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. paul bell

    My theory is that those blaming the president for this are secretly in love with him! Why else does Obama consume all of their thoughts?

    April 15, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Mrs. Graham

    If George Bush were still president there would be about fifty people on here by now complaining about what he said. My deepest sympathy to all affected by this terrible event.

    April 15, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Bib Boogg

    20 year old saudi national taken into custody. Try and catch up CNN.

    April 15, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to those killed or injured and to there families .

    @just askin,
    It must be difficult being a reactionary individual with no heart .

    "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."
    Ask bin Laden .

    April 15, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. jnkesrouan

    Don't you know Obama defeated terrorism when Osama got killed. Now he can't bring himself to call anything terrorism after that!!!

    April 15, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    3...2...1...all the Obama haters are just foaming at the mouth to tear apart anything and everything he says. Shows you all the rabid hate when even during this horrible event these people will still drip with their vitriol. Christ – even the most rabid Bush haters chilled for a period after 9/11. But not this scary, new breed of troll...

    April 15, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. DarkKnight76

    This is what's wrong with this country, the man didn't say terror. How dare he! I am outraged and will never vote for another democrat (yeah I used a small d, deal with it) again. How could he not say terror! The country I grew up in is no more!

    April 15, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. jnkesrouan

    Obama defeated terrorism (In his own mind) after Osama Bin Laden got killed. Now he simply can't bring himself to call anything after that terrorism.

    April 15, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. myeyedea

    Give it a rest with the political bs – – this thing is hours old and already media, and little people peppered all over the place want to start sniping about who called what a terroist attack when – – – there are people bleeding still, for sweet blessed sake!!! FOCUS PEOPLE!!!!

    April 15, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. nachos

    lets stop the hate for that person in the oval office, lets pray instead for boston

    April 15, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Outrageous

    Shades of both Timothy McVeigh and Mohammad Atta. I wish we could just take all of our crazies and all of their crazies and put them in an arena and let them finish each other off.

    April 15, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Steen

    He didn't say terror because we don't know who did this. Until all the facts get in, let's cut the criticism. I will personally be shocked if the person(s) responsible are not American citizens. Just have that feeling that this is a domestic attack...

    April 15, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. james

    According to CNN Obama can't do anything right? Get your head out of the gutter, he is our president and he will do his best to bring those responsible to justice.

    April 15, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. catmom

    So, President Obama doesn't use the word terrorist, and.............. Is that supposed to mean something in particular?

    April 15, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. Dan

    Hardly unreasonable. We really don't know anything about the motivations at this point. It could simply be another all American psychopath. I doubt it but I can see why the president was reluctant to use a politically inflammatory word.

    April 15, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Norman Wilson

    Let us please suspend political sniping for a moment and think of the people of Boston and the victims of this attack. People who were just going about their life, enjoying a beautiful day, not harming anyone, mercilessly targeted for no reason. May we show them our love and may they find the strength they will need to get through this awful horror.

    April 15, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Kris

    Scary how the Obama haters are coming out just dripping with their vitriol and ugliness. Good lord – even the biggest Bush haters chilled for a little bit after 9/11. But not this horrible, ugly group. They'll use this as a platform to spew ugliness and tear apart anything and everything that Obama says. So sad (and scary)...

    April 15, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  18. Brad76

    You just don't get more cowardly than bombing a bunch of innocent people. I'll will never understand the mentality of someone who could do this to people. Cold like a bag of ice. I wish a speedy recovery to the victims and condolences to the families of the deceased. RIP.

    April 15, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Jayakumar

    Stop blaming each other now. Let the administration do their job, which I am sure they are perfectly capable of doing. Atleast, what we need to do as citizens is not to blame the security officials next time one of them stops you on the street or at the airport and check you as part of their duties to keep everyone safe. Remember they are doing their duty, and they are doing that to prevent exactly the type of bombings that happened today at Boston. My condolences to all those folks and their families who lost their lives or were hurt.

    April 15, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. j

    of course it isnt "terror" that would mean we were diligent and the authorities failed

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. urblammo

    Fox News isn't saying "terror" either...

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. johndunbar

    I predict that North Koreans did it, and this is the fodder we need to go in..........sound familiar??

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  23. ZeroCool

    @Max: Yes, everything is great in America. We have good jobs, unemployment is low, our healthcare is improving, we know our the money we have saved for retirement will be there, and there is hope for our children to have a better life..

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. nothing new here

    Why can't people put some of this vitrol aside for once?
    At least think about the victims and their families.

    April 15, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Really?!

    Who cares if he said Terrorist, or any form of it, or not, people need help. Quick searching in the weeds folks. Lets take this one step at a time.

    April 15, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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