March 26th, 2010
03:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Cantor's staff tries to clarify gunshot claim

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="'Cantor's staff said he was happy to find out that police attributed the incident to random gunfire."]

Washington (CNN) - Staffers to a top House GOP member sought to clarify an earlier claim of political violence against him Friday after police determined that a bullet shot at his local campaign office was the result of random gunfire.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, told reporters Thursday that a bullet had been shot through the window of his Richmond office - supposedly part of an escalating cycle of violence and threats in the wake of Sunday's sharply polarized health care reform vote.

Richmond police later determined, however, that Cantor had not been targeted by political opponents. Instead, they concluded, the incident was a consequence of "random gunfire."

"Given a recent spike in threats against Representative Cantor, he, his family and his security were concerned the bullet found in his campaign office was related to a number of violent e-mails and phone messages, many of them anti-Semitic and some of them threatening gun violence," Cantor spokesman John Murray said.

The congressman "was very happy to find out that police attributed this particular incident to random gunfire," Murray said. Now "we need to move on."

Cantor said Thursday that he had been "directly threatened." Hours later, however, the Richmond Police Department provided a statement noting that a preliminary investigation concluded "that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpanebut did not penetrate the window blinds."

The statement noted that "was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."

Murray said law enforcement officials had told Cantor before he spoke with reporters that police were investigating the possibility he was being targeted.

Brad Dayspring, another Cantor spokesman, said staffers called the Richmond Police Department 30 minutes before Cantor's news conference and were told the matter was under investigation.

Dayspring said that, as far as he knows, no Cantor staffers knew about the preliminary findings mentioned in Thursday's police statement until hours after the congressman spoke to reporters.

Cantor slammed Democrats Thursday for supposedly exploiting threatening emails and phone messages for political gain. The only Jewish Republican in Congress, Cantor said he has received threatening messages for years.

Until now, Cantor has not made a practice of discussing the threats in public, according to Murray.

Most of the publicized threats in the wake of the health care vote have been directed against Democrats.

Filed under: Eric Cantor • Popular Posts
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Mickey

    Cantor, you lying creep... I bet you got your butt kicked on the playground all the time.

    You are a fearmongering, racist hater. Period. You should be indicted for incitement under the Patriot Act you domestic terrorists love so much.

    Cantor..."YOU LIE!!!"

    March 26, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Kevin Clarke

    Perhaps highlights the bigger issue of gun control, or lack thereof. Seems odd to find relief in any cause which prompts a bullet fired into an office building.

    March 26, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Danny

    See Sue I'm not the only one that thinks you're a...oh nevermind ...
    I'll take the high road.

    March 26, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    This is the most ridiculous thing i have heard all week. Cantor says he was directly threatened? What nonsense. Now if it had been a STRAY BRICK that went through his window, now THAT would be a threat...

    March 26, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Jen B

    This guy has been spewing so many lies in recent weeks about the health care reform bill, I stopped believing anything he said a long time ago.

    March 26, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Mike in jax

    What a surprise just a scumbag liar. I am sure he would be happy to move on now that the truth comes out.

    March 26, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Rob

    Something they didn't report is that the building in question wasn't even Cantor's office. It was the office of his consultant. He used the conference room in that building from time to time. Cantor's sliminess and arrogance is unreal.

    March 26, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    ok so according to Cantor if you get death threats, have bricks thrown through your windows, obscene phone calls you should say NOTHING risk fanning the flames for political purposes UNLESS of course it happens to a Republican> Cantor is one of the BIGGEST idiots in Congress but I bet he has decent healthcare.

    March 26, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. No Incumbents 2010

    Cantor should apologize for blaming Democrats BY NAME when referring to the shot fired in his district office building. Shame on Cantor for making a false accusation without evidence. All these career politicians need to tone it down.

    March 26, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Keeth in California

    Cantor's office is on the second floor and this bullet broke a window on the first floor - at 1 a.m. People won't forget Cantor's whining and self-actualized victimization, no matter how much he and his staff just want to "move on." The title of "#2" suits Mr. Cantor, because he's full of it.

    March 26, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. usualone

    Interesting conclusion. It didn't make sense that he would be a target since his party didn't wn the health care issue. Of course, there are crazies on both sides but it didn't seem logical. Turns out some of us were correct.

    March 26, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Paul

    We have random gunshots coming thru our windows all the time. Don't know why he is whining about it.

    March 26, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. DA

    What I really want to know is when Cantor is going to come out the closet? We all know he is gay!!! I mean don't get me wrong have nothing against it, but this guy kills me!!! He is such a liar and he dance around like is really someone!! ugh!!

    March 26, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. rdepontb

    The Israeli government's support of a huge increase in building in the disputed area of Jerusalem has put people the world over in jeopardy. Rep Cantor is one of these indirect and unintended victims. To think differently is to ignore the situation an its effects.

    That said, there seems no need to bring unwarranted attention to himself or his family by making highly charged statements against the loyal opposition, as he did in this case.

    March 26, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. ProfBill

    Another Republican manufactured "HISSY" fit...When will these people grow UP? I'm tired of the perpetual Republican SOAP OPERA....There's actual WORK that has to be done....

    March 26, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. carlos

    a BIG apology from this repulsive is due and without delay

    March 26, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. NHscribe

    Anything to bring attention to yourself, huh, Eric? You used to be a laughable politician from VA who hasn't done much other than go to school. Now, with these "claims", you're a laughing-stock of not only VA, but across the nation. Probably wouldn't be an intended target anyway, seeing that you've pretty much shot yourself anyway.

    I see a new book in your immediate future:

    Crying wolf: the Republican Way, by Eric Cantor.

    Duck, mate!

    March 26, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Danny J

    OK the republicans aren't being threatened. The numerous other threats against him and his family must be fake, and all those voice mails sent to other republicans that are nasty and dangerous were all staged. Cantor MUST be an idiot for finding a bullet hole in his office window and a Bullet in the floor of his meeting room. Clearly, any reasonable person who saw something like that would not be worried. He MUST have been bending the truth.

    A person needs only to read some of the hateful posts on this thread to see how hateful and dangerous the liberal left can be.

    March 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Have you EVER told the truth in your whole life? creative now it is because he is Jewish "they" selected his part-time office where he visits 1 time a year to get his mail?

    March 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. carlos

    I was just watching the news, the hag is getting fat and ugly and, of course, totally incoherent and THAT VOICE which could scare a hyena......and the poor old man....she again called him a moperic, more like a balloon face

    March 26, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. mike

    Another opportunist liar.

    March 26, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. rs

    "Happy it was JUST RANDOM gunfire"??? This country is far worse off than we think if that statement makes any sense.

    March 26, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. jane

    So Cantor was caught in a lie. Don't they know these things will come to light? Or do they just count on not many people paying attention.

    I assumed he was chosen to be the Republican spokesperson against the recent violence because he himself had been targeted (which he nobly declared he had not made an issue of.) His short speech was a disgrace in that he only briefly denounced the violence, then spent most of his time rebuking – and warning – the Democrats for "politicizing" this. Typical Republican strategy, take something negative about themselves and turn it into something negative for the Democrats.

    We should label all such Republican twisted distortions as "Swift Boat" tactics because ithey're very, very similar.

    March 26, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. Frank, Rockford IL

    Republicans have a history of blaming Democrats for their own actions. The pot calls the kettle black; this is just more of the same.

    March 26, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. Kari

    The congressman "was very happy to find out that police attributed this particular incident to random gunfire,"

    What? So it's not a big deal to have random gunfire in Richmond? Oh, right. 2nd Amendment...Republican governor. Get used to it Virginia.

    March 26, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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