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. Bob from VA

    Did anyone check to see if Cheney was in Richmond at the time of the shooting?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tendonitis

    "It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain..."

    Hey, did I mention someone shot at my office?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donna Shea

    This sounds like something that was done purposely so they could claim it was on both sides. There were so many lies told by that party in regard to health care that they have no credibility.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Whatevah

    It was probably his own party members that shot at his office.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chuck

    It's amazing that he didn't publicize these incidents. It has nothing to do with politics it has to do with crime and breaking laws along with endagering life.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DB25

    How convenient.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. d-dub

    I dont remember Mr.Cantor saying anything about the attacks on democrats until he got attacked. Why dont he and Boehmer just admit that they got there butts kicked on there health care opposition tatics

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Givemeabreak

    He won't release it because its a LIE! SHAME on him! I can't beleive the Republican's can't even come out against violence. How disgusting.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JacksonsHole

    1. It was not his "office" but one of his consultants.

    2. If it truly occured, I'm sure we'll be hearing about this from the police then...

    False equivalency once again by the media. Cantor, Boner and the rest of the Republicans have been inciting these teabagger anti-American nutjobs and now when they begin to act the Republicans say they had nothing to do with it. Cowards.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Slpinky

    I do not understand Americans. You allow your previous regime to go to war and you all rally around it regardless of the facts but when it comes to providing health care for your own children you start shooting at each other?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CR

    What a creep. The GOP has been fanning the flames of hatred to the boiling point for their own selfish interest. Predictably, it is now boiling-over to actual violence. They own it. They stirred it up, egged it on, now they own it. If there was any decency left in the Republican Party they would be working to cool down the political temperature, but they are not.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 19diva45

    I don't think anything is wrong with the public being made aware of of the violence that is being perpetuated by unknown(?) assailants. It is very scary. Where are the police, national guard, water hoses, etc. that were used during the 60s and 70s to quell the movement that was taking place at that time? People who are not political figures come to play too much in this equation. The Rush Limbaughs and Glen Becks goad everyone on. Who knows what is going to become of the current situation..... Americans don't need to be at each other's throats. We, the people, are ruining this country by not being reasonable. There are a lot more ignorant people out there than I could have ever imagined. I'm disappointed in the American people as a whole........

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    Oh please, what a liar. Rather than just owning GOP terrorism, he is pretending he is a victim? Not buying it Cantor.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris L.

    Eric Cantor is nothing but a pure hypocrite!...him and his republican cronies. Everything he stated or said during this press conference was only to subdue the blame and legit criticism that his party supporters have incited violence through their vitriol,fear and hate rhetoric towards the President and democrats for voting for the Healthcare Bill. Cantor and the Gop know full well, that they have supporters that are violent, racist and causing havoc. They know it. Again, like all politicians do, they are spinning the realities and facts about even what is evidently out there about these recent threats. If he really wants to be a proponent of condemning any acts of violence that he sees. He needs to first rebuke the people in his party such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, The Hannity's, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter that spew lies, deceit and hate that in fact incite these clueless american citizens. Thats what he truly needs to do. And please!!! Stop saying by lying and distorting that Democrats are playing political games by saying that they've been threatened the past couple days. C'mon Mr. Cantor!!! This is what the american people hate about politicians like you! They hate it when you twist the truth, facts and evidence. How can u say that all this violence that has been happening is political when its been reported and ACTUALLY happening??? Even the FBI is investigating right now. Its mindboggling that he can say that Democrats are playing politics for simply telling the truth that they've been harrassed or threatened for that matter. Its neither right that Mr. Cantor got threatened or harrassed by the bullet incident he refers to, but you cannot revert that by saying that they other party of person is making this political. Violence in any form shape or form by anyone is wrong and serious!

    But this is the GOP and its sad to see that they really are not taking account of their leaders, followers and pundits that incite that kind of behaviour. SHOCKING!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Former Republican

    Wait....

    He's saying the *democrats* are the ones fanning flames of violence? What????

    He's obviously terrified that the neo-GOP is going to go down with this Tea Party Ship, and boy they deserve to.

    I can't even say "the moderates are leaving the party", because you have to be pretty extreme to be a Republican nowadays. Or completely blind to what's happening.

    Sorry Cantor, you, Boehner and Steele helped this group out, you spoke at their rallies – now you have to deal with the consequences of your stupid, STUPID action. You wanted to be part of Beck's Experiment, and Limbaugh Nation – and you got it.

    This is no way to run a government. We need a new moderate party that will foster values, instead of viciousness.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
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