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. F F

    very convenient... now Republicans are going to play victims... how can the American people know if this is not a stunt? maybe Republicans shoot this GOP leader just to blame Democrats. Maybe Mr Cantor shot his own house. Republicans are the ones that loooovvvveeee guns.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel McGowan

    I'll believe him when he releases the voicemails or produces the bullet. His excuse for not producing the voicemails is pretty weak.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lat726

    Stop the violence!!!! A tea partier could have done this. We the people have voted for who we want in office. My question is who has incited the left to do this type of crime?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PaulNYC

    This sounds like another "Backwards B" incident. I think he's totally making this up to score "Woeisme Too" points

    March 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    The people who has fomented violence are Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi through their divisive, hyper-partisan handling of the health care scheme process. Directly through their actions they have created a more divisive country than we have seen since the early 70s.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Apa

    According to a report today by the Associated Press, it wasn't Cantor, but the "office building of Cantor consultant".

    "A possible gunshot was fired through the window of the downtown Richmond Main Street building that houses the offices of one of Rep. Eric Cantor’s top political consultants, a source says.

    There was no immediate confirmation that it was a gunshot. There were no injuries or other details immediately reported. It's not clear whether the damage was inflicted —it may have been last night or two nights ago."

    March 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scalliwag

    uhhhhhh..... not exactly Eric.... try your boy GW launching pre-emptive wars and domestic wiretaps and various other acts that brought this on. Calling anyone that opposed their war machine terrorist sympathisers. You have very selective memory.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike A

    What a liar and such a childish maneuver...I feel he will be Re-Cantoting shortly.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    Let's see. The Democrats shoved a bill through that the majority of the people clearly didn't want. What do we call that when the voices of the people are ignored? Hint: you can't use the word "democracy" except in the same since Fidel would use it.

    But it is the Republicans who incite violence.

    Funny, when most of the violence is committed by the left. The guy who flew the plane into the IRS was a liberal, the Pentagon shooter was liberal. The dipsticks in Canada who threatened Anne Coulter were liberals. The thugs who beat up folks at Town Halls were liberals. Black Panthers at polling places were liberals. Yeah, its the Republicans inciting this violence.
    Blame the victim.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aimee

    Last time I checked the Tea Party is a mixture of not just Republicans but Democrats as well. Furhtermore is is ridiculous to assume that is is the Tea Party people who are involved in these incedents. They tried to pin racial slurs from the tea party on the day Socialist Healthcare was passed. Show me the proof. The video they submitted has nothing to show for this. No proof of being spit on and if this was such these people would have been arrested. It is clear from history that the only violence beset was clearly from the left side. The extreme left. Those who are in power as of late are not to be considered true democrats. They are actually socialists who are taking the role of the democratic party. If everybody would stop living for their parties we could clean this corruption up.

    Those who participate in calling the taxpaying americans teabaggers, domestic terrorists,fearmongers have fallen prey to a long standing Saul Salinsky socialist tactic. Read the book and you will see for yourself. These people who do such and claim that people deserve to be treated this way are either ignorant or they are in this to bring a socialist utopia as opposed to a true Republic. In my eyes I believe those who are opposed to the constitution and our founding fathers who came here to leave Britain (socialism) are the real terrorists. They are the ones who are creating tyranny not liberty. Whether they be on the left or the right. Although I do not believe they should be shot in the street or threatened with violence (this is never accebtable behavior for a civilized union of states) I do believe they should be charged with treason. Since these are strong statements that I have made and that millions of true Americans are in agreement with this, I am certain my comment will be removed. I plead to those who read this before it is likely removed "Stop drinking the koolaid" Just ask yourselves this. What if I'm right? If I am does it matter to you?

    March 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Siara Delyn

    Not a very good lie, Mr. Cantor. In case you haven't noticed, the Republicans are the ones who tote guns around these days. This is obviously an attempt to counter the fact that Tea Party types are threatening Democrats because of the outcome of the health care vote.

    The left wingers aren't the ones threatening people over their health care stance. Why would we threaten you at this late date? We won.

    The Republicans are the ones who have incited violence. Shame on them for trying to pretend that the Democrats did the same.

    What a stupid ploy.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scott P.

    The FIRST sentence Cantor uttered was "Let me be clear." He soooo wants to be like President Obama. Problem is (a) he ain't smart enough and (b) We don't want him...

    March 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    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."

    Isnt that exactly what Eric Cantor is doing here? He is using a supposed attack on his office for political gain.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Siara Delyn

    This is a Republican ploy to excuse their responsibility for inciting a crazy, violent segment of the population. They're trying to imply that the Democrats are violent too.

    Wrong. The Republicans have incited violence. The Democrats haven't.

    What a transparently stupid piece of Republican propaganda.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. genejoynes

    I think what we’re seeing here is hysteria. The Republican defeat in both houses of congress was stunning. They have been shocked to learn that the minority of Americans who attempt to spread lies, misinformation, hate and fear is insufficient to conceal common sense and truth from the majority of us. The fact of the matter is that Republicans are in the minority now. Lashing out with provocative allusions to violence epitomizes their desperation. Their hysterical babblings about Armageddon, “socialism” and the “death of freedom” are pathetic. The conservative elements in congress will have to see that a new majority refuse to be subjugated by the archaic notions of the eighteenth century or be persuaded by a multibillion dollar propaganda industry-the last tool of those who would keep us stagnant, skim the cream off the top of our economy or take our health care dollars without providing the assurance of insurance. Their noise and panic can only drown us out so long. When it subsides, we’re still here.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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