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.”

Clinton 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 the bombing on April 19, 1995, that killed 168 people.

Clinton spoke at an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

“I’m glad they’re fighting over health care and everything else. Let them have at it. But 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. At a Washington rally on Thursday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., railed against “gangster government.”


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