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. Bill Ramed

    Oh, it may have been Dick Chaney. He may have been out hunting on the adjacent property.

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

    Well I'm glad no one was hurt, but maybe this will make everyone step back and take a look at what they're doing to "fan the flames." And that means EVERYone. The divisiveness is starting to get out of hand. They all need to act like grown ups and realize what they're doing and saying.

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

    Cantor and the Republicans HAVE been fanniing the flames. To not step up and own their own rhetoric is irresponsible and, dare I say, unpatriotic.

    Talk to people about why they're mad and they'll almost always spit out Republican talking points. Time will show what truth lies within their arguments, it would just be nice to see our alledged Republican leadership act like adults and live with the fact that they screwed themselves into the hole that is minority party.

    If your elected official is talking about revolution, using gun metaphors, and generally being irresponsible, are you going to be okay with the violence they incite in the the people that are susceptible to this hate and fear mondering?

    If you think they're out of line, write to them as well!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LarryB-FL

    You have got to be kidding! For the last year, Cantor and the Repubs have not only sparked the fire, but have been "fanning the flames" with their own rhetoric!! They've characterized the Democrats as liars, cheats, thieves and "baby killers". They've stood by as the tea party knuckleheads as well as themselves have cast proponents of health care reform as socialists, nazis and tyrants! Elected officials are supposed to be smart people.....what did they think would happen when they began to embrace the ultra right-wing and extremist groups of their party?? You can't yell fire in a crowded theater and expect everyone to calmly walk to the nearest exit. The Repubs are yelling fire in a crowded tea party rally and then stand at the podium in puzzlement when bricks are thrown. Let us not forget why the Repubs brought us to fight 'extremists' who are blinded by hate! Whether it's religion or politics.....extremism is just that....everything to the extreme!

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

    Whenever violence of any kind, real or implied, is used as a political tool, it is the dictionary definition of terrorism.

    As a country we need to take a step back, breath, and remind ourselves that we are all on the same side. We have different notions of what's best for the country, but as a democracy we have all entered into an agreement to resolve those differences through our political process. It's slow and messy, but violence is an unacceptable alternative.

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

    This seems like BS to me for some reason. No one shot at any GOPers when it looked like they could kill the bill, yet once it passes there is someone angry enough to vandalize an office. I think the GOP are getting "victim envy" in the wake of the very real threats against House and Senate Democrats. There are recorded messages from outside sources of right-wing protesters calling senators n$#@s and f^%$#^s. Also, why would liberal protesters be angry now? The bill passed. Funny.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fred shapiro

    Nothing this guy says makes any sense. Becasue he does not want to "fan the flames" he says that these threats should be kept quiet. He then goes on to say that he has gotten threats-which is not exactly keeping this quiet. I do not think keeping this kind of disgusting behavior quiet helps anything. Maybe Eric thinks that the Holocaust should be kept quiet. But, if he really thinks that keeping this stuff quiet is such a good idea-why is he talking about it. Also-is this being investigated? Has it been reported to law enforcement. I mean, give me a break.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RJ

    what the hell is this country coming to? This type of behavior is what you would expect in a developing country's young democracy....not here.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brenda Scott

    Greetings!...A short reply to state the following: The Health Care Issue is an American Issue...We all deserve to have A Fair share at The Best Of Health In These United States Of America. Thank The Lord For President Obama,,standing for what is this moment in time, history&etc. Shame on The GOP-Republicans to make this about them...really...Please..The election is over...sorry these scare tactics will not work..that is exactly why ...this us against them house-divided mentality has never worked,then or now!....America needs Health Care Reform..sad, but true The Democrats did the correct procedure to pass this.move on.,please! The President is doing good,!By God"s grace and mercy under his Leadership, The Health Care has passed,get over it work with him ,ok!..

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Micha

    Such a dangerous administration.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cody

    Unless it is just not worth mentioning any other time wouldn’t you think that these incidents are pretty good indications that the people you represent are at least disappointed in your stance (FOR THEM). Maybe we should have a sit down and really think about not just what you can get from saying yes but who you’re saying yes for

    March 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Justice

    Democrats need to understand you have a lot to answer for in November. You have disregarded the will of the American people and we are angry. You have to ask yourself why is the President still traveling the country trying to sell the American people on healthcare when its already law? Its because from the beginning the Obama administration wanted to make history instead of listening to middle class Americans. This bill only does one thing, kill jobs, increase taxes and put us farther in debt. November can not come soon enough.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LAM

    What a laugh! A REPUBLICAN accussing Democrat's of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons." WOW, they're only taking pages out of the nasty GOP playbook that's been used against them for 20+ years. It's about time Dem's fight back!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sally

    Cantor!! Cantor!!! Now you are blaming the Democratic for what the Republicans has started!!! Shame!!! Shame!!!! What kind of example are we setting for our young people in the United States?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jack

    I don't care who they are left or right; acts of violence are intolerable!

    And both the left and right talk show host are partly, if not mainly to blame!

    God forbid if you disagree with anyone!

    People, that includes TV host and leadership of both parties had better stand up renounce violence!

    And don't give tha old adage "it so how upset people are" Violence towards another human being is not acceptable

    March 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
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