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. Fourleaf Tayback

    It wouldn't be the first time that President Obama was wrong about something....many things.

    April 15, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Ogre1

    @Just askin – NO, it is NOT the federal government's job to just jump in and take over. LOCAL authorities will perform their initial investigation, probably with the help of the FBI IF they request it.

    It's sad that you have an opinion over things you don't even understand.

    April 15, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Marsh hen

    Must be foreigners behind the attack, for if it was a right wing domestic group he would have called it terrorism.

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

    He got Bin Laden. He'll get the ones behind this, too.

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

    Really? You're pointing out that he didn't use the word terror? Are you afraid people won't find it obvious? Of course I guess there are people who might mistake if for non-terror bombings. Duh

    April 15, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    Go ahead, say Terror attack! Unless it was a grease fire at a Deli, it IS a terrorist attack .. no matter domestic or foreign planning!

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

    Concern over not using the word terror? As opposed to a non-terror bombing?

    April 15, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Davin

    I guess I'd be cautious how I describe it too, considering the fellas on the right side of the aisle will turn it into political ammunition a la Libya in a heartbeat. You think they wouldn't? They have people out there like just askin to feed...

    April 15, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Wow

    People have lost limbs, lost their lives and the nut jobs still come out for the political pony show...

    April 15, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Cazziedawg

    After 911 there have been no domestic terror events on US soil until now. Who dropped their guard? Are we not supposed to be vigilant in situations like this? After all, it is the Boston Marathon. Wouldn't one think that there just might be someone out there who would consider this a prime opportunity to conduct terrorism. Uh, oh! There, I spoke the unspeakable. I can't wait to see how the Obama administration is going to term this event. Workplace violence? Go on back and stick your collective heads in the sand.

    April 15, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Melinda

    Is it just me or did his words seem really hollow? Like he was just reading the words written by his press secretary as fast as he could and didn't care. I don't know, this whole speach just doesn't sit right with me.

    April 15, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Joel

    Do all attacks cause terror? Sure. Are all attacks terror attacks? No. It's being handled and investigated promptly and thoroughly, it doesn't really matter what it's called. A more important thing Pres. Obama did say is that we shouldn't jump to conclusions. So, let's let the relevant peoples do their job and not find talking points on the tiniest of things.

    April 15, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Tyhouston

    Say the word terror you coward.

    Why does this remind me of the Fort Hood shooting where they came out and TOLD us "This is not religous based, nothing to do with Islam, it was just a domestic shooting." 30 minutes after it happend. Then a week later it comes out he was in contact with big wig terrorists and shout ALAH AKBAR durring his entire kill spree he never talked about it again.

    Obama your the "Soft target" the terrorist need. A weak cowardly president who defends the enemy more than attacks them.

    And no he doesn't get kudos for Osama since that was 10 years in the making my military intel community and Ol W's plans.

    April 15, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. blake

    Of course Obama doesn't say terrorism, it would reflect negatively on him and his administration. Expect a cover up, just like Benghazi.

    April 15, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. AmericanVet

    Well, Obama didn't say anything about terrorist. Two bombs? Maybe one bomb walked over there by mistake, but two? Come on, its clearly a terror attack.

    April 15, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Brian

    I have had the opportunity to tour the U.S and they are a beautiful people that honestly gets a bad reputation through the actions of some of their media/politicians. Unfortunatley when a nation has that much power and influence it only takes a few leaders with power to tarnish the hard work of all the good leaders.

    I am a Canadian that is tired of hearing all the Anti-U.S talk, We all need each other and I think it's time we start supporting that truth.


    April 15, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. thirdrow123

    This President will do nothing to keep us safe...the chickens of his policy are starting to rooste. I am ashamed of who we ha become and how we let this happen to our people...

    April 15, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Peter

    He doesn't know whether it was terrorism or some nut who lives in his mom's basement and just wanted a body count with no political motive. You all really don't get that?

    April 15, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Mike

    Oh my god. Now the republicans will spend the next two years talking about how he didn't call it a terror attack right away.

    April 15, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. abmri60

    There must be a significant reason for the fact he did not use the word " terror "

    April 15, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Edward

    why they did this? ..is that really a trick question?
    Duh... what about the innocent people are getting killed for years by our Drones? kids and women to be precise... lol

    April 15, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. mkat2

    Remember kids? It's not an act of terror, it's a "man-made-disaster"..... All praise our Dear Leader.

    April 15, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. kaosinbloom

    What I find saddening is the fact that the President had to refrain from using the word "terrorist" due to irrational and uneducated stereotypes that are often assimilated with use of the word.

    What's just as sad, if not more so, is that there are those out there who will condemn Obama for refraining to use the term. They'll be "offended" that he wouldn't call a spade a spade.

    Just another shining example of the irrational and uneducated society we live in.

    April 15, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. JC

    I'm so glad our President has spoken and those who are responsible are shaking in their shoes with laughter as they have caused damage to American citizens. It doesn't matter if they are caught, they know they will live a long time very comfortably by the Americans they tried to kill and maim. I will go to bed praying for the families affected by this tragedy and it is a tragedy it happened, it is a shame that people hate us that much, but I will sleep well, with my security system on the night stand beside the bed as it is every night.

    April 15, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. ShawnDH

    I appreciate that President Obama waits until he knows the details before he speaks about things. It's actually a good quality. That's what adults do. A Republican would have been fanning the flames of fear and misinformation and invaded a random country by now. I prefer Obama's approach, thanks.

    April 15, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
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