April 15th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
12 months 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. dalene44

    Only select attacks by select people are considered terrorist by the administration.
    "Workplace Violence" was the term used for the attack by Maj Hasan who killed 13 in Ft Hood despite his questionable ties. Another paper says a suspect is already in custody.

    April 15, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. leemac443

    its called state jurisdiction

    April 15, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Gangrene

    This is Obama's chance to be a true leader and unite the country rather than allow mass hysteria to weaken it. Let's see if he does his own Ground Zero, Bush-style speech.

    April 15, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. David

    CNN should really eliminate the comments section – nothing but uninformed people making assumptions usually with a political or racial motivation.

    April 15, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Sarah S.

    Obama NEVER says terror.....that would admit his egregious polices are a total failure. Let's see – cut military, cut defense, harrass Americans with TSA and Homeland Security, give Saudi's a total pass, don't secure borders, illegal aliens can come and go at will. Oh, I forget....billions of dollars given to our enemies. What could possibly go wrong?????

    April 15, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. kelman nunez

    the only question to ask here is how many more are they not who is behind it , as an intelligence analisys student im very stunned by this incident, consider the fact that we were attacked behind our back once again and who ever is behind this will never give themselves up unless there goin to commit suicide within the action it is very important to analize how many more are they to prevent further damage .God bless

    April 15, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Jeff in NC

    Sure. He pledged the same thing about Benghazi.

    April 15, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Bob

    Oh Obama... afraid you Brotherhood will get mad if you say terror attack? I'm surprised you even got off the golf course for this. I also wonder what is whith the picture of him being on the phone? We all know that is a old file photo.

    April 15, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Barry Obama

    Lets' make all bombs illegal...that should take care of it.

    April 15, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Just sayin'

    Get ready for the ban on trash cans now..

    April 15, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Jeff

    What? CNN – get a life, hes being responsible, unlike CNNs attack ad, sorry story.

    April 15, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. john

    im pretty sure local authorities are rounding up intel that they will relay to the feds so calm down there.

    April 15, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Michael Kalpesh

    murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

    Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

    April 15, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Borderless

    I don't often agree with Obama, but in this case, I have to agree. It would have been reckless for him to call this act "terror". Undoubtedly, the act was by definition terror, but for the president to emphasize it this early in an investigation would cause panic and people would be jumping to ridiculous conclusions. This is one of those rare moments when the president acted presidential.

    April 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Cliff

    Yes, we need to know WHO did this. Do we really care WHY they did it? We're not going to hear its because of a stupid movie or something this time, are we?

    April 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. M. Jones

    Save your prayers President Obama, send your troops. Don't jump to conclusions like y'all did with Benghazi when that bombing was sparked by a film........maybe this one was too.

    April 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Who cares why they did this? Hunt them down and destroy them.

    It's the fundamental idea that somehow terrorism has some justification, and can be dealt with as a law enforcement problem, that has led to the first successful terrorist attack since 9/11.

    It took some time for the protection from rendition and interrogations to wear off, just as it has taken time for the anti-growth economic policies to bite, but now we are reaping the result of Obama's policies: a more dangerous world, and economic stagnation.

    April 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. AshA

    What idiocy to fuss over not using a word. To call them "terrorists" is to say they've won, because that's exactly what they want – terror. I don't consider them terrorists. I call them what they are – criminals and murderers.

    April 15, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. Leslie

    Seriously? Part of the problem is that we are dissecting these statements with a political agenda when people just died and were injured. Only overly political people care whether the term "terror" was used. The rest are just hoping that people recover and the perpetrators are caught.

    April 15, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Michael Kalpesh

    The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them

    April 15, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. socalpimp

    Obama is cool and calculated....he doesn't get emotional over things.

    April 15, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. ransomstoddard1

    @just askin–you may want to read up on what the duties of the White House are and are not. And then compare Obama's reaction to this and shrub's reaction (or non-reaction) to 9/11.

    April 15, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. seriously?

    @ just askin: As you apparently haven't noticed, state and city governments provide almost all police, fire, and medical services. He's offering the local governments additional help with federal resources. Every president does this after every disaster or attack, using those exact words.

    April 15, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. Toenail Wilson

    Guess we need to ban bombs now, Biden. Oh wait...

    April 15, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. kidzlaw-101

    You have sunk to an entirely new low, CNN. Congratulations. Years ago, you were my number one news source. I moved to checking you at times. After this garbage, I won't again. You can't wait for facts like, you know, real journalists and investigators, and you throw trash like this out to incite outrage while Americans are injured, dead and dying. Lowest of the low.

    April 15, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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