April 15th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
9 years 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. BO

    What a wonderful opportunity for Barry to exploit the dead for another photo op. It was that damn movie everyone – wait a minute and I may change my mind.

    April 15, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Joel

    Terror is terror, by American or by foreigners, call it what it is,it will not take anything from what you think it might Mr. President.

    April 15, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Frits

    Why is CNN making such a point whether it is called terrorist act or not.......(obviously only in their US edition btw).
    Trying to politicize a tragedy?
    How sad

    April 15, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. seriously this is news?

    really this kind of speculation is what makes it to the front page of CNN nowadays?

    April 15, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Dave in NC

    Why not just call it what it is? This dancing around the word is silly . . .

    April 15, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. AlanS

    So what? He didn't say Bengazi was a terrorist attack either. I'm just waiting for him to figure out a way to take advantage of this particular tragedy. Watch for it. "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Rahm Emanuel, Whitehouse Chief of Staff

    April 15, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |

    Figures the mann didn't want to call this an act of terror. Pres. Obama didn't want to call Fort Hood or Benghazi acts of terror either. As usual, duck responsibility. He prefer these to be classified as transformer explosions if he could. He just doesn't want to acknowledge terrorists attacks have occurred during his administration..or maybe he doesn't want to offend Muslims.

    April 15, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. 1smoothdaddy

    Is this CNN or Fox News? Why is it important at this point that Obama did not use the word terror? The feds are treating this as a terrorist attack. Can we just have a few minutes to mourn those lost and let the injured be treated before we start with the knit picking. We'll deal with how the POTUS responds after the response is made. Geesh.

    April 15, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. DocHollywood

    My God, haven't we seen over the last 4 years that ANYTHING he says will be disected and criticized until hell freezes over? If he would have said it's an act of terrorism, he'd be crucified. If he doesn't say it, he'll be crucified. And all the while, people forget that this isn't about what he SAYS, it's about some deranged individual or group that is willing to take innocent people to the grave for some mind twisting justification. Don't worry about how anyone speaks as to terrorism or not, just find those involved and let justice prevail.

    April 15, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Chris

    Of course a man named Osama Obama would NOT call this terror. After all, he's our President, he's tricked more than 1/2 of the people in this country with free money, free housing, free food, free cellphones, and free cellphone minutes. Why would he upset his little apple cart and call THIS ACT OF TERROR what it is? He plans to take the elderly's social security money and give it to those low income friends of his and the beat just goes on with this ACT OF TERROR.

    April 15, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. mikemorrison

    Just 2 words NORTH KOREA

    April 15, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. Hopey Changey

    I'm not a fan of Obama, but he deserves some slack at this point with regards to this bombing.

    April 15, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Umbertoni

    A Saudi arrested or in custody? Water board him.

    April 15, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Roses

    Hmmmm. Well, it seems like a perfectly acceptable time to slash Defense spending to me. I suppose universal healthcare will, at the very least, cover medical expenses of terror victims when they are hospitalized.

    April 15, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Pablo

    We don't want to be "politically incorrect" do we. We wouldn't want to offend a terrorist by calling them a terrorist would we.

    April 15, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. jack

    It was a tragedy.Obama is afraid to call it a terrorist act by the radical islam. By the end of the week he will apologize to the Muslims.

    April 15, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Steve

    Shame on you for suggesting that the President is somehow misaligned for not using the word "terror" You people look like prejudice idiots! Did you check to make sure he had his American flag pin on hi9s lapel or does that also make him un-American??? Get a grip, we were just attacked, you don't make stupid comments like this about the president during a time like this. What are you becoming FOX NEWS Southern Branch???

    April 15, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Sammy Z

    Not surprised the first comment is some right winger just looking for any excuse to attack the President

    April 15, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Ryan Wenzel

    Why does CNN make a point of saying that Obama didn't call it a terrorist attack? We don't know who did it yet. It depends whether the person or people responsible had political reasons for doing this.

    April 15, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. Umbertoni

    I think domestic although could be domestic Muslim or tea party libertarian extremist

    April 15, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Mark

    Obama should have said terror.

    No one should say terror regarding any of these attacks. Im not terrified, nor would I be if I was there. Im angry that someone would do this, and they need to be landed on with both feet.

    Nuff said.

    April 15, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. NN

    Not only is it Patriot's day, it also happens to be Yom HaAtzmaut / Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Independence Day and Memorial Day [they are back-to-back]). Just another wrinkle that could explain the motives.

    April 15, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. binag

    Remember Fort Hood? Not a terrorist attack either.

    April 15, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. nygard1

    When is this spine-less president going to be honest with the American people??? He called the Fort Hood terror attack "workplace violence" and he just cannot bring himself to call this terror, either. So what is it – street-violence??


    April 15, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. jack sprat

    please disarm me Mr President. I can see you have my security under control

    April 15, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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