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. whodoneit

    who done it. nobody knows?

    April 15, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Paul Brinkster

    This administration refuses to call terror what it is. The Killeen shooting is labeled a work place shooting. I can't imagine the reason for this nonsense, but it portrays a weak America.

    April 15, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. opinion8it

    "Notably absent from his remarks was the word "terror," - what's with this obsession on whether or not the word terror was used? It didn't take too long for this to get political. Shame on whoever wrote this article - This attack was not aimed at republicans or democrats; it was aimed at all of us Americans. Please keep your rhetoric out of this.

    April 15, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. vance

    until i see complete condemnation by the ruling clerics and imams of the muslim faith i must believe that they condone and support these attacks. until i see the movement sweep across the muslim faith and the people standup and stop these attacks, i must believe that they encourage and want these attacks to happen.

    April 15, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Joe800

    ..when I watched the 19 second (I know it was longer, dont bother replying with microsecond times) statement I said immediately that the right wing would jump all over the fact that the President didnt use the word terror yet...and there we go...

    April 15, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  6. John Blatto

    It is only terror when the thousands of tiny ball-bearings are projected into the bodies of your own children. Since this did not involve his kids, he had no reason to call such a gruesome pre-planned act as terror. Either that or he is afraid to offend the other people who share his middle name.

    April 15, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Cisco

    Seriously, does it really matter if he stated it was a terrorist attack or not? Its an attack in general and to attack him for not stating the obvious is just ignorant.

    April 15, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |

    I'm sorry, the President sounds like a parrot. " You have access to all the assistance you need. We are going to use every source of the Federal Government to get to the bottom of this and see that justice is done." After 7 months we still don't know what happened in Benghazi or who made the decisions to not do anything and the only suspect we had was let go before the FBI could question him. The State department swore they had corrected the deficiencies at the State Department to prevent what happened in Benghazi, but we just lost another one. Who made that decision to allow her to go to a school unprotected. Haven't heard a word from the White House even though after Benghazi the President said these are friends of mine, I know their families. Presidential debates we have the terrorist on the run. Yeah, running to America.

    April 15, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. matt

    Obama is stupid and will always be - he does not consider this a terrorist act? Liberals are the same, ha ha ha!

    April 15, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Amhlair

    Keep watching, it's going to be announced as some 'domestic terrorist group' like Christians or Second Amendment advocates. Not because they did it, but because it advances our police state's agenda. Nutty, am I? Just wait and see.

    April 15, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  11. ONLY WAY

    The spirit of Mohammad is at work whenever these kind of terror is happening.

    April 15, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. me

    wow took a whole 6 hours to start on "he didn't use the word terror enough" garbage to start coming out, pathetic

    April 15, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. Csquared

    Chris Christe would have called it cowardly terrorism. That's what I like about him. There is a time for tact and diplomacy, and after a bombing where innocent folks are murdered is not the time.

    April 15, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  14. Tutrillo

    I live in Boston and work 1 block from where the first explosion occurred. At what point is it considered a terrorist attack? Is there some protocal that has to be completed? I'm really asking as i don't know why this is not being called a terrorist attack.

    April 15, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  15. really?

    No mention of terror from the president? The people LOOK terrified......just saying. Political correctness at all cost. Whatever!

    April 15, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. McBob79

    Unfortunate. This is an act of terror any way you slice it.

    April 15, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Just answering

    Actually...the local authorities have jurisdiction...federal assets are given upon need or request from state and local authorities...

    April 15, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. Whome

    At what point will you see this guy for what he is?

    April 15, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. bam

    im gunan post for foxfacts foil heads "odumbo still tryin to find someone to apologize too for this terrorist attack"

    April 15, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. DaveNYUSA

    "Obama doesn't say 'terror'"
    Of course he doesn't.

    April 15, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. Gonzo

    Time to put your hate on the shelf for a while, idiots. All of you. Go get a life and be Americans for a change, not tools for your political party.

    April 15, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  22. mork

    I'm glad he was able to get his full round of golf in before making this brief statement.

    April 15, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. Don

    He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't! I for one do not need someone in Washington to tell me this was a terrorists attack. Once it was identified that the incident was not caused internally within the facility and that it was a bomb...that makes it terrorist...you use a bomb and kill people your a terrorist. Lets worry about solving it and getting assistance for the injured and the families who have lost loved ones.

    April 15, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Kanageloa

    He doesn't say terror because he doesn't want to offend the Islamic terrorists that did this cowardly act. IMHO.

    April 15, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. just answerin

    @just askin – It's not actually automatic for the federal government to intervene in city violence. Imagine if the FBI had standing orders to chase down every act of violence in the country. They usually need clearance, based on available evidence, that an incident could be linked to terror or be of such a scale that it requires more resources than local and state agencies can provide quickly enough. By giving that directive, Obama authorized multiple agencies to throw whatever resources they could at the situation without hesitation.

    April 15, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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