In his first reaction to the bombings at the Boston Marathon Monday, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell voiced sympathy for the victims and their families, praised the first responders, and vowed “justice” for those responsible. He also said, “The complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned.”
“Today, the thoughts of every American are with the people of Boston, but especially with the many victims of yesterday’s horrendous attacks, and their families,” the Kentucky senator said at the outset of his speech on the Senate floor. “Many who were looking forward to celebrating the achievement of a loved one yesterday woke today to the grim reality of facing the rest of their lives with a disfiguring injury. For them, yesterday’s attacks were the beginning of a long, difficult journey. Three others who lined up to encourage others, including an eight-year old boy who was there to cheer on his dad at the finish line, lost their lives in the blast. We pray in a special way for their families.”
He noted President Obama’s response: “As the President said yesterday, the two parties stand united today in our deepest sympathy for all of those who were affected first-hand by these heinous attacks — and in our unshakable resolve to bring those responsible, and any others who are contemplating acts like this, to justice.”
And he also reflected on 9/11: “These horrific attacks are a grim reminder of the hatred and contempt that many continue to harbor in their hearts not only for our nation and its freedoms but for innocent human life. On 9/11, we were forever disabused of the notion that attacks like the one that rocked Boston yesterday only happen on the field of battle, or in distant countries. With the passage of time, however, and the vigilant efforts of our military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals, I think it’s safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned. And so we are newly reminded that serious threats to our way of life remain. And today, again, we recommit ourselves to the fight against terrorism at home, and abroad.”
McConnell's office stresses that there was “nothing political about the speech” -- and should not be interpreted as such.
"There was no political angle to this speech," McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in an email to First Read. "In the line about complacency, he notes that thanks to 'the vigilant efforts of our military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals' it’s 'safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to September 11th has returned.' In other words, people were beginning to feel safe."