WASHINGTON (AFP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has accused Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," has refused to call people who bomb abortion clinics by the same name.
When asked Thursday night by NBC television presenter Brian Williams whether an abortion clinic bomber was a terrorist, Palin heaved a sigh and, at first, circumvented the question.
"There's no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our US Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist," Palin said, referring to a 1960s leftist who founded a radical violent gang dubbed the "Weathermen" -- and who years later supported Obama's first run for public office in the state of Illinois.
"Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to... I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there," the ardently pro-life running mate of John McCain said.
Early this month, after the New York Times ran an article highlighting the ties between Obama and Ayers, Palin told a campaign rally in Colorado that Obama "sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
Attacks on doctors who practice abortion and on family planning clinics in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s left several people dead and scores wounded.
Eric Rudolph, the extreme right winger who planted a bomb at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, which killed one person, was sentenced three years ago to two life terms in jail for an abortion clinic bombing in Alabama in which a policeman was killed.
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