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. jk

    Just askin what do you think is the function of the FBI is? You think the White house is supposed to do what?

    April 15, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Mike

    Yeah this president is at best an idiot... on foreign policy as well as domestic policy. We are better off when he is golfing so at least we don't have to listen to his rhetoric..unfortunately he has fooled a lot of people into thinking he is both smart and pro-America....

    April 15, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. Jane

    I should know better than to go to the comment section when horrible events happen. Haters-please go away and leave the rest of us to live our lives in peace.

    April 15, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. McBob79

    This is an act of terror any way you slice it. Not sure what the president or his handlers are thinking.

    April 15, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. js65

    Every one disagreed with G. bush on his disissions on 911 but he had 9 months in office and after that it did not happen in this country again. Now this administration after 5 years has cut security and where are we. The rules were put in affect for our safety.

    April 15, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. Jose

    Not a word about Americans murdered on our soil by terrorists

    April 15, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. Veritas Lavinga

    4/15 was a terrorist attack, the question is who was the terrorist and who benefits from these attacks?

    April 15, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Kanageloa

    He had so much trouble early on in his first four years of over reacting so now he goes in the opposite direction with non committed intent. The man has no clue how to manage a crisis or an economy. Leadership to him is a four letter word.

    April 15, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Eric

    He doesn't really seem like he cares. It really just seems like he's reading this and there is no emotion about the injured and dead.

    April 15, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Pratt

    What is terrorism? Was the Newtown attack terrorism? If we don't know that the bombing was political, how can we call it terrorism? It could just be an attempted mass killing.

    April 15, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. jonnyg

    nvestigators have a suspect — a Saudi Arabian national — in the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, The Post has learned.

    Law enforcement sources said the 20-year-old suspect was under guard at an undisclosed Boston hospital.

    April 15, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. rs1201

    Every govt agency out there is calling this tragedy a terror attack...why didn't our President do the same? is he worried about people thinking that it might just be more of the same from our dear muslim friends?...people that he would never want to offend...

    April 15, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. cheeco111

    Obama should have stated 'it was a terrorist attack'. Why be so politically correct and avoid those terms. I found his tv conference lacking compassion, anger and determination to weed out these terriorists.

    April 15, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. korkea aika

    After 8 years of G W Bush, the mission accomplished president who left an accomplished mess for others to clean up, it is refreshing not to hear the word terror as every second word coming out from the white house. We are all adults here, and know terror is real and know it when we see it. No need to create a fake war with some 'non-actor' in this event, and run around pounding our chests like the bushies. Good job today Mr President!

    April 15, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. Ted Nolan

    Will BO call this workplace violence as well?

    April 15, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  16. Jake

    Poor people who got hit today.

    April 15, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  17. John

    Why does your president have to read from a teleprompter to give his condolences? I left Boston about twenty minutes before this nonsense happened and I DO NOT HAVE TO READ FROM A TELEVISION SCREEN TO give sympathy to everyone that was harmed. Shame on him for reading his response... He should have looked into the camera and spoke from the heart... I am not in politics... I will tell everyone that our president is a coward...

    April 15, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. tomy

    lets ban backpacks and cells bcs terrorist used them we got a make things right for the families I pro a background check on cellusers

    April 15, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Neil

    President ? Can't say the word Terror? Disgraceful

    April 15, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Following the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, many Americans protested and complained against the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern countries who danced on the streets and celebrated the 9/11 attacks. I just wonder what those Middle Eastern people have to say now that conservatives and republicans in America are now politicizing these attacks and celebrating the deaths of American citizens on American soil? Lets face it, Americans are the worst people on the face of the the earth.

    April 15, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  21. John Baker

    Which tells us that he's a lot less foolish than CNN. You people are going to look really stupid if this turns out to be another nut with an axe to grind but no particularly political point.

    April 15, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. Nomobama

    Obama uses same talking points on Boston as he did in Libya that he will get to the bottom of this, but does not suggest terror again.

    April 15, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. HJC

    If it walks like a terrorist, talks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist , well then it IS a terrorist.

    April 15, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  24. johnpaul

    remember how bush was treated and now you think people who dislike a president and what he stands for are hateful. give me a break!

    April 15, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. Jess

    Ball-bearings are a hallmark of Islamic terrorists trying to maximize injuries, although they could be copycats.

    April 15, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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