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Cantor points finger at Democrats

From NBC's Mark Murray
As House Minority Leader John Boehner did just minutes earlier, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said that all threats of violence and vandalism against members of Congress are wrong.

Like Boehner, Cantor mentioned that Republicans had been targets of these threats and vandalism, too (Cantor said he had received threatening calls because he is Jewish, adding that a gun had been fired outside his Virginia office).

But unlike Boehner, Cantor accused DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen of "dangerously fanning the flames" of the reported threats and vandalism against Democrats and using them "as a political weapon."

"To use such threats as political threats is reprehensible," Cantor added. "Enough is enough. It has to stop."

Cantor didn't take any questions from the press.

*** UPDATE *** DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse responds to Cantor: "We disagree with the charge made by Rep. Cantor today that Democrats are using acts of violence for political gain. Let's be clear: calling on Republican leaders who have contributed in part to this anger by wildly mischaracterizing the substance and motives of health reform to condemn these acts is entirely appropriate. Instead of distracting from the issue with more attacks, we would again ask Mr. Cantor and other Republicans, as we did yesterday, to join Chairman Kaine in working to ratchet down the rhetoric, condemn deplorable behavior and find ways to disagree on these issues without the charged rhetoric that we've been hearing from Republican leaders." 

*** UPDATE 2 *** Here's the full video of the press conference.

A brief clip is below:

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*** UPDATE 3 *** Doug Thornell, spokesman for Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), issued this response to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's charge that Van Hollen and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine were fanning the flames on the reported threats/vandalism: "Yesterday, Congressman Van Hollen called upon Republican leaders to condemn the harsh rhetoric that is fanning the flames of extremism around the country. Today, Mr. Cantor had the opportunity to join Mr. Van Hollen in calling for restraint. Instead, he chose to use his press conference to level false accusations. This is straight out of the Republicans' political playbook of deflecting responsibility and distracting attention away from a serious issue."