Rush Limbaugh, Bill Clinton Square Off: Who's Encouraging Domestic Terror?

Turning again to her husband, Limbaugh said: "With this comment, you have just set the stage for violence in this country. Any future acts of violence are on your shoulders, Mr. Clinton. You just gave the kooks in this country an excuse to go be violent. Nobody on the right's doing this. Nobody on talk radio is advocating anything of the sort of that you are predicting. You, sir, are predicting it.

"Maybe 'the regime' wants something like that to happen?" Limbaugh said, as he segued to a commercial break.

Recalling '95 Bombing, Clinton Says Don't Let Debate Veer into Hatred

Clinton's Friday speech, which was co-sponsored by the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, came shortly before the former president was scheduled to travel to Oklahoma City to participate in a remembrance of the attack, which claimed the lives of 19 children under age 6.

The attack was carried out by McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran turned extremist who was later convicted of planning and implementing the attack. He was sentenced to death and was executed at a federal prison in Indiana in June 2001. McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the federal government's siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, April 19, 1993. Seventy-six people died in the resulting fire that destroyed the compound.

Addressing the anti-tax and anti-spending Tea Party movement that has developed since President Obama took office, Clinton said in his Friday speech that it could be a "healthy thing," but only if its leaders do not demonize their political opponents.

Clinton 'Not Trying to Muzzle Anybody'

"This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they're making us justify every penny of taxes we've raised and every dollar of public money we spend," Clinton said.

At the same time, Clinton suggested that some of the Republicans that Tea Party activists want to vote into office played a role in converting the budget surpluses of his administration into deficits during the Bush years.

"They say they're for limited government and a balanced budget," Clinton said. "When I left office, we had the smallest workforce since Eisenhower and we had four surpluses for the first time in 70 years and if the people they say should be elected had not gotten elected, we would be out of debt in just a couple years for the first time since the 1830s.

"But when you get mad," Clinton said, "sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for."

Going beyond the Tea Party movement, Clinton highlighted an anti-immigration law in Arizona, the return of Confederate History month in Virginia and the rise of the "cowboy latte" at Starbucks as evidence that people are looking for overly simplistic answers.

"People are looking for answers to make life simple, and understandable and digestible again, and sometimes with the idea that they need to go back to an idyllic time that never existed," Clinton said. "That's a big part of the explanation for this anti-immigration law in Arizona that just passed or the idea that we ought to bring back the Confederate month in Virginia without saying anything about slavery or the idea that you ought to be able to pack a loaded six-gun into a Starbucks and order a cowboy latte."

Clinton said his intent was not to stifle critics of government but to encourage them to consider the potential fallout from their words.

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