In a press event today, he was forceful in contrasting his own actions with those of Democrats who have been harassed:
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. […] “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.
Cantor said he had “deep concerns” that DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen [response here] and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine in particular “are dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon.” He took no questions. But he did try to take back the narrative.
It would hurt Republicans, as Joe pointed out earlier, if the public came to believe that they fostered an atmosphere conducive to threats. So Cantor tried to shift the focus to the people actually making those threats. And, in the process, showing that Republicans are on the receiving end of threats, too.
Steve Benen’s among those not buying it:
Let me get this straight. As the dim-witted Minority Whip sees it, Democrats are facing vandalism, assault, and harassment, and Democratic leaders want it to stop. But by urging responsible officials to denounce (and hopefully, discourage) misconduct, Dems are, Cantor believes, “dangerously fanning the flames.” … A few hours after accusing Democrats of “fanning the flames,” Cantor was the featured guest on a conference call held by the “S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.” By all appearances, Cantor isn’t quite bright enough to appreciate the irony.
Politico has video of Cantor’s remarks. The press release regarding the “vandalism” from Richmond police. TPM has the incident report. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a “preliminary investigation determined that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window at a downward direction.” Discussion via memeorandum.