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. Vince

    Aww... poor republicans are scared. Violence is only real when its aimed at you... Republicans said nothing was said about the bricks being thrown through windows, threatening letters, spitting, racial slurs, anti- gay rhetoric. Pitiful, pathethic..

    Violence is wrong no matter who it is aimed at. Both sides should renounce this foolish behavior and get down to the business of governing and compromise.

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

    This doesn't add up. Rep. Cantor is claiming that the Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen are "fanning the flames of violence"? As far as I know, Rep. Cantor is the only repbulican that has reported violence or threats of violence since the health care bill was passed. Over the same period more than 10 democrats have made similar reports. It is our right as Americans to disagree with the government vocally, but I'm sorry Rep. Cantor, it is the Republican party that is spreading a hateful message leading to the violence against the Democratic Party, not the other way around.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nuf said

    Too bad he's not sincere in wanting this verbal terrorism to stop, because if he was , he would take the democrat's statements of violence at face value and suggest that all polical leaders come together and condemn it strongly and jointly. Makes me wonder if he's telling the truth at all. He sure isnt a leader- just another partisan politico.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    The fact that the Demorats have been trying to politicize these recent attacks is simply appalling.

    They should have simply heeded the call of their constituents before they made the mistake of signing their insurance handout health care bill.

    Anyone else been noticing the quick rise of insurance company stock prices? They're happy this bill passed. Rather than giving Americans real, tangible healthcare reform, our lawmakers decided to hand the insurance companies 32 million new customers without price control on premiums.

    They're getting what they deserve in my opinion. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. IndyVoter

    If someone did shoot through his window, then this is just as outrageous, ridiculous and dangerous as when they do it to Democrats! This is what happens when you tell people its ok to bring guns to political rallies and that they should be be disruptive by yelling and screaming at town hall meetings inteneded for thoughtful and constructive diologue. Inevitably when YOU play with fire, we ALL get burned!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Guest

    You elect your representatives and – depending on the election outcome – the party you prefer has the majority to push certain measures through – or not. That's the process and sometimes the outcome is to our liking – or not.

    Trying to force your political opinions onto the representatives through threats of violence or actual violence is terrorism – and the individuals resorting to it should be treated as such.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mick1128

    Let me get this straight...I get threatened and complain about it then you get threatened and it's my fault. What, are you stupid? How did he get elected being that dim? The fear mongering has been going on for a long time and I don't think the Dem's came up with "death pannels" or any of the other garbage that has been misconstrued (on purpose) about this health bill. My opinion is, you reap what you sow. Welcome to the party Repub's. Is violence right? Absolutely not. On the other hand when you incite people to protest with nazi symbols and hanging the Pres in effigy, you have to expect it to come home at some point.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. New Dog....

    Good...maybe next time they'won't miss....

    March 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alex

    Is Cantor out of his mind. The democrats have a legit complaint because of threats and voicing those concerns is a "political weapon"??

    Cantor is a doofus and I don't believe his story for a minute.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Barbara

    Oh Come On !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Does he really want people to believe this?
    The Repugnicans are a vicious group of sore losers with morons as party members...
    I feel like they should put their energy into making a sequel to the movie "Deliverance".. that is the mentality... And good ol' Sara Palin has 'Cross Hair" targets posted on her web site... yea,, real smart !
    Mr. Cantor you are another liar !

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Luke Krueger

    If he wants the violence to stop, he can start by ending his desire to foment the flames of anger and bogeyman-inspired outrage. Where was his outrage at the tea party dolts yelling kill the -- in regard to Rep. Barney Frank? He should be a man and stand on principle and be a vocal proponent of civil discourse; instead, he is reactionary who appeals for calm only when it pertains to him.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ftaco2004

    It's called protesting, and it's something Americans are not good at because they don't practice it enough, and that's why you hear of stupid things that are unfortunately happening with both party representatives.

    Now, I will say that I think that they are not doing a great job, but the last thing on my mind would be to try to harm someone or threaten them with violence.

    Organize and protest if you feel disgruntled....

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    Unfortunately, as the saying goes, " what goes around comes back and bites you on the rear end harder'. The GOP has been slinging trash for years to incite public fears and have finally gone too far. The utter lack of civility and the amount of hate that the GOP have spewed has gone unchecked.

    Now look what we have. We are acting like those fools in Central Europe and the Far East that have fist fights and riots in their political events.

    Come on America, stop acting like the Three Stooges and remember who and what we are. A free Democratic Union of United States where all have rights and all should act that way.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dennis Cooper

    real change can be provided via the legislative process and voting. this violence, this volatile environment is very troubling. I feel like America is a ternderbox, and having 5 kids, I am a little nervous to be honest. I can NEVER remember worrying this much in my life. I think we All worry more then we ever used to.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alabama

    I don't believe that. He is saying that to get people focus off the real truth of violence going on. That's why he won't rely more information. Liar!

    March 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
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