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. Captain Obvious

    It's not a terrorist attack until you know the motive. If someone did this for political or idealogical reasons, it's a terrorist attack. If some insane person did it simply to kill people, it's not a terrorist attack. It probably is a terrorist attack, but it's premature to say so. And serves no purpose to jump to conclusions.

    April 15, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Smoochie

    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 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. Steve

    I think they have put the gun control bill on the back burner for a while and are now introducing an anti-bomb bill with a background check on all of those who are applying for permits to buy bombs, however muslims (the religion of peace) will be exempted from any of those requirements according to White House sources who are speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    April 15, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. Kasey

    How else would you ask him to respond? @ just askin

    April 15, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. Lynda Gibson

    GOD BLESS AMERICA and all the VICTIMS of this senceless attack!

    April 15, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. Allan

    Does it really surprise you he doesnt call it terrorist, he didnt call Benganzi terriorist for how long?

    April 15, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Harangue

    Are people seriously jumping on this and calling it a terrorist attack? Already, and without any evidence to begin with, and for such a small scale incident?


    April 15, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. kaydevo

    Who cares if the word "terror" was used or not? No matter, it WAS an act of terrorism. Terrorism is an act of violence that is intended to physically harm people and to cause terror in the public. Homegrown or foreign, still the same definition. Today's event clearly was terrorism.

    April 15, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. nuclearmike

    Funny how the Presdient is suddenly so careful on his choice of words when he normally would use this opportunity to declare we need to ban something soon for more will happen...enforce the laws we have Mr. President!

    April 15, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. twisteds0ul


    What does that even mean 'Its just a statement for the press'?

    Its just a statement for the press so...
    a. It doesn't mean anything, completely ignore it.
    b. Its in code and must be deciphered.
    c. It could and probably will be denied.
    d. It was made under duress.
    e. Other

    April 15, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. ted

    Will the Obama haters STFU? We are tired of your ranting and raving because your loser lost. Just stop it. You are not helpful. Let's try to understand what is going on and what to do with it as a country, not the red vs blue.

    April 15, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Evolve

    I think the fact that obama hasn't resorted to using buzzwords like bush (terrer, freedm) always did is actually pretty admiral. The terror is self evident.

    April 15, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Joe M.

    Listen and compare how Obama sounds when he's giving a campaign speech railing against the GOP – he's truly angry. Then listen to what he sounds like in the speeches after Benghazi and today in Boston – he sounds as indifferent as can be. At least it makes it easy to see where his priorities lie.

    April 15, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  14. Bill

    Obama has been soft on terrorism. Everyone knows Bid Laden was captured because of Bush. The fact that he won't call this or the murder of the ambassador to Libya terrorism is disturbing.

    April 15, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    This terroristic act was done in celebration of Kim Ir Sen birthday, today, april 15. No less, no more.

    April 15, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. reality

    He didn't mention the word 'terror' because, as usual, he's more worried about his poll numbers. It's all about him. Maybe this will get him another appearance on The View.

    April 15, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Dave Bones

    Well... the people at the Marathon were in a state of terror.

    April 15, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. Klondike Ken

    Your President did not use the word terror. So what? Why would CNN even mention that? OMG completely ignorant of some people wanting to make an issue over that during a time of complete tragedy. People who nit pick at your President or out Prime Minister to elevate their own personal selfish agenda's absolutely make me sick. Hang in there Boston and our prayers to the families of dead and injured.

    April 15, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. Sue

    Remember everyone............Ever since Obama, Napolitano, and the rest of the merry band of loony leftists took over........It is no longer called "terrorism", it is a "man-made disaster".

    April 15, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. Christopher Gershel

    Ask the injured whether it was an act of terror? Mr. President, It is what it is!!!

    April 15, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. chris

    Obama and Biden would have preferred this was an assault weapon instead of a bomb

    April 15, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. aby smith

    Evil will always find a way. That is the problem with approaching the violence problem with the viewpoint that you can stop it by restricting access to guns.

    April 15, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. ONLY WAY

    The spirit of Mohammad is again at work!!
    This kind of terror comes from satan.

    April 15, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  24. ian42

    If your top concern right now is the president's choice of words, you're a truly pathetic human being. I can't believe this story is even on the front page.

    April 15, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. Bob T

    If they find that Muslim activists were responsible he'll find some way to let them go!

    April 15, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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