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. Lyn Koch

    I don't imagine this will get as much outcry from the House and Senate leaders as when it was happening to the Democrats.

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

    funny how the threats and vandalism towards the dems are backed up by pics and recordings – why doesn't cantor release his supposed threats? and he has the audacity to say that the dems are "fanning the flames"?! i call bs on this one....not buyin' it.....

    pity the repubs boohoo

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Raj Verma

    Ah, now the republicans speak. Where were you Mr. Cantor when the dems were being attacked by your guys.

    Such an action, irrespective of party lines, should NOT be fanned by anyone. What a SHAME

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

    People don't seem to understand the proper channel to go thtough when their democratically elected officials vote against their personal views.

    What you are suppose to do is build yourself an army, create a following based on your single view and over throw the government...NOT.

    People forget. The US is not a free country. It's a democratic one. The majority have spoken. There is no need for this display of violence because "your side" didn't win.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Elvis Scott

    The radicals have realized the tide is rising against them and organized to shoot one at their own to pretend they're not responsible for all this. Talk of 17th century tactics. You lost. It's called life. Deal with it.

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

    Like Rodney King Said, " Can't We All Just Get Along".

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

    Don't look now Mr. Cantor, but your failure to rebuke Glenn Beck for his paranoia-filled broadcasts makes you come off as politically exploiting these threats and acts of violence.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill in Florida

    Regardless of who is responsible or who fanned the flames, this violence is quickly getting out of control. If you let it persist, it will outgrow your ability to intervene. I urge all of our political leaders to stand together united against bigotry, racism, homophobia, threats of violence and acts of vandalism now. Stop the political bickering and do something about it if you're true leaders.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin B

    Wow.. the Republicans are now victims?
    LEt's make sure there really was a shot shall we.

    And by the way.. the Repubs out there with a bull horn urging the frenzied crowd was insane.

    Maybe they need to actually read the bible instead of use it as a political weapon.
    ie.. You reap what you sow.

    Don't get indignant now that you have lit the flames of insane discourse.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. angela

    He wont release the messages? OK, but has anyong seen the bullet hole? Wont believe it until I see the police report.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RC

    He hired someone to do it. Think about it, how else better take the heat off of the Repubs over their radical uprising coming out of the woodwork against Dems every where else. Brilliant!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mark Stein

    Why are they shooting at him? They passed the bill. Democrats are starting to scare me.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. phyber

    "democracy will cease to exist when the government takes from those who work, only to give to those who refuse to."

    -thomas jefferson

    i do not condone such violence, but when the elected officials don't listen at all to the population that put them in office, what else will they expect?

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marmayogi

    Purely a make up story.. Now people understand the real face of GOP. FBI should find the real GOPs or Tea Partiers who did this.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sandy

    Where was Kantor when the Dems held the Press Conference to decry and stop the madness. They had prior to the release had a meeting asking them to join them and evidently declined to join now it is spreading...
    This is America...we nee to stop all this hatred and insanity before something really happens.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
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