Giffords had history with Palin, Tea Party
January 8th, 2011
11:43 PM ET
3 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. joe blow

    sister sarah, their blood is on your hands.

    January 9, 2011 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  2. Joshua

    Although Sarah Palin isn’t responsible for this shooting she should be condemned for putting "take back the 20" on her website. It is unconscionable what she posted and people like her and at Fox News make matters only worse.

    January 9, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. maine liberal

    is this the start of the take back.

    Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who's in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical...

    Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

    Angle: Well it's to defend ourselves. And you know, I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for ... problems.

    January 9, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. visitor

    Palin should be held responsible for her hate-mongering.

    January 9, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. hitobito

    Sarah Palin puts crosshairs like those you would see when using a rifle scope on Congresswoman Giffords' district and now extends her condolences to her. Congresswoman Giffords didn't die in this attack and I hope she sues Sarah Palin for this inciting this violence.

    January 9, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  6. Thefella

    Way to go Sarah Pailhead.....This is what happens when you spout your brand of nonsense. The stupid, simple people you you reach with your insane, hateful rantings seem to be taking action , motivated by your idiotic representations. What do you think..if you put gun targets on people, while you are getting all these crazys that folow you fored up, you didnt think for a minute that thta was irresposible. Alot tlike the way you walk around spouting that bull " Don't retreat, reload". wheres the next hillbilly with a 70 IQ going to come out of the woodwork and kill again based on that stupid saying. PLEASE for the sake of this nation SHUT THE F UP AND GO AWAY! I find it sadly ironic that the poor woman that was shot, spoke out against the very element that put her death into motion..nice job..you betcha!

    January 9, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. guitarharry

    It's pretty funny how the TeaParty people all suddenly become all warm and fuzzy after one of their own goes postal like this. Maybe if you would tone down the rhetoric, this would never have happened. That sheriff in AZ was right–all this vitriol is just trouble in the making.

    January 9, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. Eber

    I am with the sherriff of Pima County, the words and ideas of many \with influence above others, can have consequences,now is time for the consequences to be named and bring these people to either shut their mouths or be taken away from express their idiotics ideas. Sarah Palin, Rush, O'Reilly and many other tea party member should be ashmed of themselves.

    January 9, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. Indy

    Palins remorse is a little late, if she truly cared she never would have come up with the "Crosshairs" campaign. I think most are aware that all the lies, fear and hate that has been spread by Republicans comes with a price. To all the people that have posted on here and always asked why we were so afraid of Palin, this serves as your answer, this is exactly why people were afraid of someone like Palin who toured the country spewing lies and hate in every town and city. It would only be a matter of time before the pretty lady's lies would find someone weak enough to believe, and do something so tragic. There must be responsibilty when you are a public figure or a public party that makes a living off of spreading hate, lies and division. Sherriff Dubnik could not have said it better,when he spoke about all the lies and hate that are spread by politicians and celebrities that must be stopped before there is more death. God bless the victims and their famlies. May this be a major wake up call to stop the lies and rhetoric, and that justice be served to those who continue to promote fear and hate.

    January 9, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  10. common sense

    I you read this shooter's postings in the other articles it is clear that he is an anarchist. He's not associated with either political party/movenmet. People trying to lump the shooter into a political movement to demonize either side of the political spectrum are just as dangerous as the shooter himself.

    January 9, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. common sense

    If you read this shooter's postings in the other articles it is clear that he is an anarchist. He's not associated with either political party/movenmet. People trying to lump the shooter into a political movement to demonize either side of the political spectrum are just as dangerous as the shooter himself

    January 9, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  12. K-Man

    You people are disgraceful and will politicize anything. This guy is just a nut job; nothing to do with Palin or the Tea Party.

    January 9, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  13. Mickey, NY

    The likes of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and even Michelle Bachmann and any other politician who signs on to the hatred, should be held directly responsible for acts such as this, as they only serve to perpetuate this hatred and bigotry. There is no place for it.

    If anything good comes of this, is that the likes of those above are history, and will only serve to solidify the Democratic Party...just wait until the next election.

    January 9, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  14. jeneen

    This article is irresponsible. You do not know why the guy did what he did so to put it out there that Sarah Palin had something to do with it is wrong.

    This article should be removed!!!

    SHAME ON CNN!!!!

    January 9, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  15. Ryan C.

    Sure Tea party. Fan the flames but condemn the fire.

    January 9, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  16. Dad of a Diabetic

    Representative Giffords was willing to face death threats so that children and young adults with type 1 diabetes, cancer, and other deadly diseases, could get health insurance. I am grateful to Representative Giffords for what she did for my child. God bless her, and all of the others that were murdered and wounded. I believe that losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a person. My heart is breaking for the little 9 year old girl and her family.

    January 9, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  17. bulldawg

    It is amazing how everyone started jumping to conclusion even before the dust had settled. CNN is so hung up on Palin that half of CNN started blaming Palin immediately. MSNBC in particular Bath Tub Boy started blaming the Tea Party, Beck etc. When will the people in the media become reporters instead of lap dogs for the Socialist party. State run Media doesn't tell the truth they hide from the truth.

    January 9, 2011 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  18. Sarge1

    oops, Sarah stepped on it again. She should just shut up and go away, especially now that she has caused death, even to a child

    January 9, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  19. LJohns

    Sarah Palin, and Jesse Kelly did not pull the trigger. But they did choose the target and point the weapon. The weapon of course is the unbalanced person that did pull the trigger. Both Sarah and Jesse should be charged in some way with this crime.There is no way they could not know this would happen.

    January 9, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  20. Jerry

    Sarah Palin should be held accountable for inciting this violence. Exactly what the Conresswoman feared about Palin's extrene methods has happened.

    January 9, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  21. rude

    First they say "We came unarmed, THIS TIME" and then they are shocked when somebody does shoot? They have been making threats and proclaiming psychotic delusions and then they claim they are not to blame when a nut tries to save America by killing her "enemies"

    January 9, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Greg Gilbert

    When the tragedy first unfolded I knew CNN would try to politicize it. To make this kind of jump so quick CNN must be in close contact & working with Democratic strategists. Also it was also funny when Wolf Blitzer noted he liked books like The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf and Wolf replies that he liked books from both the extreme far right and far left. Mein Kampf is a book that help started the Nazi SOCIALIST party. Go look it up Nazi on wikipedia and it looks like a platform for the democratic party.

    January 9, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. a in austin

    Palin has blood her hands...you don't talk that crap without stirring up the crazies. This is the result of those inflammatory remarks not just by her but by others as well. And then there is the fact that NO ONE would call them out on it. McCain, Boehner, Bachmann....your words mean nothing anymore. That sheriff in Arizona was spot on!

    January 9, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  24. phil

    Sarah and Todd can just pray! I am praying that she looses the ability to speak, seems she has already lost the ability to think. Her actions of spewing hate and suggesting that taking up arms against our govenrnment (even if overtly through a symbol) have cost us 6 lives, perhaps more in the coming days. Palin belongs in the Big House not the White House

    January 9, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. BoFo

    At one time, I actually had some respect for Sarah Palin and thought she had something to offer the nation.
    Now I wish she would just go away.

    January 9, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
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