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. Glenn Beckerhead

    Sorry to hear that the violence Cantor wished on the Dems is happening to him. Maybe he should think before opening his pie hole to utter more nonsense.

    The GOP is finding out that they're the ones on the short end of it now that reform is the law. Adios Do-Nothings.

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

    This is the same guy who brought 1000-pg books to the health summit meeting whereupon he got called out by Obama for the use of his 'props'. And he now accuses the democrats of leveraging the terroristic threads made on them for political gain– when he just did the same exact thing by alerting the press that an unknown assailant shot at his window. Furthermore– why would anyone try to kill Eric Cantor? What has he done or what is he in the position of doing? He is a non-factor and is of no political concern. I submit that he himself or members of the Republican nut-wing Tea Party staged the incident to deflect blame from themselves in light of the recent harassment on Democratic representatives.

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

    What a great lie to cover up all the threats and violence the democrats have been receiving after signing the health bill. Everyone knows that the Republicans are fueling violence from all the of the crazy right wing nuts, so they make up this story to pull the attention away from themselves. We aren't buying it GOP...not even close.

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

    Hoax?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JEFF

    First Republicans incite violence by their inflammatory rhetoric.

    Then, when Democrats ask Republicans to cool their rhetoric, so as not to incite violence,
    Cantor blames Democrats for inciting violence. Even in the august company of Republican legislators, whose average IQ is around 60, Cantor is something special.

    A word of wisdom to Republicans: stop all this talk and start paying attention to governing and cooperating with the President and the majority, as Ronald Reagan did. Otherwise, you are on a deadend street to a well-deserved oblivion.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gallerygod

    SORRY, you preening smarmy, bug. I'm not surprised in the least of this breaking news.
    You OWN this violence smarm boy.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FEDFL

    The question is whether the bullet was fired from inside or outside the office?

    ..

    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BW CINCINNATI

    Doesn't Mr Kantor listen to Glen Beck, or Rush.

    I think there is little doubt who is fanning the flames. I do not want anyone subjected to violence, but Mr Kantor should state the obvious that the far right wing media is largely responsible for the upturn in violence, and.... of course a stunning amount of misinformation.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doc2370

    In addition to healthcare overhaul, we also need to fix a broken national legislature that has lost credibility with an increasngly large number of Americans. Perhaps we should put our collective efforts in forcing a Constitutional Convention to overhaul both houses of Congress because internal, voluntary change is not realistic. it would be far more productive than relaxing an already ineffective Immigration enforcement effort. Perhaps we can deport some of our legislators along with the gang members, social parasites, and other drains on our society and economy. Americans must begin to stand up and tell our elected represenatives that they no longer have our trust and are just playing a self-serving political game at our expense. Perhaps its time to bring back ritualized dueling. Its better than cowardly anonymous threats and violence in absentia.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Really Now

    "He also accused ... of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons.""

    Ummm, isn't that what he's doing right here? This whole article is one huge bout of hypocrisy. He says, "enough is enough. It has to stop." He failed to finish with, "but after me."

    Try again later, fella.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. IndependentAmerican

    You Reap what you Sow!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ave

    "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."

    Really Cantor, really? They have been trying to get the Republicans to denounce all this talk since the election campaigns started. Only person I can remember denouncing this ignorant mindset was John McCain at a town hall meeting. If anyone is fanning flames its every republican that has not denounced the majority of Tea Partyers. Who during news interviews have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not have a clue what they are talking about.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim M

    This is the fault of both sides. Left and right have ramped up the rhetoric and incivilities for the last two decades. This is what we get when we allow immature children to run the country.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ItsTooRidiculous

    Well, this is just pathetic. Under no circumstances should this be tolerated against either party. It's borderline domestic terrorism. And even more pathetic are the bloggers calling for this type of action whether directly or through innuendo.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bizzybynature

    The media really has the public whipped into a frenzy........Until someone is charged there should be no blaming.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
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