April 15th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
10 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. RK

    Some truly sad and hateful people on here. Can't stop criticizing the President even hours after a national tragedy.

    April 15, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. patandcharlie

    This is why CNN is a bit of a joke...trying to pry a "gotcha" moment on one side or the other because the President did or did not say Terror...and making it a headline. What's your point? That Obama doesn't think it's terror or that he's waiting to find out for sure? That's he's sympathetic to terrorist (key your favorite right-wing Benghazi conspiracy here)? CNN...let's grow up a bit. Report the news on this tragedy and leave the speculation and hints for others.

    April 15, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. JL Jones

    to just askin, I'm with you. based on the recent past with "terror events" that claimed 4 lives and injured dozens...I think we need to question authority on their answers...cnn needs to stop speculating...wait for some facts about the responsible parties before they blame a citizen from the right or the left...that is opinion, not news

    April 15, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. JoeS

    Seriously, what does that word do for people?

    April 15, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. skylarkva

    Obama's first words are to lecture Americans "against jumping to conclusions". Typical Obama.... always manufacturing ways to condemn those who have done nothing.

    If I want to jump to conclusions, I'll do whatever the Sam-Hill I please. So doggone sick of this PC parsing manipulative, lying pathetic excuse for a leader.

    April 15, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Ruth

    Former President Clinton said whoever bombed the Twin Towers 2-26-93 will be brought to justice, 3 embassies were bombed under him and the USS Cole in 2000 and no one was brought to justice. He had every oppurtunity to keep America safe and did not, Hillary and Obama has done nothing to bring the people behind Benghazi to justice.and Obama now says the people behind this will be brought to justice..........

    April 15, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. rivercard

    Oh no!! Boehner didn't tweet Terror in his tweet. Oh, what that must imply.

    "Notably absent from his remarks was the word "terror," Is there some purpose to that observation? Some deep meaning?

    Between speculation on who did it and this CNN is having a gold medal day in stupidity.

    April 15, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Chaerlotte

    He didn't say 'bad guys' or 'shouldn't happen' or 'not good,' either, but nobody disputes that these meanings are all there in the context of his words. JEEEZUUSSSS, CNN, can you stop being Faux Noise for at least a day????

    April 15, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Bernie

    Who cares if he didn't say, "terror" in his address. Why jump to conclusions before the investigation has even begun? Jumping to conclusions landed us in Iraq.

    April 15, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. tom

    The Dear Leader was too busy demonizing law-abiding gun owners and portraying them as enemies of the state to keep Americans safe from terrorism. But fortunately he found time to let a photog in the office to photograph him making a critically important phone call. Give me a break.

    April 15, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. shawn

    I have kept track of everything since 911.. this is something they might do ,because the way the bombs were set up.and this is my own opinion and no one knows anything at this point.Fear talking here. my own.

    April 15, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. @maximusvad

    Yes...there are certain ones that are believed to be able to evade common sense. We call them Conservatives. They live in a land of their own within a confined belief system. We have bills waiting in Congress right now to legalize conservicde. It is a horrible epidemic...

    April 15, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. Deepen

    CNN WOULD try to to politicize a tragedy.. it's pathetic.

    April 15, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. skylarkva

    His first words are to lecture "against jumping to conclusions". Typical Obama.... always manufacturing ways to prejudge and condemn Americans who have done nothing.

    April 15, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Robert D

    "...feel the full weight of justice..." HA! When we find out it was his musl!m brothers this will all get swept under the rug.

    April 15, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Joe Plummer

    I see north korea from my back door they are coming

    April 15, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Mark

    Maybe I missed something but what presumes he has to say terror for it to be clearly understood to be precisely that; no one is going to confuse a bombing with anything else.

    April 15, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Adam Sweeney

    A classic example of trying to turn a tragedy into an argument about President Obama. The front page headline says, "Obama doesn't call it an act of terror." Who gives a damn? Let the administration and officials piece together what happened, and show some respect for the people involved. Horrible headline. (And yes, I understand I clicked on it to comment. As a fellow journalist, I feel it's important to point out sensationalism like this. Sadly, as I have learned, most companies only care about page clicks and unique visitor views.)

    April 15, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Cletus

    "Obama doesn't say 'terror'" Really CNN? This crap again? You really want to be Fox don't you? Can't even wait until the blood has been washed away from the street....

    April 15, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. detroitmommy

    Be careful who you blame. You don't want to look like the idiot if they find out it's one of our own... remember the Norwegians? They blamed it on terrorists & he ended up being home grown.

    April 15, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. Bad Dog

    The President didn't mention a lot of things. If it turns out that it was the work of a right-wing nut, CNN will be really happy he didn't say "terror", because – as we know – right-wingers are ipso facto not terrorists.

    April 15, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. detroitmommy

    Be careful who you blame. Remember Norway? They said it was terrorists & he turned out to be home grown. Don't jump to conclusions & make yourself look like a fool.

    April 15, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Right Wing Round Up

    It's time for the Feds to pull the voter registration rolls of every right winger and round them up. They should be held for treason with the direct and indirect destruction they have caused in this country.

    April 15, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Uncle Sam

    Perhaps one day Pres. Obama may even bring himself to utter the word 'terrorist'...

    April 15, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. Peter

    Obama doesn't know whether it was ter rorism or some n ut who lives in his mom's basement and just wanted a bo dy count with no political motive. You all really don't understand that?

    April 15, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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