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Eric Cantor accuses Democrats of 'fanning flames' on member threats

(Cross-posted from the 44 blog)

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) angrily lashed out at Democratic leaders for their handling of reported threats against members of Congress Thursday, accusing them of "dangerously fanning the flames" by blaming the GOP and confiding that he has also been the recipient of threats.

Concerns about security for members of Congress burst into the spotlight this week after several lawmakers -- including U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) -- reported death threats or incidents of vandalism directed at them and their offices because of their support for the health-care overhaul legislation. Some Democrats have suggested that Republicans may have encouraged such behavior by acting rowdily during the weekend House debate on the reform bill.

At a press conference Thursday, Cantor said he and his fellow Republicans deserved no blame for any of the reported incidents.

"Let me be clear -- I do not condone violence," Cantor said. "There are no leaders in this building, no rank and file members in this building, that condone violence, period."

Then he contrasted his own actions with those of Democrats who have been harassed:

"I've received threats since I assumed elected office, not only because of my position but also because I'm Jewish. I've never blamed anyone in this body for that, period. Any suggestion that a leader in this body would incite threats or acts against other members is akin to saying that I would endanger myself, my wife or my children. Just recently I have been directly threatened. A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week, and I've received threatening e-mails. But I will not release them, because I believe such actions will only encourage more to be sent," he said.

Read the full blog post by Ben Pershing.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 25, 2010; 1:34 PM ET
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You can watch video of Cantor's press conference here:

Posted by: mjwilstein | March 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Matt.

Christopher Dean Hopkins
Deputy Editor, Local Politics and Government

Posted by: Christopher Dean Hopkins | March 25, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Pardon my suspicions Congressman Cantor but ... let's see the bullet?

Posted by: thebobbob | March 25, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Police report? Picture of the damaged window? Anything? Proof?

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Police report? Picture of the damaged window? Anything? Proof?

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

That's right. If it wasn't for those radical leftists fanning the flames by agitating for Negro rights, this wouldn't all be happening. They're just trying to exploit a few, isolated incidents of lynchings for their own political gain.

Posted by: xandersun | March 25, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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