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. bobby

    Look at what the right-wing has reduced this country to. Shameless and ignorant fools like the tea party and palin are running amuck and gunning people down.

    January 9, 2011 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  2. Sgt, Joe

    Palin and her type of nasty rhetoric needs to stop. The same with the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter and their ilk. Their toxic rants incite the nutcakes among us. I hope all the injured recover and my sincere condolences to all who lost loved ones over this senseless act. This does not serve our country and we need to put an end to this polarizing hatred.

    January 9, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  3. Vince

    Actually, Wolf and the commentators are wrong. According to his videos and comments regarding political rhetoric and constitutionality, he studied Constitutional wording in a way where he tries to read the Constitution literally, versus using the gloss of legal precedents and practices that have come to alter the Constitution. In this sense, his political thought and ideas align with Constitutionalists or Literalists who are principally Libertarian Republicans, and in its current radically manifested state, Tea Partiers. He reads his freedoms and civil rights in the same way Tea Partiers have read their's, literally, which makes him though he is of extreme right orientation, very much in line with Tea Partiers. Please do your research before you shake your head because some intern gave you bad notes.

    January 9, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  4. john

    Well Palin look at the consequences of your hatred and stupis actions.. How do you sleep at night???? You have blood on your hands lady!!!!

    January 9, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  5. conoclast

    I for one would like for the hyper-partisan blog warriors to agree to a cease-fire - just for a while to let today's event sink in, hmm? We can revert back to questioning each other's parentage after we find out for sure what went on today.

    January 9, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  6. ida

    The sheriff is absolutely correct. What is sickening is Palin has the nerve to apologize! A little to late Sarah. You are disgusting. (No I am not a lefty liberal, I am a republican from Anchorage, Alaska and I can only hope that this is the end of Sarah Palin).

    January 9, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  7. Millie

    Why would she offer the family condolences, as if a death occurred in the part of the Congresswomans family? That's kind of creepy!

    January 9, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  8. Steven Dobrosielski

    Why do Americans listen to The Palins, Bachmans,Becks and Limbaughs of the world?
    Have we really become that dumb to listen to and believe people who lie and mis-lead and promote bigotry and fear?
    I hope and pray that we become smarter and learn that inorder to advance our country and the world we must work for peace and understanding. Pope Paul VI said; "If you want Peace work for Justice."
    FDR said: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" Probably one of the greatest quotes of all time.
    Lastly JFK said: "Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country"
    Well one easy thing that we can do for our country is to educate ourselves and not let nut case media people like Beck and Limbaugh and nut case politicians like Palin,Bachman,Dement,and Cantor influence our brains.
    Get smart America, we have alot of hard work to do, we can't waste our time on stupid bigotry and fear mongering!

    January 9, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  9. gsmith

    There is blood on Palin's hands....

    January 9, 2011 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  10. mcgil38@gmail.com

    If the author of the above piece is suggesting that Sarah Palin is somehow responsible for this, then this truly equates to the most irresponsible article I have ever read in my 33 years of life...

    January 9, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  11. sharon

    This is what happening when you start spreading fear,hate,bigotry,lies and violence. Sarah Palin,Teaparty,Fox news, Rush Limburg,republicans and anyone else who is gullilable are to blame. My heart and prayers goes out to all the victims and their family. Is this is how they take back America? We the people must show them we do not fight violence with violence. We use our right by writing to our congressman, non-violent protest & voting the next election.

    January 9, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  12. anne ellis

    if like you admit there is NO EVIDENCE that this whacko ever read Sarah Palins tweets or even liked Palin
    WHY LINK THIS HORRIBLE INCIDENT TO HER IN ANY WAY???? You are guilty of the very thing you claim to be spouting against. Vitriole at its unbalanced, unsupported worst. of course you leftioes would use this tragedy to ramp up yoru
    attacks on any and all things Palin. Shame on you. This guy claims to hate God . Diesn't sound like a Palin fan to me.
    Shame on you

    January 9, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  13. violet

    I do believe that the bullseye that was put on that district by Sarah Palin instigated this shooting. I said it was wrong then and predicted this would happen. Fox News and Sarah Palin cannot keep putting out the hate and think that unbalanced people won't be listening.

    January 9, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  14. Bill

    Palin needs to understand now why she must stop the hate

    January 9, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  15. Moses

    I didn't vote for Palin, or any Republicans for that matter, but that's quite the accusation. I noticed you (the writer) didn't explicitly state that Palin or the Tea Party was responsible for this tragedy but you're insinuations are disgraceful. The authorities have not discovered the motives for the killings, but you're already accusing the Tea Party. Really? Has CNN become a left-wing version of FoxNews? Whatever happened to the standard of journalism for which CNN became so famous for? If we're going on pure speculation here, what about the fact that someone (Caitie Parker) who knew the shooter posted on her Twitter account, “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.” I guess that would disprove your accusation wouldn't it? That's really a shame. I thought CNN had more integrity than this.

    January 9, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  16. Shelly

    Faux News and its associates( Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, Armey, Gingrich) are a terrorism network.

    January 9, 2011 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  17. Steven Bannister

    The shooter was neither Right nor Left.

    He was simply crazy.

    January 9, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  18. W.Wm. Nash

    To say that S.Palin & the extreme right radio had nothing to do with this attack is the same as saying that Popes Gregory Vii (just war) and Urban II (God wills it !) had nothing to do with starting the crusades.

    January 9, 2011 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  19. Rene Singleton

    Sarah Palin and many others need to take responsbility for their rhetoric last year that ignigted this situation. Palin never apoligized last year– she said done in "humor." Some of us did not laugh last year and we are not laughing now.... Let's all tone it down. We should be able to express different opinions with out making references to crosshairs on guns...which imply shooting thoes we disagree with. How sad that a unstable person took the Palin references to heart and acted on them. Let us all think about the consequences that may occur with our humor and words. Go bless all of the victims in Arizona.

    January 9, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  20. Michelle Diggins

    I applaud Amy Kremer for stating what should be said. Acts like this are an attack on democracy. The most amazing thing about our country is we can disagree with our govenmen and openly protest our dissatisfaction with our government. Unfortunately there are those in politics and entertainment (certain news orgs or mayble all) that find it much more profitable to fan the flames of fanaticism to full their coffers with money than to make valid efforts to improve our country. This is truely a tragic day. My prayers and blessings to all affected.

    January 9, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. Dennis from Millbrae

    When people like Palin and Sharon angle use political vitriol with metaphorical imagery of guns and violence, they need to be held accountable for the actions of their followers. The way to hold these people accountable is to vote against everything they stand for and to not subscribe to anything they are selling.

    January 9, 2011 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  22. Aaron

    Palin and the Repubs apparently wanted to make sure that Giffords did not vote against the health care reform repeal.

    January 9, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  23. LJ

    "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!’"
    -Sarah Palin. March 23, 2010

    Way to go sarah. You got your stupid wish.

    January 9, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  24. TX Democrat

    For Sarah Palin to have the gall to offer condelences is beyond me. Now she wants to play innocent of should I say stupid and pray for peace and justice. If this wasn't such a tragic incident this would funny. This ignornant women shrill hateful words every time she opens her stupid mouth. Innocent people were killed and injured as a result of all the vitrol. Sarah Palin instills hatred into the minds of the unstable.. All that nosense about taking our country back, don't retreat reload, putting cross hairs across districts she targeted, the President is not one of us (that just a few) have inflamed those nuts out there who can't think for themselves. I hope Pallin and all the other Republicans realize the danger of their divisive behavior. Palin has made millions of dollars spewing hatred, anger and bigotry and now she has to deal with the consequences of her words. Go back to the wilds of Alaska and take Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest of the right wing nuts, so we the sane people can take our coutry back! Don't get the wrong... I don't totally blame Sarah Palin. The real culprit is John McCain. He's the old fool that unleashed this lunatic on the American people.

    January 9, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  25. mbzarl

    It's a little late for Palin's condolences. Peace and justice would have started with not putting cross-hairs over an elected official–or anyone else.

    January 9, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9