Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton labeled Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner an “extremist” while taping a town hall segment for a talk show in Abu Dhabi today.
Her remarks came during her trip through the Middle East, where she is working to build relationships with leaders in the region. Indeed, Clinton seemed to use the word to encourage collaboration among Arab countries and the U.S. to eradicate extremism everywhere.
"Look, we have extremists in my country," Clinton said. "A wonderful, incredibly brave young woman Congress member, Congresswoman Giffords was just shot in our country. We have the same kinds of problems. So rather than standing off from each other, we should work to try to prevent the extremists anywhere from being able to commit violence."
The secretary’s olive branch to the Arab community goes further in its characterization of Loughner than other administration officials. In President Obama’s remarks about the shooting on Saturday, Obama expressed support for the victims and promised only that “we are going to get to the bottom of this.”
Clinton said extremists drown out more representative voices.
"The extremists and their voices, the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV, that's not who we are, that's not who you are, and what we have to do is get through that and make it clear that that doesn't represent either American or Arab ideas or opinions," she said.