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. Jim

    I don't believe a word of this. If someone did shoot at his office, it was probably "staged", to take the heat off the Republicans.

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

    This is despicable behavior. But I doubt this was politically motivated. Cantor is just plain slime. I will be a better man than him. I hope they find the bastard that shot at his window in Richmond. He has not said the same about the violence towards the democrats.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill parcell

    Yeah, he is not "fanning the flames" by blaming the Democrats for politicizing it. Stupid.

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

    Will the lies never end?

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

    The dems are still trying to frame people against this health bill as being crazy radicals, like they have been for a year now. The truth is, there are crazy radicals on both sides of the issue. The democrats have most likely received threats by extreme liberals if they didn't vote yes, and I'm sure Republicans have received threats from these same people. Its a two way street.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. robfromrichmond

    Where was Cantor when the threats to the Dem. congressmen happened?
    With all of the inflammatory language used by the Rep. in recent times, he is going to get upset at the Dems. for reporting news. I cannot wait to vote this clown out of office.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jim Cunningham

    Go get 'em, Eric and Sarah! Clean out those morally corrupt and bankrupt arrogant left leaning establishment Democrats on Capitol Hill in November! They are ruining our country and their own decent party in the process.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    So now that you are getting shot at maybe you shoud think about fanning the flames. Grow some balls Eric how do you know if they are legitimate threats or not.
    "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."

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jonathan Nash

    The Republicans are the one that started this whole mess. Only when all of the Republican start speaking as one to stop the hatred and racist comments will it actually stop. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. eric schwartz

    So...the Dems are to blame for these acts for being upset about acts against them. Got it.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joyce M

    This is what happens, when one side starts using personal attacks/language that incites violence & does not openly condemn it, the other side starts doing the same thing. Cantor why don't you loudly condemn all of the hateful comments (baby killer,Ni****,F*G) that has been used in the halls of congress lately? All of these comments from either side just give the kooks and crazies rationalization/support/encouragement to go out & do what happened to you and other members of congress. Speak up loud & clear!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JOHN

    I believe some Republican party members have unknowingly or knowingly incited hatred and violence against the Democratic party members who voted for the health bill.
    Don't we have enough hatred and violence in this world? I also believe that since the Republicans lost this time, they will do anything to humiliate the other party.
    Sounds rather childish to me.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    "Enough is enough. It has to stop."

    Yeah, Cantor, you (and your party) fan the flames and fan the flames and now that YOU are feeling the heat resulting from your (and your party's) exceedingly poor and Anti-American behavior, NOW 'it has to stop'.

    Where were your denuciations when it was Democratic lawmakers on the receiving end? Pretty quiet then, weren't you?

    Typical,whiny, me-me-me Republican party apparatchik.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Loren, SF Bay Area CA

    Threats of violence to browbeat and bully people into agreeing with you can and should be called by their rightful name: Terrorism.

    It doesn't matter whether it's done by some radical Islamic, a teabagger, or those who are allegedly "pro-life."

    OTOH, if Rep. Cantor wants to target those most responsible for "fanning the flames of hatred," he really needs to start with the bombasts at Fox "News," and people like Gov. Palin, who has posted pictures of Congresspeople with targets and/or gunsights superimposed over them.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lindsay

    I don't believe this story. I think it's staged to try to make it seem like Dems aren't the only one's receiving threats. If they show it's happening on both sides, they hope to gain politically. The health care bill is passed, so what motive does somebody have to shoot his office? Whether or not he is involved in the staging, who knows, but I believe a Tea Partier probably did this.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
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