On the August 2 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Jon Caldara Show, right-wing pundit and frequent guest Ann Coulter responded to a caller's implication that former President Bill Clinton was partly to blame for the August 1 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis by saying, "We ought to spend that money that we're spending in Iraq on tracking down Bill Clinton and pursuing the death penalty."
Citing information he later claimed came from KOA's "Gunny" Bob Newman, the caller asked Coulter and host Jon Caldara: "[I]sn't it a fact that the deficiencies were pointed out back in 1990, so that during the entire Clinton administration the bridge was deficient, and he [Clinton] was cutting funding to the highways?" After Caldara replied, "There we go" and "I'll buy that," Coulter added, "That's a good one. You ought to send that in to CNN," before making her comments about "tracking down" Clinton.
As The Washington Post reported on August 4, "Authorities still do not know what caused the 6:05 p.m. [bridge] collapse. Engineers had theories including heavy traffic and construction work that might have put an undue burden on the span." The Post further reported that the I-35W bridge "was deemed 'structurally deficient' by the federal government as far back as 1990."
In her book High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton (Regnery Publishing, 1998), Coulter said that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether Clinton "did it," but rather "whether to impeach or assassinate" him.
From the August 2 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Jon Caldara Show:
CALLER: I heard you mention earlier that they were gonna blame this bridge failure on George Bush. Well, didn't -- isn't it a fact that the deficiencies were pointed out back in 1990, so that during the entire Clinton administration the bridge was deficient, and he was cutting funding to the highways?
CALDARA: There we go. There we go.
CALLER: I mean, so --
CALDARA: All right, I'll, I'll buy that.
CALLER: Yeah, I mean, "Gunny" Bob pointed that out earlier. So, I --
COULTER: That's a good one. You ought to send that in to CNN.
CALLER: Yeah, well, you think that --
COULTER: We ought to spend that money that we're spending in Iraq on tracking down Bill Clinton and pursuing the death penalty.
CALDARA: What, what, what's going to happen is, I have a feeling that there are people out there trying to figure out how we can make this into [Hurricane] Katrina, that --
COULTER: Oh yeah, they're talking about that too.
CALDARA: Yeah, that this is, this is another tragedy that if only the federal government were on top of it, then this wouldn't have happened. And it wasn't the locals' fault, but it was the federal government's fault, and, and -- well, there, there we have it.