April 15th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama makes statement on Boston bombings

(CNN)– President Barack Obama said he ordered the "full resources" of the federal government to respond to the Boston bombings on Monday, and that he also called for increased security around the United States as necessary.

"We still do not know who did this or why," he said from the Brady Press Briefing Room, cautioning people against jumping to conclusions. "But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this."

Any individuals or groups responsible for the "senseless" bombing, he added, will "feel the full weight of justice."

"The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight," he said.

Notably absent from his remarks was the word "terror," though federal investigators are classifying the bombings as a terror event. It is not clear if it's from a domestic or foreign source, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.

Full transcript: Obama reacts to 'senseless' bombings

"Today is a holiday in Massachusetts, Patriot's Day. It's a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation, and it's a day that draws the world to Boston's streets in a spirit of friendly competition," he said. "Boston is a tough and resilient town, so are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city and as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way."

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 15, 2013. Seated with the President are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

After Obama's statement, a White House official said "any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror."

"However, we don’t yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic," the official continued.

According to the president's Facebook page, an organized call-in event scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed.

"Due to the events at the Boston Marathon, we are postponing tomorrow's National Call Day on gun violence prevention. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston," his Facebook stated.

The event, run by the advocacy group Organizing for Action, would have organized supporters to call their senators and urge them to support the current gun legislation bill.

Over on Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner led a moment of silence on the House floor for victims in Boston.

House Speaker John Boehner talks to President Barack Obama on the phone Monday around 5:30 p.m. ET.

And a press conference to roll out the so-called Gang of Eight's immigration plan has also been postponed, according to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, was on a conference call earlier in the day about the Senate legislation to combat gun violence when he heard about the explosions.

"As I'm speaking here, they just turned on the television in my office and apparently there has been a bombing– I don't know any of the details of what caused it, who did it–I don't think it exists yet but our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries," he said. "I don't know how many of them there are. I'm looking at it on television now."

– CNN's Tom Cohen, Jessica Yellin and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. just askin

    "His administration is in contact with state and local authorities. He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response," the official said.
    ---–
    seriously??? isn't it their job to do this? i realize they might have to pull some of their people off of other duties, like investigating states enforcing the laws of the land, or international gun running.

    April 15, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. jboy0127

    its just a statement for the press. You hate him that bad huh?

    April 15, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Daniel

    Anyone finding fault with the response this early is projecting their own bias. There have been several prudent steps such as shutting down cell phone traffic to prevent remote detonations, canceling events, mobilizing extra security, and more.

    If you think the local, state, and federal governments are all sitting around twiddling their thumbs right now, you're living in a fantasy world.

    April 15, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. A

    II'm glad to see his feet are kicked up and he is getting comfortable...

    April 15, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. round up the usual supects

    it was george bush's fault. why not? everything else is.

    April 15, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Mediquette

    I understand they're meant to stay calm in situations like this, but is it me, or does that one guy in the closest foreground (on the right side) look absolutely bored out of his mind? oO

    April 15, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. youreyesareweird

    @just askin – eh? what are you on about? All investigations start local and move broader. The federal government is not the only government in the land.

    April 15, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. K Williams

    This is a poor picture of the president. Is this the image that the White House wants to project?

    April 15, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. joe

    lets send him on another tour to apoligize for America some more maybe that will help!!!

    April 15, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Name

    I am belived that white house was weak with nation security also untied state of amercian need keep out of ciztien and plot amrcian

    April 15, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    just askin', they tried to get Rubio on this, but he was busy chasing after Beyonce. But then again, aren't we all chasing after Beyonce?

    April 15, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. Closed Caption

    Please put up closed caption for us.

    April 15, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Thomas

    They sure are dressed awfully nice for a Sunday afternoon. Just once I'd like to see a picture that doesn't appear they were prepped for.

    Find out the truth of what happened Obama. And try not to screw it up (Benghazi).

    April 15, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. ellid

    Please note, all the fine people who earlier made cracks about the President on the golf course, that he was, and is, in the Oval Office.

    April 15, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Pat

    It is rumored that the President will apologize for America's arrogance for having marathons in what is 3rd largest city!

    April 15, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. DustyOnes

    Obama will ban marathons.

    April 15, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. jason

    Just askin – you're mad because the administration is updating the press on what they're doing? Why do you care if they update the press so long as they "do their jobs" as you put it? Do you realize how stupid you're being?

    April 15, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Pat

    He must have a few holes left to play...

    April 15, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Jay-Z

    Must be busy giving more celebrities permission to vacation in Cuba...

    April 15, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. ByeByeUSA

    Good. That'll fix everything.

    April 15, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. andrewjm222

    @maximusvad no no we are not.

    April 15, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Holly Berry

    I want footage and journalist coverage of the JFK library "fire".

    April 15, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. there_are_such_things_as_stupid_questions_Just_askin

    @ maximus, unfortunately, a reason you're reading that hyperbolic, ignorant rhetoric is because there ARE segments of the U.S. that sympathize with such blatant disregard for intelligence. Idiots like "just askin" have vested and captive audiences across this country.

    April 15, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. Nope

    @Justasking: Welcome to federalism, American government 1001. This is more than likely a state/local jurisdiction, not federal.

    April 15, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  25. The REAL Truth...

    @just askin – seriously??? isn't it their job to do this? i realize they might have to pull some of their people off of other duties, like investigating states enforcing the laws of the land, or international gun running.
    -----------------------------------
    You folks will whine and bellyache about which way the POTUS holds his toothbrush and the direction of the brush strokes, yet seriously believe that the solution to protecting our children is to put more guns into schools and arm teachers! One has to question the sanity of folks who believe that.

    April 15, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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