Clinton alludes to 1995 bombing, says words matter - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Clinton alludes to 1995 bombing, says words matter

WASHINGTON-Former President Bill Clinton warned of a slippery slope from angry anti-government rhetoric to violence like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, saying "the words we use really do matter."

The two-term Democratic president insisted he wasn't trying to restrict free speech, but in remarks Friday he said incendiary language can be taken the wrong way by some Americans. He drew parallels to words demonizing the government before Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, an anti-government conspiracy led by Army veteran Timothy McVeigh exploded a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

"What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold - but that the words we use really do matter, because there's this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike," he said.

"One of the things that the conservatives have always brought to the table in America is a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility. And the more power you have and the more influence you have, the more responsibility you have."

Clinton made the remarks at events sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund on the upcoming anniversary of the bombing.

He mentioned the rancorous fight over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Passage of the law elicited threats against some lawmakers.

"I'm glad they're fighting over health care and everything else. Let them have at it. But I think that all you have to do is read the paper every day to see how many people there are who are deeply, deeply troubled," he said.

He also alluded to the anti-government tea party movement, which held protests in several states Thursday. At the Washington rally, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota railed against "gangster government."

Clinton argued that the Boston Tea Party was in response to taxation without representation. The current protesters, he said, are challenging taxation by elected officials, and the demonstrators have the power to vote them out of office.

"By all means keep fighting, by all means, keep arguing," he said. "But remember, words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for. We owe that to Oklahoma City."

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump welcomes wife home in tweet that misspells her name

    Trump welcomes wife home in tweet that misspells her name

    Saturday, May 19 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-19 14:46:23 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:04 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:04:37 GMT
    Melania Trump is back at the White House after an extended hospitalization for a kidney procedure. (Source: Susan Walsh/AP Photos)Melania Trump is back at the White House after an extended hospitalization for a kidney procedure. (Source: Susan Walsh/AP Photos)

    Melania Trump is back at the White House after an extended hospitalization for a kidney procedure.

    Melania Trump is back at the White House after an extended hospitalization for a kidney procedure.

  • Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 10:41:19 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:03 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:03:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

  • Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Texas lieutenant governor calls for 'hardening' of schools

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:03 PM EDT2018-05-20 16:03:14 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

Powered by Frankly