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. Joe Keenan

    Just askin is an example of the hatred of the right in America for this duly elected President and I wouldn't be surprised that a terror attack on Patriot's Day with survivors of Newtown being hailed at the 26th mile of the race and on "tax day" in the US...I'm not looking for Islamic terrorists today...

    April 15, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. The Skeptic

    So when we have the next Presidential debate and one of the candidates claims Obama didn't classify the Boston bombing as a terrorist act... Candy Crowley will not be able to jump in and defend him?

    April 15, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. SC

    it does get wearying to have to deal with this corrosive hate and tearing down all the time. This is the real source of decay in this country.

    April 15, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. godoflunaticscreation

    I love the end. I was too busy going after legal gun owners to know about this terrorist attack.

    April 15, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. cybilinside

    How exactly is he being hateful and ignorant? The Presidents speech sounded like a freaking robot. He shows no compassion, no real concern. It's sickening. He shows no emotion at all about and refuses to admit this is a terrorist attack simply because it doesn't further some agenda for him. It's disgusting.

    April 15, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. juicy

    good obama. i may not like many of the things you do, but thank you for not igniting the stupidity of our masses by saying that irrelevant and highly stigmatized word. we have suffered enough, and we don't want to hear the nonsense that generally comes with stupid, hateful and terrified americans. no thanks to cnn for starting it.

    April 15, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. gradgirl

    We live in a culture of Violence! We must change.

    April 15, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. ObamaLuver69

    Glad he's looking out for those who might be offended by the word "terror."

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

    "This was just a spontaneous protest that got out of hand"

    April 15, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Wolfy Wolf

    But Bengazi, Fast and Furious and the horde of invaders coming from the south and other parts of the world are of no importance ... yeah.. uh huh..

    April 15, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Dano99

    North Korea sure is really quiet all of a sudden...

    April 15, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. xyzthegreat

    he was courteous

    April 15, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Cries if he does, cries if hes doesn't

    Would you rather he didn't make a statement at all?

    April 15, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Phil

    The President intentionally did not use the word terror for a very good reason. Terrorism is by definition a political act and not all acts such as what happened today qualify. This could be terrorism or it could be the act of an extreme mental case.

    April 15, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Bob

    Hey CNN, how about not spinning political consequences until the crisis is over and until this has been thoroughly investigated. You can't incite the public with headlines like "Obama doesn't say 'terror.'" Creating division in the country for page views during this tragedy is sick.

    April 15, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. DJ

    I bet it's Bush's fault!

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

    it seems like some americans would rather be part of the problem instead of being part of the solution!

    April 15, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. RWB1956

    I see the haters can't wait to hate. How sad.

    April 15, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Richard Wad

    Its not Terrorism. Obama didn't use that word.
    It may have been a "boston terror attack" but Obama is very clear it was not terrorism.
    It was a spontaneous response to a video posted online.

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

    When commentators such as on CNN claim that all acts of mass violence are terrorism, they are simply mistaken.

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

    The Imam-In-Chief will use this as an excuse to bump up immigration ("We Need Mo' Muslims!") numbers. I will use this as excuse to ZERO immigration. People, this nation is being TAKEN OVER by Islamics! ("I weel keel de' infeedells!"). The age of immigration is OVER. Bush had the perfect chance to ZERO immigration, but now We The People have another chance to ZERO immigration. The age of immigration is OVER. Obama will oppose We The People, like he does every hour of every day, but we will prevail because of our screams to our representatives.

    April 15, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. John

    Boehner's tweet didn't say terror either. Enough with the gotcha games please.

    April 15, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Ricky

    I love 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 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Drew

    Of course he hasn't used the word terrorist. When a muslim killed our soldiers at Fort Hood while yelling, "Allah Akbhar!" the President called it "work place violence".

    April 15, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. BillyF

    And when someone is sick, Obama isn't the one that diagnoses it as cancer.

    April 15, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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