Emotional Pelosi: Anger Over Health Care "Very Frightening"

House Speaker compares heated rhetoric to violence over gay rights in 1970's

Thursday, Sep 17, 2009  |  Updated 3:46 PM PDT
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RAW VIDEO: Nancy Pelosi on Danger of Current Rhetoric

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi kicked up a new firestorm of sorts Thursday when she compared the anti-government rhetoric over President Barack Obama's health care reform effort to the violent debate over gay rights that roiled San Francisco in the 1970s.
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An emotional Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the anger over President Obama's health care reform reminds her of the heated rhetoric that boiled over into violence during the push for gay rights in San Francisco in the 1970's.

"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco," Pelosi, the House Speaker, said, according to the Associated Press. "This kind of rhetoric was very frightening" and created a climate in which violence took place, she said.

Pelosi continued to speak haltingly when she appeared to be making passing reference to the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk -- a gay rights activist -- in 1978 in San Francisco. At the time of the murders, Pelosi was the chairwoman of the Democratic party in northern California.

"Our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe," she said. "But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause."

Get more: Associated Press.

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