Giffords had history with Palin, Tea Party
January 8th, 2011
11:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Giffords had history with Palin, Tea Party

(CNN) – As of Saturday, Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' name appeared on a website titled "take back the 20" as part of a list originally issued by Sarah Palin of vulnerable House Democrats. A map on the site showed crosshairs over the contested Democratic districts.

Palin first posted the list in March 2010, naming 20 House members who voted for health care reform and represented districts that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona won in the 2008 presidential election.



The post read, "We'll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington," and was accompanied by a map with targets over the districts.

At the time, Giffords responded to the map by saying on MSNBC that her long-serving colleagues had "never seen anything like it."

"The thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district," Giffords said in March. "When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

After Giffords was shot in Tuscon, Arizona, Saturday, Palin responded on her Facebook page:

"My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shootings in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

At a press conference Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik criticized people who are making a living off "inflaming the American public."

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," Dupnik said. "Unfortunately, Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

And Saturday's tragedy was not the first time the Arizona Democrat was targeted. The day after she voted in favor of health care reform, a glass panel at her Tucson office was shattered.

Giffords won a close race against Republican Jesse Kelly in November. Kelly was a Tea Party favorite who ultimately received 47 percent of the vote to Giffords' 49 percent. The Republican-leaning 8th district went for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer responded to the events Saturday by saying the group is "shocked and saddened" by the "terrible tragedy."

"These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are especially grievous when committed against our elected officials. Spirited debate is desirable in our country, but it only should be the clash of ideas," Kremer said in a statement. "An attack on anyone for political purposes, if that was a factor in this shooting, is an attack on the democratic process. We join with everyone in vociferously condemning it."


Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords • Sarah Palin
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. wakeupamerica

    My prayers go out to Rep. Giffords, along with the other injured. Sympathies are extended to all who were killed. I commend the Sheriff for speaking out about the troubling language used by today's politicians and the media for fueling fires in the name of politics. Sarah Palin, the coward she is, posts on her Facebook page. She fuels hatred masked behind a smile. People....wake up! These are human lives we are talking about. Let's get back to civility. Politics is just that, politics. Hatred and venom in the name of politics or to sell a radio program/book, etc. is nothing but pure evil. Respectfully disagree. Let's keep hate and violence off the table before more innocent lives are lost through these senseless acts of violence.

    January 9, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. Howard Keith Hall

    I am a Democratic officeholder and former Dem. chairperson of Kentucky's largest county. Let's not blame our process for this terrible crime. Agressive open debate on paramount national issues is the heart of our process. No politician wants someone physically injured. An unhealthy mind will misunderstand and misjudge reality and become frustrated on just about any factual scenario. Let's not give this idiot credability by playing on his actions,but join together to help these victims.

    January 9, 2011 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. david

    Palin and her crosshairs insanity, her ugly arrogance, and her hunger for attention and pandering to the lowest levels of human indecency, is responsible for this.

    January 9, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  4. Thomas in Vancouver

    Amy Kremer said "These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are especially grievous when committed against our elected officials." So, when a non-elected person is shot by a maniac like this, it's a less grievous offense?!! A 9-year-old child was killed in this incident. Was her death LESS GRIEVOUS in Amy Kremer's mind because she wasn't an elected politician??

    January 9, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  5. steve

    Palin....your apologies are to late. Your hatred and words are what is so terrible about todays political climate. You seem to be one of many GOPer who use the airwaves to provoke hatred, political divide and anger. You will be judged someday...as for the rest of America we really need to find peace with our differences, and reject the evil that people like Palin feed off of.

    January 9, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  6. Ben A.

    It's so so sad... I pray she comes out well with no brain damage. I guessed like most people that the "mentally unstable" card will be played once the assassin comes under scrutiny. It was so. Sadly, the truth is, the unbelievable volume of hate that has been propagated by the anti-Obama establishment has been nothing short of a call to arms. It suddenly became fashionable for Republicans to sound exactly like Rush Limbaugh. I pray we dont see more bloodshed. God bless America.

    January 9, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. LJohns

    Sarah Palin, and Jesse Kelly did not pull the trigger. But they did choose the target and point the gun. Both of them should be charged in some way with this crime.

    January 9, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  8. martin

    As far as the Tea Party hacks are concerned, the only 'tragedy' is that Ms Gifford is still alive.

    January 9, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  9. Junior

    This is a real tragedy and our prayer go out to the families affected. This being said, it is shameful to see the media using this tragedy to connect it to the Tea Party or remarks made by Palin. I wonder if CNN reported that the shooter was reported to own the Communist Manifesto. Or mentioned the inflamatory remarks by the President, "punish our enemy." Shame.

    January 9, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    Each time something violent happens the Left jumps to the conclusion that it has to be the Tea Party, then later, when they find out it was just the opposite they still deride the Tea Party as if they were responsible.....all the while screaming abpout 'inflamed rhetoric'.......you guys are the biggest offendes.....like when that idiot Bloomburg blamed the Tea Party for the Times Square bombing........and you wonder why people are fleeing ther Democratic Party?!?

    January 9, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. CBR

    It was only a matter of time before the heated rhetoric being used would lad to a tragedy. All of us have allowed this language to be used and we all need to turn away from those who continue to use this language. We need to work together, accept our differences and learn to respect what others hold dear. We cannot always win and we have to learn to be good losers.

    Such a sad day for all of us. May better days be ahead for us all.

    January 9, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  12. Brian29

    OK< so where's the connection to this kid and the tea party? It's disgusting that CNN and other media outlets are using this incident to their political fortune...

    January 9, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  13. Michael Nunn

    The fact that it appears as if Jared Loughner was an antisocial nutcase rather than a paid political assassin does nothing to diminish the responsibility of hatemongering party figureheads who have fanned the hysteria of local politics in placing crosshairs and targets on some 20 Congresspeople, exhorting citizens to "Let's get rid of [any of 20]," and "come shoot an M-16 with me."

    And then these same people incite, with inflammatory rhetoric, "It's the other party who's done it, not us!" Sorry. One of the great things about the Internet is that you can establish a time line for published material. Try as one might to put a spin on it, it's really clear who has been creating this climate, and they, and we, know who they are. They have gotten what they wished for, and they have to live with this or be in denial of it for the rest of their lives, either of which will justly destroy their futures (witness O.J. Simpson). The blood of today's hate-inspired tragedy is on their hands.

    January 9, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. Peter s

    Violence Begets Violence and Evil is Evil in any form and violence toward any of God’s children, in any form is Evil. Sarah Palin you Harvest What You Sow!! "Violence". Its too late to send condolences you have to live with your actions! otherwise in a perfect functional democratic Nation you and all your like should be behind bars!!. Its ironic petty criminals are behind bars yet you and the people of your like are roaming free sowing the seeds of discord!!!

    January 9, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. ST

    Civilised people hunt animals in order to get meat. How come a human being hunting his fellow human being? For what reason!!!!! Very difficult to understand this.

    January 9, 2011 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  16. Steve Kline

    Surely there must be some way to charge those who put others in the crosshairs, as Punk out Palin and others have done, to with oincitement to violence at the least

    January 9, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  17. moonpie

    Way to go PALIN! Look at the mess you are making by inflaming the public. To all you people out there who think she deserved it, just wait you will get yours! What comes around goes around!!!!

    January 9, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  18. xzibillion

    Q: Why aren't they calling him a terrorist?
    A: Because he is NOT a muslim.
    He is white, and most likely a Christian, so he won't be labeled a TERRORIST.

    January 9, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. Geeba77

    So.... you just want to blame the Repubes... or the Conservatives... or Sarah Palin... how about just blame the pyscho that actually did this. You (CNN) and others are just trying to STIR the pot. Kind of and moronic concept don't you think

    January 9, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  20. hs

    ur one sided story wont do any good...CNN will loose, dems will loose badly come 2012...
    one of the liberal blog threatned gifford to death for her decision not to support pelosi for minority leader in house
    disgusting CNN and i wish u face business down for such partisan reporting..

    January 9, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. John

    People like Palin, Beck, Limbough, the Tea Party, etc are going to be the death of this country. Their strategy is to divide America between the Ultra-Conservatives and everyone else, i.e., "only Conservatives are "real Americans!" They incite the conservative fringe elements into a frenzy! This is just the beginning!

    January 9, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. Pat

    Right. We didn't really mean "Lock and ReLoad".

    January 9, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. Bassman

    Gov. Palin is dealing with dozens of death threats from people that believe the lies our national media tells us about the Palin's family.

    January 9, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  24. Carrie

    Mrs. Palin and her bullseyes need to rethought and forgotten in the future. Her offhanded comments have set off other people, maybe not has possible the young man who shot the Representative Gabbi today but just as emotional in many ways. Mrs. Palin is not the only one who has been careless with their comments but hers sure look bad right now after this shooting. Whatever happened to civility in this country?

    January 9, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  25. Concern American

    Is this what Sarah Palin and her crowd of clowns are talking about when they talk about loading and re-loading, and exercising their 2nd amendment rights? This is a sad day in this country. I hope that Mrs. Palin, Mr. Beck,Mr. O'Riley and the rest of the clowns at Fake News will own this. Let them have some courage and claim this tragedy today.

    January 9, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
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