Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin's team is fighting back against some Democratic claims that the former Alaska governor is encouraging threats of violence against members of Congress who voted in favor of health care reform.
Democratic officials and liberal Web sites are upset that Palin used an image of crosshairs in a Facebook post this week listing 20 vulnerable Democrats who voted for the legislation. She plans to target them this election year with money from her political action committee.
One House member mentioned the Facebook posting during a Wednesday meeting on safety concerns, a Democratic source told CNN's Dana Bash. Mention of the map brought audible groans to the room, the source said.
Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine released a sharply-worded statement Wednesday night accusing several Republican leaders, including Palin, of inciting dangerous behavior.
"Republican leaders are themselves engaging in actions and rhetoric that previously would have been limited to fringe elements of the Republican Party," Kaine said. "Sarah Palin has invoked health care 'death panels' and has now placed gun sights on 20 Members of Congress who supported reform."
An adviser to Palin responded by pointing to several instances in which the former Alaska governor has urged supporters to focus their energies on civil debate and action at the ballot box - not extremist activities.
"We are now the keepers of an honorable tradition of conservative values and good works," Palin said at the national Tea Party Convention in Nashville last month. "We must never forget that it is a sacred trust to carry these ideas forward. It demands civility and it requires decent, constructive, issue-oriented debate."
The adviser also noted that Palin spoke out last year after the murder of abortion provider George Tiller in Kansas, writing on her PAC Web site that "violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message."
"Its good that she finally agrees with the Democrats on something," the adviser told CNN. "[House Majority Whip] Jim Clyburn said that silence equals consent, and in this matter she agrees, which is why she has been vocal about condemning violence."
Sen. John McCain, who tapped Palin as his running mate during his 2008 presidential bid, defended Palin's Facebook posting on NBC's "Today Show" Thursday.
"I have seen the rhetoric of targeted districts as long as I've been in politics, please," McCain said. "Any threat of violence is terrible but to say there that there is a targeted district or that we reload or go back into the fight again, please, those are fine, they are used all the time."
I think this lady will be happy if some of these democrats are harmed. She is a frenetic right wing advocate, equal to the devil with her poison. I still remember shocked that in her rallies during the 2008 elections, she would not say a word when crazy people would yell at her asking to kill Obama; she never said a word condemning that behavior from her crazy followers.
if truth be told plainly, there are these kinds of elements on both sides. there are individuals who wrongly believe that violence is an effective means to an end. these people fail to understand that the pen is trully stronger than the sword, and they can more effectively affect the future of politicians through the ballot box. leaders on both side should make it clear that this behavior will not be supported by them. the law should deal with individuals who engage in these types of activities in the most stringent manner.
I hope the GOPhers realize that she was, is, and will be a walking-talking disaster for them. I wouldn'r be surprised if the Republican't National Committee hasn't already put out a "beyond sanction" order on her and hired The Jackal to take care of The Moosechowder.
You could agree with McCain IF....IF....IF...the extreme right wing hadn't been engaging in hatred and violence as of late. But when you have Palin inciting hatred towards Obama and NOT condemning the violence, when she puts cross hairs on a web page at this time...I mean, how stupid is she? And worst, how stupid are the Republicans for thinking Americans don't see a connection in this?
Maybe they should change the name to the 'Repulsive-cans'.
'Vocal about condeming violence'? You mean, like when she said NOTHING during a campaign rally after her rant about Obama and some yahoo in the crowd yelled out "Kill him!"?
Sarah Palin is the biggest political phony since George W. Bush.
If a student in any school posted a list with cross hairs and targets they would be expelled. If you did it at a place of employment you should be fired. So why is this any different.
Palin is part of the Republican Party fringe, is anyone really surprised that she would condone violence? There are actually a few respectable conservative politicians, Palin isn't one of them. She is famous for being famous. About equal to Paris Hilton. That is all.
Hitler incited his crazy followers to become violent, why would Sarah be any different?
(Oddly they try to paint Obama as Hitler on their posters yet call him a socialist muslim.... and even if he were remotely like Hitler, what do they care? Hitler hated minorities, not dumb idiots. You can't convince me that the Palin/Teabagger crowd feels threatened to the point that they can empathize with the Jewish Community that they're known for hating also. They hate everyone!)
Since when did "civil debate" involve using 'gunsights'?
The Republican party has no decency these days; appropriate that Palin is considered a standard bearer for them.
No surprises here, these tactics are part of the GOP Playbook:
1. Use apocalyptic rhetoric that exacerbates fear, bigotry and extremism among the uneducated and intolerant.
2. Counter any liberal criticism of your inflammatory calls for action by saying they can't take a joke.
3. Keep turning up the heat and act surprised when somebody finally heeds your calls for extreme action.
4. Be sure to maintain you were only speaking figuratively and you are being unfairly blamed when violence occurs.
5. Keep your celebrations behind closed doors.
Why not just a dot or an x, why a crosshairs? This is frightening. Especially following her "reload" statement, The woman is a traitor to America and our democratic ideals. She wouldn't know patriotism if it bit her on her you-know-what.
You cannot be against violence and post what she did – she incites it every chance she gets – fear, its the Republican way, its their only way, and its why I am no longer Republican. I've never experienced a more acid, rude, and nasty tone in Congress as we have now, totally orchestrated by the Repubs – Their absolute fear of a black man in the white house dominates their daily life – I've never been as disappointed in a party before, and Palin is merely a reflection of it. I guess when someone dies it will be, "OH we're so sorry, but we didn't do it" We are the sorriest excuse for a democracy on the planet -
Yea throw a rock and hid your hand. Inciting hatred and violence is Sarah's and John's aim.
Good golly – keep her out of helicopters!
Oh for crying out loud – this is a new low for Dems!
It doesn't matter what Palin said in the past. It is what she is doing now! That picture is totally inappropriate. How dare they!
Sarah Palin should shut up. She definitely is not the voice of the majority of the people and her supporters obviously can't and won't think for themselves. She, Rush and Glen should just go away and hopefully, this country might start to heal from the hate mongering they expound.
Democrats are really reaching on this one. This only speaks to their desperation to deflect the countries discontent with their behavior in Washington. Who will they blame next?
She's a mess. She's clueless. She's a puppet. She just does whatever will get her name out there. She did tell us that she was "reloading" – so no one should be surprised by her approach. Just leave her alone. She's like that crazy aunt in the family tree that causes everyone to roll their eyes.
Give it a rest. The map only suggests targeting those areas for some serious campaigning. The Dems are whipping this violence thing WAY out of proportion.
We go to other countries telling there people how to live but can't help provide health care for all Americans. Then we show the world a map with targets for our elected officials. PALLIN NEEDS TO STOP INCITING VIOLENCE.
Sarah rising, Obama falling.
Good for America.
Perhaps she does condemn violence, but the use of crosshairs and strong rhetoric in this so-called "hit list" is just enough of a motivation for the crazies on the right to begin committing violent acts.
Be very careful, what you start can't be stopped where you want it to be.,
shocked-i am just shocked. the GOP condemned terrorist activities the last 8 years and now they are the ones inciting them here at home.