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. mark

    instance after instance of violence against Democrats and republicans won't even speak out against it...but one instance of it happening to HIM, and Cantor says, "enough is enough".


    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. emmett brown

    Come on man, really. Were is the police report or was this a majic bullet.......

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    The sleeze that Cantor is, he probably had someone hired to do this.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charles Dert

    Fanning the flames? Eric Cantor should first ask himself who started the fire in the first place? Personally, I don't like the new health bill but ever since Obama got electedthe Republican leaders and especially the radical talk show hosts are not just fanning the flames but they are pouring extra gas into it. It is high time we get rid of the ultra right or the ultra left TV and talk radio hosts on either side and bring back some decorum and civility in the political world of this country. Otherwise, we will simply self destruct fighting within ourselves.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. js007

    Really Cantor? It is the GOP and their media arm Fox "News" that have been enciting violence and racism ever since mid-2008 (and before) so I really don't want to hear any whining now. If the GOP stopped spreading lies, fear, and hate the American people would calm down and everyone would be better off.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. djb

    what a bunch of crap......the gop needed to steer this in the right direction long ago. until it happened to someone in their party they turned the other way. bullcrap mr. cantor, your protestations are feeble and disingenuous.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cjr

    Eric – you remind me of the guy who is always looking for attention!. – stop blaming Democrats for everything – this violence was started by your party – rove, beck,limbaugh, bohner and bachman, king palin the crazy guy from texas andyourself-and the list goes on. I would encourage everyone to say No to the party of no and vote every republican on every level out of office, the party of Lincoln is now a bunch of teaparty thugs,. You should be ashamed you will have to live with that!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SusieTX

    Cantor is accusing the dems of fanning the flames? This guy is obviously delusional. He really needs to take a much stronger look at his own party to find the blame for these violent outbursts. Looks like we are dealing with a game of tit for tat amongst the parties.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mamaw

    Do they maybe understand that for every nut case that throws rocks through windows, threatens, or shoots, there are a whole bunch more who are not happy?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ari Jones

    Obama has greatly divided this country.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Healthnut

    This mostly a lie that the Gop is making up!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pam in Oregon

    I appreciate Mr. Cantor describing his experiences throughout his career. However, when one party is on a balcony cheering a crazed crowd of Tea Party maniacs, then they need to accept responsibility for what they have encouraged. This is not an ethical or politically correct thing to do. The Republican members who participated in this should be ashamed of themselves.

    Pam in Oregon

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DIANA

    You've got to be kiding. On what basis were these shots and threats done? He won't release the messages because he doesn't have any messages to release. I hope that when they find out he made a false report they press charges.

    This is a new low.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    you reap what you sow, but this appears to be more of a publiicty stunt to stave off charges of the venemous racial overtones of the "conservative movement".
    I won't use the name of the Republican Party, because while Republicans are at the heart of this issue, I'm quite sure that all Republicans don't condone the type of behavior exhibited by many of it's members over the last 15 or so years, in additiona to the ealy and mid 80's of the Reagan era.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Havshatuni

    In my opinion he just just perceives the potential damage to the GOP from Tea Pary behavior, and is trying to off set it with a fabricated tale. I personally doubt that this has really happened.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
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