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. Richard T. Nelson

    Perhaps someone reading the Palin "reload" comment and visiting the Sarah PAC web site got confused by looking at the map with a crosshair on Virginia. Way To Go misguided teabaggers!

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

    "investigating....a cut gas the home of a Virginia congressman's brother..."

    Wow, You talk about a FAR REACH. Hey, my car battery died last month. Maybe we should investigate the Democrat party to see in what way they were involved.....

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

    Oh, come on. Democrats calling for more civility is "fanning the flames" of violence? While Republicans are proudly calling ∂ems Baby Killers and openly encouraging acts of vigilante justice?

    This guy really takes the cake...

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

    Wow! Amazingly CNN covered a story about a Republican being threatened and Cantor is right; This overly dramatic response on the Dems part is sickening–They've written the playbook on violent protests and demonstration.
    There was so much coverage of the people protesting the Health Care bill that it is impossible that not one cell phone, or TV crew picked up the so called names that were hurled at Frank and Lewis. The grandstanding that Pelosi displayed while walking in front of Americans who had a right to be there and were assigned blame to an incident that never happened. Pelosi and crew made this up and used it for political gain–to damage the integrity of the Tea Party group.
    Who are the true classless people here? is it the Tea Party group or the whole lot of Democrats who have labeled them "teabaggers" Say whatever you want but people did not vote for Obama and the dems who are in place to raise taxes, fine us and increase charges on us.
    The Dems voted in a bill that was not what the people wanted. Whatever happened to the magical $250000. that Obama touted as his number for people in that income bracket and lower that he promised (!!) would not be impacted with more increases. HE lied and Pelosi and crew backed him up.

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

    Astounding, instead of condemning the threats and violence, the Republicans condemn the publication of the threats and violence.

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

    How can this imbecile have the nerve to blame Democrats for crazy, rabid rigt-wing terrorists?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jon Jones

    uuuuh...this guy puts out a press release condeming the other side for using this violence as "media vehicles for political gain"....are you SERIOUS cnn??

    The saddest part is that a huge percentage of readers are unable to see the irony in this

    March 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Siara Delyn

    I don't believe him. The GOP has riled up a crazy segment of our population. This guy is trying to cover up how irresponsible that was by claiming that his office was shot at like the Democrat's offices. Show me the bullet. If you find it, show me that the shooter wasn't a GOP plant.

    The segment of the GOP who riled up the loonies should be ashamed of itself. It should apologize rather than covering up and shifting the blame.

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

    Yeah, that's ONE way to take the spotlight off the violence that's being done against Democrats and "liberals" by right wing tea-partiers: stage some violence against a Republican office. Hope the Secret Service looks closely to see whether the bullet was fired IN the window... or OUT.

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

    Sadly I'm sure Cantor is the victim of those same militia and tea bag members the Republican party has been fawning over and condoning their behavior and tactics! Message to Cantor – they not only only hate Democrats, blacks, gays, and Hispanics, they also despise Jews and are posting targets of members of Congress to get rid of on their FB pages. Perhaps you and your other Republican leaders should stop speaking out of both sides of your mouths and condemn these domestic terrorists.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. karenbe111

    If true, and that's a big "IF" considering it was spoken by a Republican, it was probably perpetrated by a TeaBagger just to further obscure the fact that it is the Republican radical, religious, right-wing bloviators who are fanning the flames of violence!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Realist

    I think people of all political stripes need to chill out. If you're angry about politics, then join a campaign or write your congressman or run for office yourself. There's no need for violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan

    Uh, Rep Cantor, you're doing the same thing as those Democrats you're criticizing.....

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Roger

    I never cease to be amazed by the blatant hypocrisy of the Republican party. So basically Cantor is suggesting that both Republicans and Democrats receive equal amounts of threats and they shouldn't talk publicly about them. Is he kidding? The right have been whipped up into a frenzy by conservatives under the approving gaze of the Republicans. Now he's suggesting the Democrats can't complain that their families are being posted in political ads and threatened over the phone?

    The Republican party is a vile, opportunistic miscarriage of our political system. They will follow Limbaugh, Beck, and the rest to their doom. If you find yourself voting Republican in a national election, then quite frankly, your probably older than 45 or a screaming conservative.

    If you are a young American, I beg you, in national elections do not vote republican, this party is broken and held hostage by its extremist elements. Vote Democrat or Independent.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SD

    Hold On Now, he won't release the messages, and he has gotten threats before? Oh, so how does that tie in with the Democrats and the things they have experienced. Have we used terms, like "baby killer", "Armageddon", "reload" and "kill the bastards" like the republican leaders and their associates have?, Of course not. Why would we? We're winning...these are loosers tactics. Sorry, don't believe him, and the American People won't either.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
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