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. Voice of One

    I would not be surprised if this were a stunt by the Republicans to draw attention away from the fact that it is the Democrats who are receiving threats...

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jade in San Francisco

    Sorry Eric Cantor. Your crocodile tears are a year late and about mile short. When you used incendiary language during the health care debate you never showed any restraint amidst calls for civility from your Democratic colleagues. The heated rhetoric used by a lot of Republicans was a kin to playing with fire so don't be surprised that you are getting burned.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Boogyman

    Typical of the GOP to blame the democrats for something they(GOP) started. Funny, they are calling for an immediate stop AFTER it starts happening to them. I do not condone the violence against anyone, but why did they wait until it happens to them and then try to put the balme on democrats?
    Smelols like rotten fish to me.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    Its only beginning these r/w tea party nutz started it and better be prepared to fight to the finish now all over the fact that when they lose that they have to act like little children now they need to understand as adults...THIS PRESIDENT IS COMMANDER AND CHIEF OF THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, MARINES HOMELAND SECURITY FBI CIA if they want to play games now they nd to be prepared to suffer the consequences!!!!! Keep It
    Up REPUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Annette La Rosa

    There are a lot of ignorant and violent people out there. The Republican party has incited and inflamed them but they may find they cannot control them. German industrialists thought they could control the Nazis and found out that they couldn't. They are playing with very dangerous forces.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuck

    He probably did it himself to make it appear that both party's are being victimized by wackos.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tim

    And he's accusing the Dems of fanning the flames?!!! Has he read what is currently being posted on the Fox forums?!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rallph

    Palin's Facebook entry showing gunsights on various locations targeting Dem. opponents surely feeds into this madness. America is unraveling.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    Why do I have a funny feeling that Cantor pulled a Karl Rove and had his own office shot at?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Capsaicin

    Sorry Eric, a bullet through your window was as likely from a Tea Bagger upset with mainstream Republicans as from a leftist. Trading accusations is not the point. The point is to not escalate the rhetoric so that either side is acting crazy. The problem is that the GOP backed itself into a corner of claiming Armageddon, etc, and you have left is threats and vandalism.

    Once FOX, Beck, Rush, can remember their duty to their country and Congressman screamers can remember the etiquette of their offices then things may calm. But the end of the world discourse and escalation of anger all because of a health plan that was primarily a Republican structure improved upon by Democrats needs to stop.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SensibleJoe

    Release the message, Mr. Cantor, so we can at least have more bit of evidence to determine if you're making this up to score political points - and counteract the vitriol you've stirred up by egging on your teabagger foot soldiers. We've already seen and heard them spewing racist, sexist comment and waving signs advertising for violence and assassination in the streets.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave Ament

    Some one should have a cartoon with kids on a play ground with couple of dogs,, to look like the president, the speaker, the harry reid,, and john mclean and rep. bainer and salah paylon saying somthing like this ,,, from the dem. side ,, you guys got us into the finical mess, then the rep say ,, well you got us in this health care mess ,, then dem say you tell people to go after our dem freinds to hurt them,, then rep say well you start it , when you told your freinds to jump on us and president bush for going to war ,, then the dem say ,, well my dog is bigger then your dog ,, ,, BOTTOM LINE ,, THIS IS OUR THESE PEOPLE ACT

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom R

    If these threats, acts of violence and efforts to intimidate lawmakers took place in any other country, the U. S. press would refer to them as acts of terrorism.

    Democracy can't work if every time you don't get your way you just go and beat up those that you perceive did you wrong. The voters spoke when they democratically elected President Obama. One of his promises was health care reform. He is delivering on a promise. That is exactly how democracy SHOULD work.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. az pete

    I suspect this story is a political ploy intended to deflect attention from the reprehensible behaviour of some of the health care reform opponents. I haven't seen any strong condemnation from conservatives, either individually or collectively. In addition, the right-wing propoganda has been trying to portray the passage of health care reform as socialist and contrary to the majority of voter's wishes. This is absolutely untrue and cannot be borne out by the polls.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kappa83

    Give me a break..."Fanning the Flame?" Flames started by whom? Where were you when Rush was talking about "Taking them out” Where was your press conference when some members of the "tea party" were waving Confederates flags? Where are you now when Ms. Palin calls people to target members of Congress? No, Mr. Cantor, the bible states in Galatians 6:7, 8 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. I wish no ill will on you or your family and I agree…”enough is enough”. Let’s stop talking about the anger of people who disagree with the Health Care LAW. Let’s pray that this nation, that we both love, will move forward to agree to disagree and respect both our rights to free speech.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
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