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. no one's fool

    Cantor or one of his gun loving constituents was testing their ammunition and test fired one in the air. This is an acceptible practice in some countries and obviously in the new U.S.A. that has been hijacked by right wing nuts.

    March 25, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Millie

    Anyone remember 2009 (especially August 2009 when all the talk of "euthanasia", Obama wants to kill my baby'/death panel, "pulling the plug on grandma" and cutting off medicaid and medicare in order to support the health care bill, VA Is Encouraging Vets To Commit Suicide, Repeated that over and over again and of course took it to the "news station" they can trust Fox News channel. Let the same talking points spread on any show they got on and of course it was repeated via the channel and its website. Then Boehner screams: It's "Armageddon," Health Care Bill Will "Ruin our Country" hours before the voting count. Then the baby killer shout during a speech on the floor of representatives. Tell me Cantor, was that any way NOT stoking flames, in sighting anger and other high levels of violence?

    March 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Frank Rizzo

    Mr. Cantor is now using the race card to make headlines, he states people are or have attack him because he is jewish what bunch of hogwash, this guy is such a lier. I say release the emails and tapes if it's true people did this. If people did commit these crimes then I say let the police do their job and bring those responsible to justice. I don't agree that people should break the law in their attempt to get their message out, it's down right wrong it doesn't manner who you are.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bob Ross

    Aww the truth comes out Eric Cantor lied. The police found that it was a random stray bullet. Cantor's office is on the second floor of the building. The bullet went through a bottom floor window. Even more this was an office not inside the 7th district but instead the 3rd. Anyone walking by would have no idea he even has an office there as there are no campaign signs, its not listed as an office on his website and isn't a campaign headquarters. Cantor lied to try to make the democrats look bad and now its going to backfire. This is like the Backwards B lady in McCain's campaign.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kenny

    Please update this story. Be sure to point out that Cantor was doing exactly what he denounced Democrats for doing, since he grossly misrepresented what happened for political gain. Try to be fair and balanced, and bring some intelligence and critical thinking back to journalism. Thanks in advance.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    This is a sad hoax by Eric Cantor.

    Where are the threatening emails he recieved? The police do not agree with him that this was a targeted attack against his office, speculating that it may have been a coincidental incident, where a bullet fired at random, just happened to land one foot inside the window of his office, but that seems incredible.

    March 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anna

    I am not surprised that even though it is verified by the police, bias Democrats on this board accuse him of lying. What a double standard. And such intolerance and hateful name calling.

    April 1, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
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