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. Confused

    WE all know what have to be done to continue to live, and enjoy our lives. We no no matter what this President may bring forth , therr is always going to be a very strong opposition to it. He ha vever been excepted or respected as the President of the United States since the day of the election by some and wwe all know why. We were driven into by recession by the last president but that was ok, because the middle class wasstaying middleclass and the poor stayed poor. The full pockets were getting fuller. To all those that always get hype on pro-life why are you so against a bill that will help people live longer getting health care that they could not afford in the past, now life is life no matter how you may look at it. You want to protect a life to be born but once their born whatever happens,just happens don't you think this is being a little two sided. Tell a mother that has a 2 year old with cancer and no insurance that she have to loose her home,car and just work to pay her childs hospital and doctor bills because that is the only way she can have her child treated for cancer. I am an independant but do beleive in people living a good life. Forget about all other crap and look at all as human beings wanting a long wonderful lif and as far as 2012 elections neither party should count the votes before they are hust as many are upset with the republicans for not one vote for healthcare (even though they haven't went to the extreme of threatning people live or name calling) as they are with the Democrats.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BTRighteous

    Cantor's statement to the press about the shooting and threats to this office includes a statement condemning others for telling the press about violence and threats?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Christy G

    yeah right! I don't believe him.

    He probably did it himself because he wanted to show that it wasn't only happening to democrats.


    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jennifer

    WELL...WELL.....WELL, now that the Republicans are getting the threatening calls and rocks or bullets thru their windows, it's time to stop. They, who supported the protestors screaming racist and homophobic garbage are now crying because someone doesn't like them. Get over it and do your job. Mr. Cantor, you are pitiful. You are not working for the go get another job!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jerrry

    "It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. ... Enough is enough. It has to stop."

    I agree, so why are you doing it too Mr Cantor?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. linda

    Why do I get the distinct feeling that he is trying to defuse what is really happening? Because it's Eric Cantor and he is known for posturing...he is not a victim...the Dems are the victims of the right wing nut jobs out there. Republicans always resort to violence...just look at history. They killed JFK, MLK and RFK....they use racial slurs against John Lewis in the 60's and now in the 2000's. Sara Palin is using crosshairs on her facebook site?!? That's enticing these crazy people!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. james jackson

    stop crying

    March 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Griff

    Mr. Cantor, My sincerest hope is that you, your collegues, their families, and your family will incur no harm. But please send a clip of this to Sarah Palin and those Tea Party members who insist on "fanning the flames' of violence. It can flow both ways and innocent people will get hurt. Mr. McCain denounced violence on TV this morning in an interview with Ann Curry on the Today show. But, he did it with a smile on his face. The biggest damn hypocrite on the hill. Calls himself a maverick but I believe he goes along to get along. Finally, Dr. King was right when he said; "It's not a question of violence or non-violence. It's a question of non-violence or non-existence."

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Keith Mitchell

    Those dirty rotten name callers!!!! How dare they use the media for political gains like me! They are not the chosen ones like republicans!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve Pehnec

    Rep. Cantor can direct a lot of blame toward his own party for whipping up the current atmosphere of conflict. Did they expect the nuts on the other side to sit around and take it? You reap what you sow, boys and girls.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill Ramed

    Fanning the Flames....when did this start? Considering all underhanded and dirty tricks the GOP have used over the years.....let alone inciting hated hate do you know they didn't set this one up? Releasing the message won't incite violence. If they had any
    messages", they would be using these to political advantage. Sorry, but it is hard to believe the GOP let alone the Democrats.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jgrant746

    What do you expect. The Dems give Americans better access to Health Insurance and Eric wants to take it away. D'uh!!!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hairho

    Interesting how Rep. Cantor brings up UN-substianted threats and t8n shots(where's the evidence? police report?) a day after several dem's reported legitimate threats and vandalism?
    The dem's HAVE evidence Rep. Cantor...where's yours? I think you're full of dung

    March 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TJ

    Mr. Cantor is exactly right. Rachel Maddow was playing some threatening voicemails that Representative Stupak had received from the anti-abortion nut jobs. What purpose does it serve to play such messages on national tv? Especically when the majority of her audience is pro-choice. It just prompts them to do the same thing. She acts like there aren't nut jobs on the other end of the spectrum. Quit using this for political gain Dems and quit acting like you all are the only victims. No one on either side of the aisle condones this behavior!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tesakkis

    I'ts horrible. It's disgusting - no matter which party it attacks. But it starts with the respect shown on the House and Senate floor. Yelling your disapproval simply condones the next step by people who don't have any principles to begin with. But become an example, please. Stop rhetoric. Stop lying. Rein in your loudmouths - on both sides. Perhaps then the American people would show you some respect. In the meantime, shame on knuckleheads who make threats against public officials.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
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