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. LT Fang

    Terrorism is an act that aims to generate fear in order to further a political purpose.
    We don't know who did this or why. It could be an act or terrorism, or an act of an insane loner without a purpose in mind.

    April 15, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. imhem

    Maybe Obama won't go to bed early tonight like he did during the Benghazi attack.

    April 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. MarcusInMN

    What is this fetish for the word "terrorism"? Obviously Faux and the right-wingnut universe will be lit up tonight with conspiracy theories about why Obama didn't use that word. If he says it 20 times tomorrow will that make everybody feel better?

    April 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. noname

    i just heard a caller during a sports radio show in Texas, blaming Obama ... there are some people completely detached from reality out there ... unfortunately, it's usually their kind that end up being behind some of the domestic terror ... condolences to anybody affected by the incidence and hope we get to the bottom of this soon ...

    April 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Scott Gordon

    @ maxi pad, no he has a valid point The police on the ground there don't know what happened , if it was a terrorist bombing of an explosion from some unforseen problem, and yet you and the paper want sObama to addrss this a terrorism?

    maybe we should ask those who are supposed to protect us on how such a thing can go un noticed thats right HOMELAND if they don't know then why the hell are they even existing as a government agency?

    April 15, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Werewolf

    Mmmm. I think the bombing caused terror in the people that were in or nearby. I think that it has put terror in the people's mind so why not call it a terrorist attack? What else would you call it? Workplace violence, street explosion incident, Monday bombing day?

    Come on it was a terrorist attack!

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. J R Brown

    There have been a few terrorist attacks that Obama has needed to address but he refuses to call them terrorist attacks...because that would look bad. If he were still Senator Obama, I am absolutely sure he would be referring to today's event as a "terrorist attack"....

    In his mind, apparently, it's only a terrorist attack if you actually call it one; kinda like how deficit spending hundreds of billions of dollars in bankrupt companies is called "investing in green energy".

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. ron

    is this our way to invade Iran....?

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Dana

    "notably absent"? Get a life! Who cares! Get your priorities straight!

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Pichach

    Seems right for the Executive Branch to be delegating responsibilities to those trained for such. Not doing it himself.

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. doodooecon

    Hey, at least he didn't say "police were acting stupidly" about the suspected Saudi national.

    April 15, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. spike

    Obama is wise not to call it terror. Calling it terror might enrage some group which we're "reaching out" to.

    April 15, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. HJC

    if it walks like a terrorist, talks like a terrorist, looks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist it IS a terrorist.

    April 15, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. lowRatings

    Nice right wing headline CNN. And you can't figure out why your ratings continue to drop on a weekly basis.

    April 15, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. John Jingle

    Benghazi all over again, I'm sure they will change the story 100 times, and then Kerry will say, "what does it matter now!"

    April 15, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Doug

    "just asking" - Thanks for nicely demonstrating how insane the opposition to Obama has gotten. The administration promises to do everything in its power to help with this incident, and you find a way to criticize this.

    Your comment perfectly highlights why so many moderates have become disgusted with the extremism that is rampant on the right. Even when you agree with Obama, you still find a way to reflexively attack him.

    April 15, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. catsnake

    He doesn't say "terror"?? Are you kidding me? Who friggin cares??? Ridiculous headling tag.

    April 15, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. Dana

    "notably absent"? Bombs and limbs flying, chaos and crying, stranded people, people can't find their family, subways shut down, and THIS is what you focus on? Political minutiae? Get your priorities straight.

    April 15, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. RYan

    @just askin

    If he never said that, everyone would be saying "He doesn't even care!!! ARGHHH!! I hate OBAMMMMA!"

    April 15, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. Ricky

    I love/despise the fact that he can't keep eye contact with the camera (his audience, America) at this important time. Really man? You really need the script 80% of the time?

    April 15, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Justice

    Atrocities are atrocities, whether in Sarajevo, in Johannesburg or in Boston. Perpetrators are not rebels or freedom fighters. They are terrorists who own to no civilized, human feeling. The "full weight of the law" is inappropriate for this type of monster. One wonders whether hanging, drawing and quartering would not be a better justice.

    April 15, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Name

    I trust the government... Lol

    April 15, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Dana

    Way to focus on irrelevant political minutiae in the heat of a real story, CNN. Way to go.

    April 15, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. JP

    Obama doesn't believe in terrorsts...he called Fort Hood attack...work place violence

    April 15, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Jim

    I don't expect him to say "terrorism" yet. I'm just glad he hasn't tried to blame a domestic group of voters or blamed it on the sequester he signed into law.

    April 15, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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