(CNN) – In her first interview since the Arizona shootings, Sarah Palin Monday sharply beat back critics who have suggested her at-times charged political rhetoric and use of a graphic featuring crosshairs may have contributed to the shooter’s motivations.
"The graphic that was used was crosshairs. That's not original. Democrats have been using them for years," Palin said in the interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, where Palin is a paid contributor.
"For many years maps in political races have been used to target certain districts that people would feel that they can get into those districts and find someone to whom they believe would represent the constituents' will better than the incumbent," she added.
The map in question – created by Palin's political action committee last spring - featured the crosshairs of a gun over the congressional districts of 20 Democratic candidates – including that of Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman who was shot in Tucson nine days ago. Last week, Palin aide Rebecca Monsour defended the graphic, saying the crosshairs were not those of a gun but rather "a surveyor symbol."
But Palin's PAC quickly scrubbed the graphic from its website after the shootings, a move Palin said she found appropriate.
"The contract graphic artist did take it down and I don't think that was inappropriate," said Palin. "If it was going to cause much heartburn and even more controversy I didn’t have a problem with it taken down."
In the 30 minute interview, Palin also addressed the criticism she has faced for her video response to the shootings posted last week on Facebook. Critics particularly took issue with the former governor's use of the term "blood libel," a phrase that for many conjures anti-semetic connotations.
"Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands. In this case, that's exactly what was going on," she said, adding later, "Just two days before an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal had that term in its title. And that term has been used for eons."
The phrase, which traditionally refers to a long-standing anti-Semitic myth that Jews murder children for religious rituals, drew fire from the Anti-Defamation League and others. But Palin insisted critics were taking issue with the phrasing in hopes of derailing her overall message.
"It isn't about me personally, but it is about the message," she said. "I know that a lot on the left hate my message, and they will do all that they can to stop me because they don't like the message. They’ll do what they can to destroy the message and the messenger."
Meanwhile, when asked about speculation the recent controversies have disrupted any future political ambitions, Palin vowed she will continue to speak her mind.
"I am not ready to make an announcement about what my political future is going to be. But I will tell you ... I am not going to sit down. I am not going to shut up,"she said.
This is okay. Sarah can say nothing that hasn't been said before – either it's griping about the state of the nation, or some self-centered comment. She WON'T present plans to fix what is wrong, because she has none. As long as she keeps talking more will get bored with her. All we need is a competent Republican to step up and Sarah will be forgotten to all but her loyalists.
Mr. A cooper, the public didn't single out S. palin as the culprit on the shootings in arizona. it was the congress women Gabby Gifford's video of last March where Ms. Gifford is complaining of the negative language used, & Ms. Gifford "specifically named Sarah Palin & the map that was removed the very next day of the shooting incident. In my opinion Sarah Palin does not have the skills & the "know how" in order to survive in the political arena. In the many clubs & organizations that I belong to she is referred to as "motor Mouth". She insults anyone tha t does not like her, such as senior President Bush & former 1st Lady Barbara Bush. When Hillery Clinton speaks, she does not rattle on & fly off her handle insulting the latest persons that have said something negative about her. this seems to be the only real talent Ms. Palin has. As for ever becoming first lady of this country, that's very unlikely. Many of the head GOP politicians have serious doubts that Sarah Palin could beat President Obama in 2012 coming Presidential election.
GO Sarah! Tell those idiots to shut up!
'I am not going to shut up'
and that right there is why nobody takes you seriously, Sarah. You don't know when to speak and when to be quiet. There are certain times when keeping your mouth shut is the best option, especially when you never have anything useful, intelligent, or noteworthy to say or add to a conversation or discussion. Sarah Palin is about as useful as a wet paper bag during a potato harvest.
You know, if Palin was elected President, she'd spend half of her time explaining how she's misunderstood and the other half of the time blaming people for misunderstanding her.
I'm guessing you have an education, but you sure don't come across as if you do. You act like a spoiled child stamping her foot and saying, "I want my way."
I certainly hope you don't Palin. It just goes to show your incompetent, inhumane, and idiotic "message" and belief system you have. Point the blame at everyone else when you are drawn under fire. Just the kind of "leader" you showed while governor and that which ever direction you choose to go. How did it feel, again, to be driven from office again over missteps and pressure displayed towards the officers of the law??
She will never stop spewing hate, that's all she knows.
Will you just stop covering Palin? Just stop giving her attention that is not deserved.
It isn't about her message, it's about having someone lacking qualifications and enough education trying to be a political leader and possibly the president. That is scary and shouldn't be happening. I may not agree with some educated, experienced conservatives but our country would be in good hands with many. That will not ever be the case with Sarah Palin. She is not stupid but she is not highly intelligent and not highly educated–both are what I want in a president. The blood libel comment was a poor choice of words and she should be smart enough to admit it now. She won't and whatever the reason it's not a good response to saying another inappropriate thing. Also, this was a chance for her again to show her human side and express some genuine concern for the shooting victims but she chose to play partisan politics and attack democrats instead. GOP–I'm not a member but I hope you will get some intelligent, experienced people who act dignified to run for the highest offices rather than someone like Sarah Palin.
Palin: "I'm not going to shut up", is music to the ears of democrats.
Please protest your right to speach when you have something more meaningful to say. Also could you please admit that there might be some possibility that maybe your little "surveyor's mark" might have given somebody the wrong idea?
She just needs to stay in Alaska.
What a shame. The world would be a better place if you sat down and shut up. Let the adults handle things that are obviously beyond your grasp.
I'm not a fan of hers but this is such a non-issue. As long as she feels she being attacked she will continue to push back. Her comments as well is a non-issue. IT'S NOT ABOUT HER!
Don't shut up Sarah, keep talking so we can continue to build the case against you and prove that you truly are a moron.
I would give real money to make her be quiet. Really, she has nothing to say that is relevant to the political discourse.
As to the "Blood libel" statement, she obviously hasn't read her history. Someone who has blood on their hands are never called this; nor is this statement relevant. She doesn't pay attention and doesn't learn her history.
The woman's a cash cow. Emphasis on the cow...
I am this, I am that ... ay yi yi ...
"They were cross-hairs, no, they were surveyors' marks, no, Democrats used them too, no, we took them down, no, we shouldn't have taken them down, no, it was blood libel against *me*, no, not against the two Jewish victims..."
Please, please, please, Sarah – run in 2012!!!!
Sit down, shut up, please.
Dear Sarah "An empty can makes the most noise" Palin,
Please go away-we don't care what you say. No one, other than your devoted wingnuts, is listening to you.
Of course she won't shut up.
Dangitt!! Dangitt ta' Hell!! You've reloaded. Thought we'd get a break. Will you still deliver hateful messages and...you're a hippie!! You are anti-establishment. Folks years ago were discredited for that, but put on a pedestal now. My how things have changed.
Sarah..no one is asking you to shut up, rather, be mindful of how you communicate your message. That's all!!