Republicans, Democrats Join in Condemning Threats

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's a little bipartisan unity and more partisan charges surrounding the health care overhaul.

Leaders of both parties are condemning the threats and vandalism members of Congress have experienced following passage of the health care legislation. Incidents have involved a fax with the image of a noose, bricks and a bullet through windows, and a gas line cut.

But some Democrats have criticized the GOP for being slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans are accusing Democrats of inspiring retaliation against them.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor told reporters "ratcheting up the rhetoric" will "only inflame these situations to dangerous levels," adding: "It has to stop." Cantor said he gets threats because of his leadership position and being Jewish, including getting a bullet through the window of his campaign office.

The House Democrats' campaign chief called Cantor's remarks "straight out of the Republicans' political playbook." Congressman Chris Van Hollen accused the GOP of "deflecting responsibility and distracting attention away from a serious issue."

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