GOP vows solidarity after bombings

Congressional Republicans this weekend took a break from their attacks on President Obama to mourn the casualties suffered in the Boston Marathon bombings and vow swift justice for those who would harm Americans.

In the GOP's weekly radio address – normally used to toss barbs across the aisle – Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) praised the first responders to the tragedy and warned would-be terrorists that no act of violence can undermine the country's resilience.

"The Boston Marathon bombing has left us all with a heavy heart and we pray for the victims and their families," Scott said. "However, while the perpetrators of this act of terror hoped that they could shake the confidence of a city, they have instead only strengthened the resolve of our nation.

“To those who would attack America or our citizens, let me say this: There is no corner on Earth, no hiding place in America that will keep us from finding you," Scott added. “The leaders of this country will do everything in our power to bring justice for the families and the communities impacted."

Monday's back-to-back bombings near the finish line of Boston's storied marathon killed three people, injured more than 170 and horrified a nation that hasn't seen an attack of that scale since 9/11.

A manhunt came to an end just hours before Scott's address, when law enforcers apprehended the second of two chief bombing suspects in the Watertown area of Greater Boston after a tense, day-long manhunt that led to the unprecedented lockdown of much of the city and its surroundings.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, an ethnic Chechen thought to have immigrated to the U.S. with his family roughly a decade ago, was found hiding in a boat in a residential backyard in Watertown after eluding authorities for nearly 24 hours.

His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed by police Friday morning in a violent shootout that followed a similarly bloody crime spree featuring a convenience store robbery, a car jacking, a high-speed chase and the killing of a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

That series of events began Thursday afternoon, when the FBI released to the public photos and videos of two suspects strolling near the course of the marathon Monday as unwitting spectators cheered on the racers. Officials think the two brothers put make-shift bombs, stowed in their backpacks, into trashcans near the finish line.

Obama had visited Boston Thursday to meet with first responders and preside over a prayer service for victims.

Like the Republicans, the president on Saturday dropped all politics from his weekly radio address, instead calling on the nation to set aside its differences and join Bostonians in grieving the victims and praising the heroes who rushed to help.

"Americans refuse to be terrorized," Obama said. "Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week. That’s what will remain."

Scott echoed that message, arguing that the country is at its best in times of adversity.

“The greatness of America is not seen during times of prosperity, but is crystallized by how we respond to challenges," Scott said. “We will stand strong. We will stand united. And we will stand together for Boston."

The weekly addresses were a rare instance of comity in Washington, where the parties have been in a fierce debate over Obama's gun control agenda, which was blocked this week in the Senate, and are poised to launch into an equally contentious battle over immigration reform.

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