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. jag

    Just Askin, You are the smart one what would you have done?? please post your advise to this sad event in America!

    April 15, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Tyhouston

    Terror...say it with us Obama...TERROR attack.

    TERROR. You been afraid to use it since Fort Hood where you force it down our throats it wasn't a islamic terror attack and a week later it was.

    April 15, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. toomanysheep

    This president won't use the word Terrori? Guess he doesn't want to offend his friends.

    April 15, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. joan white

    Interesting that he is responding so firmly to the Boston crisis. He must not have had a golf date or a Rap party to attend. No matter what he does from now on, we will still always remember Benghazi, how he totally disregarded those brave people, and still does to this day.

    April 15, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Leif

    And then if he hadn't released something saying that, just askin, you'd have been all over him for THAT, too, wouldn't you?

    April 15, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  6. pierceot

    My prayers are with the city of Boston.

    April 15, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. unbelievable

    When did we start scrutinizing every single word a president says? I mean some of these news agencies and people have GOT to be kidding me. With all that went on in Boston today, and THIS is what this story is about...what a joke

    April 15, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. kuske

    CNN, now referred to as Fox light

    April 15, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Ozzie

    Shut up about what words the President said or did not say. We don't need more silliness and stupidity. We have Fox for that. Grow up. Just cover the story.

    April 15, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  10. BO

    Someone didn't do their job.

    April 15, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. danny

    just askin is spot on. Stop your obama worship.

    April 15, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. Steve - Texas

    just askin.. really? putting the full weight of the federal government behind the law enforcement on the ground is what he is supposed to do.. Do you want in to interfere ? or support?

    April 15, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. Ricksta

    The president can't speak freely because the Republicans are waiting to pounce on anything they can because they are more concerned about putting more Republicans in office than they are about doing their jobs.

    April 15, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. BOB

    Why does the President refuse to use the word terror. Perhaps because he ended the "war on terror" and it does not fit into his world view.

    April 15, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Paul f

    We don't know where the investigation will lead. We may need the federal government to go over state lines or to other countries. It is goo to have all the resources we can get and solve this incident.

    April 15, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  16. The Dude

    America is a leaderless country, and we have been for sometime. Where are men and women of courage who will do what is right? Speak the truth and have the courage to not allow the tyranny of good intentions stop them from doing what is right. Specifically if this was a Saudi National. freeze all visas from Saudi Arabia and Islamic countries with strong islamist movements…And stand before the UN and call out the evil that exists within the Muslim religion…The honor killings, the attacks on girls trying to educate themselves, the oppression of other faith systems….But sadly we are a nation in decline and have forgotten what it means to stand up for Ourselves!

    April 15, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Edwin

    @ maximusvad... yes, a lot of them are. We live in a time of terror – where enemies can attack us from hiding. The fear that creates is exploited by politicians for fund raising and to get elected and to avoid controversial votes. Add a bad economy and most Americans probably live with a fear unrivaled since the Cold War threatened the world with nuclear war.

    Living in fear begets hate and ignorance, so yes, many of us are as hateful and ignorant as that. It is very sad but it is true.

    April 15, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Mohammad

    Who ever did this deserves to go to Hell.

    April 15, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Buster the Dog

    he will not use the word "Terror"....because then it would have occured on his watch.....on American soil....he will avoid that connection at all costs...

    April 15, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. hmmm

    interesting while this administration is trying to take away a law abiding citizen's self defense, a bomb goes off and kills 3. They really want us to be helpless and at the mercy of the government don't they? how many people had to die before the authorities could get there? 3 so far? with many injured? how many had to die in that theatre? in that school? before the authorities with guns got there? Ignorant freedom stripping liberals, campaign to make bombs illegal.

    April 15, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. alisa

    I think they are doing what they are suppose to do ...and if someone can do it better then why arent the president?

    April 15, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. The Flamingo Kid

    This could have been ANY NUT JOB. It was not necessarily politically motivated.

    April 15, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Naota

    "full weight of justice" eh?

    The only person obama has punished for the Benghazi terror attack has been the youtube guy who had nothing to do with it.

    Our sissy in chief won't do anything, and every muslim terrorist in the world knows it

    April 15, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Charles van Heck

    Of course he didn't use the word "Terror". He is waiting to see if a muslim was responsible. If it was then he will issue an apology to all muslims. Probably invite the bomber to the White House for dinner.

    April 15, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  25. Dunzo

    After the initial tragedy of the victims passes, the lasting tragedy will be the profound effect this will have on Boston in the future. They aren't the most race-friendly city in America.

    April 15, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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