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. Corvettekp

    I think we should ban all types of bombs that can be used in terror attacks...wait, I think they are. So how is it they can kill people if they are banned? Does this mean that individuals who are motivated to kill will go to whatever means necessary to do so? Should we look at the antecedents that lead to violent acts and focus our attention on these areas in being proactive to solutions and not reactive to situations?

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

    Obama will punish the perpetrators just as he punished the islamist at the Libya fiasco.When pigs fly.

    April 15, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Mel

    How sad I feel.

    April 15, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. brian

    @just askin – Actually the federal government can't intervene unless it is a federal crime or the local and state authorities ask them to intervene.

    April 15, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. Dennis Harrell

    The lunatic fringe hates Obama, and our government. And yet they see no connection between their hatred and this attack on "Patriots Day"? And CNN, what's this obsession with whether Obama used the word "terrorism"? If I wanted bias I'd watch Fox.

    April 15, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Iloveboston

    CNN why are you trying to add fuel to the fire with this nonsense article? Have some decency

    April 15, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. Bob

    Sadly, when you say "terror" or "terrorist" a certain segment of the American public will automatically assume it is done by an Islamic militant group and those same people them feel emboldened to go harass anyone they perceive to be non-Christian or non-white. If the person who did this turns about to be non-white, you can bet Fox will start calling it an organized Muslim terrorist attack. If the person is a white Christian (like most of the mass shootings), they will instead refer to the person as a "disturbed individual" making no reference to their race or religion.

    April 15, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. dougjmiller

    This atrocity is an act of war. Every decent person grieves for all of the dead and injured. I pray that the survivors make quick and meaningful recoveries. The perpetrators of this war crime are most likely Arab/ Moslem terrorists. When the Appeaser-in-Chief says that he will find the killers and they will be held accountable, I'm sure they are laughing long and hard. Oh they may find a couple of expendables to give jail sentences to, but the terrorist network and the regimes sponsoring them will get off scott free. Shame on Obama and his flunkies who have undermined the safety and security of all Americans.

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

    He didnt say 'terrorist' or anything because this mostly looks to be a domestic crude bomb which would have been carried out by some disgruntled loner.
    If it was alqaeda or some other Middle-East terrorist organization, it would have been a more sophisticated attack with an IED leaving dozens, even hundreds dead as it happens in other countries of the Middle-East or Asia.

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

    Just Askin: Your comment and way to many more only shows why OUR country is so screwed up! WHY not meet the parents of the 8yr. old boy and tell them your drivel? Maybe they would have a gun or bomb!

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

    QUICK send more money to Newtown C;mon Sheeple you can do it.

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

    @just askin....head on over to Fox News where they are talking about how if only every man, woman, child and infant owned and carried a gun stuff like this would never ever happened and the world would be such a peaceful harmonious place to live. Probably a little more your speed.

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

    How could this be possible? It is against the law to make and explode a bomb? Maybe the criminal didn't care that it was against the law. Wonder why he didn't use a semi- automatic rifle with a high capacity magazine. It is likely because there were lots of armed men in the vicinity. Get that , "armed" men who could have shot back.

    April 15, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. TexDoc

    He can call it a 'kerfuffle' but that doesn't change the fact it was terrorism. It was intended to inflict terror.

    April 15, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. Told You So

    several people dead including an 8 year old ; many more wounded and we're talking about the fact that President Obama didn't call this terrorism. In addition some making snide comments (@ just askin)....sad

    April 15, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Karin

    Secure the Borders would be a good start

    April 15, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Pricilla

    At least he didn't blame the Christian tea party this time, according to HIM we are all domestic terrorists! The other thing I noticed is that he said Americans will pray, removing himself (I and) from saying prayers. DISGUSTING! And JUSTICE, won't happen! Not under Barry's rule!!!!!

    April 15, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. pjoe

    Justice must be done. Whoever did this is a first-rate coward.

    April 15, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. bruce

    If explosives and ball bearings were used and it is not a terror attack what is it?

    April 15, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. americaissick

    I guess John picked the wrong door.

    April 15, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. WatrGrrl

    Not surprising the Obama can't say the word terrorism – unless it will be to use the term "domestic terrorists," in which case he'll point his Olympian Finger at "those people that cling to their guns and their Bibles." You know, white Republicans that voted for Bush...

    April 15, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Charlie

    Really???? I detect a repeating theme. Sounds like Benghazi all over again!

    April 15, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Robert

    Earth to CNN... Obama not saying a word is not a news story.

    April 15, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. totalinfidel

    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."

    Same approach as usual........

    April 15, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. dhal

    We definitely need to ban bombs.

    April 15, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
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