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. Cassie

    Probably done by a Republican...now they have an excuse to RELOAD and shoot up anythingb associated with Dems.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    My guess is that Kantor never had a shot fired at his office and there was no report filed supporting that claim. He's just so full of himself

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cynthia

    I am appalled at the violence and name calling that has been on the rise in recent days. I am appalled that some leaders who the general public relies on for truth have been practically fanning the flames. Maps with gun site marks, websites with public figures in flames, buildings being hit with bricks, flags that incite the past, names called and people spit upon.
    I am saddened and sick of the fear of politics. The facts muddied but the emotional use of rhetoric to incite unbridled anger just hurts

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Richard

    Me thinks, you protest too loudly! There have been quite a few threats to Democrats and the President and he hasn't said boo. I wouldn't put it past repuglicans to use this to deflect their ilk. Take a close look at both the repuglican politicians and their constituents in what they have said and done in the last 10 years and you wonder who are the bad guys.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    It's really a shame our country is coming to these means to resolve differences. The Republicans and their voices; Beck, Limbaugh, Palin and many Representatives have been fanning these flames since President Obama came into office. There is such demented hatred for this Presidency that it is coming home to roost in violent ways. It is high time for all politicians to step up and denounce these fringe groups and mouthpieces as their tactics will eventually become a threat to all of us when we disagree. Wake up America, don't let these folks wreck our country.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. richp the poconos

    Good lord, don't you 'elected officials' in DC get it, are you all really that out of touch, you ticked off over 60% of the population, between BOTH parties you ticked off 100% easy on both sides, do you expect a standing ovation. Even if this nasty piece of law somehow turns out to not be an unmitigated disaster over the next 8 years it was the wrong way to do it. Personally I think you republicans better not expect too much come November, I figure every single incumbent in both parties are going to get bounced out, even the democrats that got that wink and nod from Nancy to vote no once she got enough votes just to help the November elections, does she really think that fooled anyone.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    He probable just making this up to try and take the heat off of the Republicans.They tell so many lies how can you believe them. I don't believe it for one second!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sarah R

    His loyalty to his party makes him blind to the fact that most Republicans are bigots. They hate him because he is Jewish even though he's on their side. Just like Republicans hate Steele for being African-American. Cantor had the audacity NOT to shame recent attacks from the right wing NUTS and said he had nothing to do with their actions. Conservatives nauseate me

    March 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GET INFORMED

    What is this FOOL talking about. A bullet goes through your office window and you choose remain silent about it. Well Cantor, it seems like you know the bullet went through your office window and you are trying to keep it away from public. We are supposed to report any irregularities to our public service (Police). If the Democrats are talking about threats they are receiving, it is not fanning violence, they have the right as citizens to bring any threats to the attention of the police and the public so that others are aware. What if i receive a threat and go to bed peacefully and find myself death the next morning. What will be your response to that. According to a Knot head like you, i should receive threats and keep it on the down low because it may encourage others to carry out more threats, you are really silly, in fact i wonder if your reasoning is in place. How are we even sure you were not the one that shot a bullet through your own office window so you can encourage those knuckle heads who feel they can vent their anger on the pass of health care bill by carrying acts of terror against member of congress.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brandon

    So you want to publicly announce you've been the victim of threats and your office has been vandalized while complaining about other politicians who have public announced that they've been the victims of threats and vandalism.

    This is why nobody believes anything a politician says. No matter what party you belong to, you're still a politician, and not to be trusted.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peter

    So, he wants the media to pay attention to the threats he has received, but not to the threats that other people have received? His statements are devoid of any form of logic.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken

    CNN. You really should stop mocking these people. Just becuase someone is a Republican, doesn't mean they are redneck racists. Even in the "Red State" the ratio is about 49 to 51% Democrat to Republican. You try to tell everyone that the red states are 100% of them racist rednecks. That kind of rehtoric is really making a lot of people angry.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Elizabeth

    I do not think that publicly condemning the violence that has been going on since the passing of this bill can be considered "fanning the flames".

    I DO see stepping out in the spotlight during your job as a member of congress and publicly "slapping" the image of another member of congress simply because you do not agree with that person's politics so that you can spur on a group of protesters as irresponsible and as condoning aggression.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Geoz

    Well, Eric... this isn't exactly joining the call to end violence so much as blaming. But you are getting closer to the idea. Can you bring your friends in the Tea Party along? How about Sarah with her cross hairs?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. T Shaffer

    I don't believe anyone should harm anyone or anything for any reason but I think this should be a wake-up call to all lawmakers in Washington that the people in America are fed up with them and the way they do business and push things through without the people's support. There is no reason the President should have be able to go and try and talk anyone into a vote, that is just wrong, if they had to talk, deal and swindle to get votes for the bill it should have never passed. It's time Washington listens and stops doing what they want and remember they are elected and are serving the people of America.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
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