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Arizona Sheriff, Limbaugh Feud Over Comments

Atlanta Journal Constitution via YellowBrix

January 11, 2011

ARIZONA – A war of words has erupted between radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and the sheriff investigating the Tucson shooting spree that killed six and wounded 14, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told ABC News that Limbaugh is “irresponsible” in the rhetoric he uses against elected officials.

“The kind of rhetoric that flows from Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information,” Dupnik said in the interview. “[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.”

Dupnik added that “the vitriol affects the [unstable] personality that we are talking about. You can say, ‘Oh, no it doesn’t,’ but my opinion is that it does.”

Limbaugh railed against Democrats who would draw a link between the shooting and political rhetoric, and the conservative talk show host said Dupnik “made a fool of himself” for making that same connection.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Limbaugh said. “What this is all about is shutting down any and all political opposition and eventually criminalizing it.”

Investigators have not said what motivated the assassination attempt by the alleged shooter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. Loughner is accused of opening fire Saturday at Giffords’ political event outside a Tuscon grocery store. Giffords, shot in the back of the head, remains in critical condition.

Six people were killed, including a federal judge, a congressional aide and a 9-year-old girl.

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