I abhor violence in any form and beleive this is a crime.Peroid.

    It's funny though that the same folks who called the violent war protestors heroes of free speech now condemn fustrated voters who use the same tactics against them. democratics hyprocracy is thy name.

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

    LOL....If anyone believes this fool Cantor, i have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them. This is classic GOP bait and switch; the public is starting to become outraged by all the disgusting, horrible things they're seeing on tv from the Tea Baggers who spit on and shouted racial slurs at civil rights icons over the weekend, so now they try and switch all the attention away from the real maniacs to made up fake ones. The fact that Boehner and now Cantor have both held press conferences in the last few days just goes to show you how scared the Republicans are of these Tea Party psychos becoming a political liability. The decent people of this country have showed time and time again throughout history that they will not stand for such behavior. The right-wing knows this, they know they finally went too far and crossed a line, and now they're trying to back peddle their way out of it before any more decent people in the middle are turned off by such behavior and see the GOP for what it really is.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Karen Baker

    Oh so, Rep. Eric Cantor has accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons."?
    Pardon me, but it has been the Republicans inciting the public from day one! Interesting what happens when the tide turns and you don't care for the results! By the way NO DEMOCRAT has called for anything but common sense and restraint! Certainly NOT BULLETS!

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

    Violence is, of course, unacceptable but I can understand people's frustrations.

    This "health care" bill is actually a "health insurance" bill. It doesn't even address the top two health care issues, namely too few primary care physicians (since all the $$ go to high-priced specialists), and too many bogus and too costly medical malpractice payouts. All this bill does is screw up the health insurance industry and create massive new debt for ourselves and our children to pay down.

    If the bill actually improved health care, people would get behind paying for it, but not if it won't improve healthcare and is only about transferring wealth, scoring political points and spending money we don't have.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JohnInAustin

    Yes, Cantor, it's the Democrats fueling the fire!!! You jerks go and incite these Tea Partiers with your barrage of lies and half truths and it is the Democrats fanning the flames! FLAME THIS!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mickey doyle

    nobody is listening to the people.the people of this country do not like anyone forcing anything down our throats.that was the reason for the revolutionary war and the war of 1812.i always said no politician ever read an american history book.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ren6669

    Not ever has there been a federal law that requires citizens to purchase goods or services. If this is part of the commerce clause, by chosing not to purchase the goods or service, am I still part of commerce? Why will I have to pay a fine if I chose not to participate and therfore not applicable to regulation?

    There were checks and balances built into our system for a reason. When they fail to act, We the people will form a more perfect union!

    If our rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms!! The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two.

    The tree of LIBERTY must be refreshed from time to time, whith the blood of PATRIOTS and TYRANTS!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sayyed

    No ban on guns. Hooray!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. c

    It was his party that did it just so they wouldn't look like the bad guys, i mean come on really, the rethugs are pathetic. the whole politics as a whole are pathetic no one cares about the american people its all greed.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    So as Mr. Cantor tells the media about threats that were made against him... he insults democrats for talking to the media about threats made against them? I think we've reached a new level of hypocricy here!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fbysea

    I'm not sure I believe this story.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    Now he knows how it feels to be a Democrat.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gary Swanson

    What happened at Rep, Cantor's office is repugnant and regrettable and I hope that the shooters are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law but I don't believe that he and members of his party are in a position to be lecturing anybody on using rhetoric to incite unruly behavior. He accuses Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen of "using the incidents for political gain" but then tuns around and does the exact same thing. ""You're black, Mr Kettle," said Mr. Pot.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
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