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. Francisco

    I cant believe Cantor (the same guy who proposed Americans save at least a million dollars for healthcare expenses instead of healthcare reform) used the attack to blame a Democrat.

    Republicans need to stop inciting the Racist portion of America with misinformation especially with the healthcare reform bill just to get votes. Words like "Obamacare", "Socialist", "Death Panels", these are all terms that are completely false and are used to further incite groups and naive individuals.

    Im not black, but if the president was white do you think there would be so much hate going around related to anything Obama tried to do?

    All in all i believe that if Americans knew the truth about the healthcare bill that they would be more open to it, its in no way perfect but it sure is a start. Either that or they could name it something crafty like the freedom stealing "Patriot Act" or the miserable failure that is the "No Child Left Behind" or how could I forget "Operation: Iraqi Freedom"

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan Young

    I wonder if it was staged? I wouldn't put this by the republicans at all.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Prasanna

    I suspect that this is probably just posturing from the RNC. I'd be interested to hear the valuable opinion of Mr. Steele on this.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Flex

    Religious republicans would literally shoot themselves in the foot to play victim. It is a bizarre coincidence that Cantor had his office window shot out at this time. Religious zealots in California vandalized their own property after the proposition 8 passage in an attempt to be victims, and ignore their role in facilitating proposition 8. The bible thumpers are doing it again!

    Eric Cantor's office window shoot out is the result of republican doing. Religious republicans shot out Eric Cantor's office window in an attempt to make smoke over here while they throw stop progress over there.

    Get it?

    Stop religious republicans! Bankrupt them!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt Esq.

    Incredible. Democratic Reps have been threatened, spit on, cursed at and been the target of actual violence (i.e., broken windows), and now this GOP leader accuses the Democratic National Committee of fanning the flames of violence because he was also targeted? I just don't understand how some people think. A rational person in Cantor's position would be able to empathize with the Democrats who were also targeted. Instead, Cantor blames other targets?!! That's like a rape victim blaming other rape victims instead of knowing that they share the same pain. Just incredible.

    Also, its the crazies like Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck et al. who have incited the violence, not the Democrats.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maureen

    As much as I disagree with the Republican Party and its obstructionist tactics, I cannot condone violence in any form to any member of congress because of their stand on health care reform. Everyone should take a deep breath, relax and move on. Health care reform - long needed in this country where insurance companies run roughshod over their policyholders - is the new law of the land so let's all deal with it and see how it really affects us.

    To those individuals who are "forced" to purchase coverage and think their rights are being infringed upon, do you feel the same way about being "forced" to purchase car insurance? If you don't want medical coverage then don't use the medical care system unless you pay for your use of the system in full out of your own pocket.

    Everyone really needs to relax - tea baggers included. Stop having a hissy fit because you can't accept a black man is President of the United States.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris W

    The article states: 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.

    ...Ummm, if you have been paying attention, the Republicans DID join in with the Democrats in condemning threats and violence, and did so without the need of Democrats "demanding" it.

    Telling BOTH sides of the story accurately would help cool the flames that are being fanned. As Ben Franklin once said, "There are good men on both sides" of the aisle. We need to understand there on some bad apples on both sides too...

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ehowell

    The behavior of some people in this country is beginning to disgust me. In my lifetime I cannot remember a more devisive time. Glen Beck is worse than Jos. McCarthy – thanks to television.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ikwo Ekpo

    It is amazing that Eric Cantor would come up with this information now and try to divert the blame, instead of just condemning the behavior. Republicans are sore losers. When they are in office, they use everything they can muster to get what they want, and when someone else wins, they obstruct everything. Life is not that way, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, but you have to live and let live. He is NOT releasing the messages? Why not? He needs to so the authorities can take care of the culprits. He would not take any media questions? It is too bad that someone as young as Cantor would stoop so low....there is NO redemption for the Republican party.


    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Melanie, Los Angeles, CA

    Cantor did a very poor job of condemning the violence. In fact, he stoked it more by giving the violent criminals doing these things a target – the DCCC head. After his 'news conference' he also strode off quickly, taking NO questions about anything he said.

    I am more than disappointed, I am afraid that this violence will not truely be addressed by the Republicans because they depend on so many of these "people" for a vote/money.

    Shame on Eric Cantor, for blaming the DCCC instead of the Tea Party people whom the Republicans have inflamed to this boiling point. Shame on them for blocking the Senate business. Shame on them for hurting Americans.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dick

    Rep. Eric Cantor, you and your lies, along with the Republicans have created this. You told the American people lies for over a year on Health Care. You are the big problem with the thugs and other acts that are being done. The Republicans are the fault of violence, nobody else. You created the situation and the nasty acts being done. And to date, no Republicans are telling the thugs to stop. We are suppose to be a civil nation and the Republicans have changed that. They are so radical since they are not in power.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ethel Bailey

    The Republicans dosen't want stop these threats because they were the one who started the mess in the first place. Sunday night they were the bacony holging flags and picture of Nancy Pelois, they was giving a thumb down and then wiping the face of the picture and throwing their hands off.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Robert Krieger

    Politicians are showing a frightening lack of concern through their failure to make a bipartisan public statement condemning this type of political violence. Are we as a country in so much discord, for our leaders to practically condone violence between Americans?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank Thompson

    I don't believe Cantor. This is a way to falsely create a conversation that this is happening on both sides. However, his unproven statements can't compare to the overt capture of what has happened to the Democratic politicians. And when he says 'enough is enough", shouldn't he have come to that conclusion last week, last month, or even last year with all the references by conservatives to use violence to 'take their country back"?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ray

    He is only speaking out because he had threats against him. It is all the GOPs fault. If they had stopped catering to these tea bagging nuts earlier then maybe it wouldnt have gotten this bad.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
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