Wolf Blitzer Asks If Capitol Hill 'Incident' Will 'Propel' Congress to End Shutdown

Not 90 minutes after CNN first reported that Capitol Hill was on lockdown on Thursday, anchor Wolf Blitzer brought politics into the breaking news coverage.

"An incident like this which clearly scares everyone up on Capitol Hill, staffers, workers, members of Congress. You think it's going to propel you guys up there, Democrats and Republicans, to say you know what, enough is enough, let's get back to work and end this government shutdown?" Blitzer asked Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.).

CNN's chyron even read "Shots Fired on Capitol Hill," yet Blitzer was asking about politics.

The congressman answered that "maybe some good will come out of it," and Blitzer hoped so. "Yeah, let's hope indeed. That government shutdown has lasted long enough. Everyone's got to get back to work and some of these other political issues you guys can work out separately."

Below is a transcript of the exchange, which aired on CNN Newsroom on October 3 at 3:50 p.m. EDT:

Rep. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R-Tex.): I haven't gotten any inside scoop. I have got four televisions in my office. All on a different news channel, and that's pretty much where I'm getting my information. But I tell you, the timing on this was really kind of scary. The Capitol Hill police are at a lower personnel level because of the shutdown, and I can tell you that my office has been getting more emotional calls than we've gotten on any other issue. Now, not a whole lot from Texas, but from other area codes, and you know, I was really concerned that this might be something related to what's going on with the government. But the reports now lead me to believe otherwise.

BLITZER:  Leads me to believe as well. And we did hear from the police chief, the U.S. Capitol Hill police chief Kim Dine saying that it looks like it was an isolated incident and no, no connection at all to terrorism or anything along those lines. One final question, Congressman, before I let you go. An incident like this which clearly scares everyone up on Capitol Hill, staffers, workers, members of Congress. You think it's going to propel you guys up there, Democrats and Republicans, to say you know what, enough is enough, let's get back to work and end this government shutdown?

FARENTHOLD: Listen, I've been advocating to end it as soon as possible anyway. It's unfortunate that this happened, but maybe some good will come out of it.

BLITZER: Yeah, let's hope indeed. That government shutdown has lasted long enough. Everyone's got to get back to work and some of these other political issues you guys can work out separately.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014