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. Lynn

    If Republicans did not keep blocking legislation to close the gun show loophole to keep guns away from crazies, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.
    Really odd that Cantor blames violence on Democrats who complained that their offices were vandalized by people who agree with the Republicans- and then complains that his own office was vandalized.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Rousch

    Was the sky falling at the time?

    Yeah, right.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TC

    Someone needs to make a Freedom of Information for these "messages". Its hard to trust anything that comes out of his mouth.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eimerd

    You lie! Show us the damage, let us listen to the messages!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adam

    There the left goes again, being violent.

    Yet, peaceful protesters are the one's who get all the flack from networks like this... it's sickening.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Beverly

    What has taken place before, during and after the health care refrom date has been
    a shame on this so-called great nation. People would do some of the outrageous stints are awful. We stood by and let the Republicans take our country down a slippery slope and there was not nearly the outrage that is taking place at this very moment. For the older generation on medicare and social security, return those government checks and goverment health care to the righful owner and stop complaining about what the government is doing for other people. We are alll benefiting from the federal government in one way or another. Please behave yourselves and begin acting like rational grown ups.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Burnham

    The politicians have brought this on themselves. Along with the media. People are just plain angree at the BS that is going on with our Congress. We feel they are all working against us. If they don't stop I think this will get worse.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. frank

    I'll believe him when the police report verifying the shot is issued.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Henry Miller

    Gee, thanks, Barack... Great job you're doing as a "post-partisan" president.

    Dems and Reps weren't happy with each other before Obama took office, but at least they weren't shooting at each other. But then Bozo just had to make his violent Left turn, and now that's ripping the country apart.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    What has to stop, Cantor? Your percieved "fanning the flames" by Democrats? They have been indirectly victimized by the GOP's (and Fox News') continued rousing of the public with facetious and false framings of Health Care Reform as "s Government takeover" and "trampling on the Constitution". That's what has to stop.

    Boy, it's been a while since Sarah Palin enlightened us with her insights on the elements of the bill that was passed. How will she ever top the Death Panels? Maybe she'll promote Death Panels if they get to operate from gun-armed helicopters.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MaryPoppins

    Yep, it must had been Chenney in on of his hunting outings! Please clearly it is nothing but a theater because your teabaggers vandalist got out of control and you don't want to be seen for what you are...a bunch of thugs!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    Looks like someone is trying to pass the blame to others for their own doing. Well Mr. Cantor, WE THE PEOPLE aren't buying it. You started this nonsense – you, McConnell and Boehner – now you have to lie in the bed you made.

    You see WE THE PEOPLE wising up to your lies, rhetoric and call for violence against progress and realize now that it isn't quite playing out the way you hoped. And now you want to play the victim? WE THE PEOPLE are not dumb. WE THE PEOPLE know who creatd this political environment and WE THE PEOPLE see you obstructing government and progress. There's no way for you to backslide out of the bed you made.

    See you in November – hopefully for the last time.

    YES WE CAN! Obama 2012.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Clifford

    Grandstanding, Opposition and Postponing = GOP

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nomster

    This is just ridiculous. Why would you shoot at someone over this, let alone someone who voted against the bill?

    America is currently suffering a severe misinformation crisis. This bill does not merit the type of discord that it's been receiving.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    Too bad Eric. Time to reap what you and your conservative breathren have sown.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
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