Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Wednesday accused Republican opponent Donald Trump of inciting violence with his call for gun rights activists to stop her from nominating liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices.
Clinton's comments added to a growing outcry over Trump's remarks on Tuesday at a North Carolina rally, which some interpreted as a call for violence against his White House rival. His remarks also fueled widespread concerns about his ability to stay on track.
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"Words matter, my friends," the former U.S. secretary of state, who rarely engages in direct back-and-forths with her Republican rival, said at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. "And if you are running to be president or you are president of the United States, words can have tremendous consequences."
"Yesterday, we witnessed the latest in a long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that crossed the line," she said, citing "his casual inciting of violence."
Trump insisted in an interview with Fox News that his remarks were a call for political, not physical, action.
“There is tremendous political power to save the Second Amendment, tremendous," the New York businessman said. "And you look at the power they have in terms of votes and that’s what I was referring to, obviously that’s what I was referring to, and everybody knows it."
The U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment guarantees a right to keep and bear arms.
"I can’t think of anything remotely comparable to it. No one tells a joke about the opponent getting shot. I’ve never heard it," said Bob Shrum, a top aide for Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000 and John Kerry's in 2004.