(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.
Point missed. Right on schedule.
"Palin vowed she will continue to speak her mind"
Seriously now, enough of Mrs. Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
"But I will tell you ... I am not going to sit down. I am not going to shut up"
Well, that's just too bad....we can always hope though.
"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."
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. – Mark Twain
Palin, sit down and shut up.
I'm sure that the people who dislike her and dislike her message would love for her to sit down and shut up. However, even as much as that might feel the right thing at the time, I feel you cannot have that for either side in politics. The founders of this country specifically built the government to act in a check and balance type of way. I think that both sides of the aisle are necessary in order to keep things moving in a more balanced way. Does one side or another get their way for a little too long? Sure, but overall it works. Overall the checks and balances work.
WTG Sarah, I'm proud that you are standing up and speaking out instead of shying away. I believe people have taken things way out of context in order to find someone or something concrete to blame for this tragedy, when the blame should solely be focused on one young man who made some seriously bad choices. Whether mentally ill or just malicious, he and he alone is accountable for his actions.
Bummer. I was really hoping she was going to. . . shut up.
Oh please please please run. That would be comedy the likes of which couldn't be written... well except for by her 'handlers'. Seriously, does she ever have a spontaneous, real thought of her own? Is there a moderately intelligent hamster up in her head pulling the levers to make her head just keep going yap yap yap?
Not shocked at all
She says "It isn't about me personally, but it is about the message." But the only message here is "it's not my fault." So, since the message is about her, then it is about her personally. Does she really think that people are so stupid to believe that conveying a message about yourself is not about yourself?
What a leader she is. A national tragedy takes place, and she issues the statement "it's not my fault."
Please, no, don't shut up. Jabber yourself right out of a victory in 2012. By the way, brilliant malopropistic use of "heartburn".
I wish she would.
Governer Christie (NJ) had a good point last week about Palin. When will she actually do an interview with someone who does not work for Fox News and does not pander to her? When will she become a real person and not speak entirely from prepared statements? As an independent I won't even consider her as a candidate until she shows she can think on her feet and answer questions when she might not know the question ahead of time. Even Obama is going to be interviewed by Fox News on Super Bowl Sunday. When will Palin demonstrate she can be a leader and not just a puppet parroting buzz words to a small fraction of the population that are hearing what they want to hear? She has no chance to be president if she does not connect with independents. No chance to connect with independents–we don't believe anything we hear on Fox News or MSNBC!
Blood libel, she makes it easy.... Foot firmly planted in mouth, as usual
Palin has the right to express herself in just about anyway she desires. She has freedom of speech and expresses it daily. She attracts a lot of attention and has made lots of money using the language she uses. The question is: is her speech kind, smart, wise, informed, presidential? If she runs for office, we the people will decide. (And either way, she will still have her freedom of speech.)
I will not reply to anything more CNN prints about Palin. I think all the media attention just encourages her and I'll do my part to send her a message - sit down and shut up Ms. Sarah.
Maybe she's like a tree in a forest. If no one is there to hear her, she won't be talking.
Pretty please? With a cherry on top? Just shut up? You are a national embarrassment. You're worse than "Real Housewives". Remember when the New Hampshire state quarter with the Old Man in the Mountain was released, and 12 seconds later the Old Man in the Mountain FELL OFF? Yeah, remember? You're even worse than THAT! I'm begging you, on my knees, just. shut. up. you. vapid. cow.
"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 to whom they believe would represent the constituents' will better than the incumbent,"
It's like English is her second language.
It's only a matter of time before God will have to deal with this lady.
Palin wont ever shut up! She just has no idea of what to say when she opens her suck!
Saran Palin you are done now, no would vote for you for anything. American don't want you In the White House or any other PUBLIC OFFICE. You are the most UNQUALIFIED person In American to run for any PUBLIC OFFICE. If the REPUBLICAN was smart they have you shut up. All you do Is spread hate and RACIST. Me I ever seen a more hateful person In my life. If you look you are losing your fan base and the more you talk the more you going too lose. You are making the Republican Party look bad so If you want the Republican party too win In 2012 the best thing for the party is for you to wade a way. CNN PLEASE Post this.
Oh please, Sarah. Please do sit down and shut up.
Whhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Please stop spewing the stupid.