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. VBG

    I would bet it is fake or someone was told to shoot the window so they could get attention..the party of NO can never be trusted.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    Rep. Cantor has my sympathy, but it ends when he tries to blame Democrats for fanning flames of violence by talking about violence done to them...it makes no sense, maybe the context isn't there, but he makes no sense.
    And Cantor is Jewish which could be the link to threats against him...sounds like something the same group of people attacking the Dem's would do.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. McCain-in-4

    Imagine this: a gun-toting liberal or an out-of-control tea party activist? No wonder Rep Cantor doesn't want to release any phone messages.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nathaniel

    I'm not condoning violence against anyone from either party, but I can't say I'm surprised that things like this are happening given the amount of extremist partisanship and fear-mongering there has been over this bill. Perhaps if the politicians were more civil and cooperative towards each other, they might actually set a proper example.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RD

    Sounds like a great piece of theater designed to ease the bad press the right is getting from all the extreme behavior coming from the Tea Party, right wing radio and other nut jobs. I just know that this silly crap has to stop before it gets outta control. What is wrong with people? The health care legislation passed, get over it and work together to make it and the other issues we have on the table better.

    From an independent.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris-Toe-Fur

    Unbelievable. Can't people behave with some sense of civility any more?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grant

    Eric Cantor is one of the biggest wacko liars in Congress. It wouldn't surprise me if he staged the whole thing.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom from SC

    Does anyone really believe this guy?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lou from CT

    Mr. Cantor – I am sorry your district office was shot at and that you have received threatening messages, but your accusation that the Democrats are responsible for "...'fanning the flames' of violence..." is irresponsible.

    Instead of political grandstanding, you should join Democrats (and some of your fellow Republicans) in condemning the violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T Dick Schmidt

    Prudent men and women on both side would be careful to handle this in a way to not incite any additional violence. Actions and words in a very heart felt subject as healthcare need to be done carefully. There are outlyers on both sides that are capable of doing this. I just wish that this subject would have been handled in the normal path through congress. People have the greatest tendancy for violence when they feel the system was not followed and the decisions were reached. The means does make a difference on how the people will accept this.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rick

    Cantor is just another Republican liar. He is lying simply to deflect the criticism of the right wing reactionaries the Republican incite.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dua

    Sounds like the republican fascists are trying to deflect their vilolence by creating some of their own on their own. you can bet no one was home when this happened.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nancy Lucero

    Cantor needs to produce documentation of his allegations.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bcords

    yeah right... after all the bull you have thrown around, there is not one bone in my body that believes you. you are just trying to take the heat off of your party of nuts!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. zack

    is this the beginnings of the second american revolution? god i hope so!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
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