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Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who captured national attention for shouting “You lie!— at President Barack Obama, on Thursday called for a gentler tone in the heated political debate seizing the country.

“I do believe people should be temperate in their remarks and noncondemning,— said Wilson, who was formally rebuked by the House on Tuesday for his outburst. Wilson shouted at Obama during the president’s joint address to Congress on health care reform.

But Wilson said he disagrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the nation could take a violent turn if the GOP doesn’t tone down its rhetoric in the health care debate. Earlier Thursday, Pelosi drew a parallel between the current atmosphere and the violent gay rights movement in the late 1970s in San Francisco.

“I disagree very much,— Wilson said. “These are dear people at town halls and tea parties. They’re loving people.— In fact, he said, Republicans are not to blame for the people showing up to events with signs likening Obama to Adolf Hitler.

“People should know, the people with the Hitler signs were Democrats. They’re with the LaRouche campaign,— said Wilson, referring to former Labor Party presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

Added Wilson: “I will be the first to say that that’s not reflective of the Democratic Party.—

Even though it’s “just not right— for Pelosi to suggest that GOP rhetoric could lead to violence, Wilson said he has high regard for Pelosi.

“My wife likes to point out that we shared pasta together in Rome— while they were on a Congressional delegation trip, Wilson said. “My wife and I have a very warm feeling personally toward Nancy and Paul, her husband. People don’t hate her. I hope they don’t hate me.—

Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, slammed Pelosi for suggesting that the actions of Republicans could incite violence.

“No longer content with criticizing concerned citizens for being ‘un-American,’ the Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination,— Sessions said in a statement. “Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda.—

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