(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.
man, i misread the article title and thought it said "I am going to shut up" instead. what a tease.
Goodness – I wish she would . . . . . sit down and shut up, that is.
This sorry excuse for a woman makes me sick to my stomach. Frist it's crosshairs, then it's a surveyors scope, then it should have been taken down after the Nov. elections and now Palin say she was ok with it being taken down. Does anyone in this sorry excuse of a group, whether it's Palin or her spokesperson have any idea what they are saying or doing other than floundering..............please , please just go away..far, far away!!!
Sarah Palin giving her only interview on this matter to Sean Hannity is like her talking to a big brother or cousin. NOTHING was resolved here and as usual she was only talking to her rabid base where she could do or say just about anything and they would support her. Sarah is always misunderstood, she's never wrong, always the victim and it's always about her. Well the people outside of her base, and now that includes some Republicans as well are starting to see this for what it is. I think if she were to run for POTUS her GOP competitors would tear her apart and I don't think she could take that. You can only run back to FoxNews, Twitter and Facebook so often until it just doesn't work anymore.
Still don't get do you Palin we are tired of you. To me you are the most divisive semi politician in the country. If you want people to take you seriously please stop all the radical language. By all means you are entitled to your opinion but you have to be mindfull of who you hurt with such language.
Maybe she is like a tree in the forest...if we don't listen, she won't be talking.
She ain't quittin until Republicans stop giving her money
Then she will wilt away..........quietly with all their money in her bank account
u go palin.....................................u really got'em fooled into makin you rich while the going is good.
Thanks John McCain.
You let the dogs out.
Well, there's a surprise. Palin's words could have been spoken by other political figures of similar character, like Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad. And no matter how much every sane and civilized person in the world wishes they would shut up, they just won't.
That's okay Sarah. We will just not listen to you.
OK Sarah, you keep yacking., but from 70 % of the possible voters in the USA we have some words for you. you are an unelectable quitter and a no show mother. We will never elect you to a position of merit. Go Away
Keep on talking! You're the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party.
Oh, but Sarah, please DO! You manage to make SO many things about you that are not and your selfish nature is more than most of us can handle. People died. Do you think their families give a rat's rearend about your whiny defense of actions that probably had no bearing on any of these events in the first place? My guess is that they aren't thinking about you at all. But the more you open your mouth, the more offensive you seem to become. I can imagine that you'd be upset if your name wasn't mentioned at all. For once, shut your piehole.
Her message? The woman can barely string a sentence together. And other than eternally claiming to be an innocent victim of the big bad mainstream media (ignoring the fact that, as a FOX employee, she IS the mainstream media) I've never been able to find a coherent message in her rantings. They tend to go something along the lines of "Liberal elites...real America...reload...leftist conspiracy...lamestream media...liberal...Ronald Reagan...Alaska." Never in the history of politics has a woman needed a speech writer more.
This is classic Sarah Palin. She can't open her mouth without making herself out to be a victim. People were shot, Sarah. People died, including a nine year old little girl. This is not about you.
If Americans are stupid enough to elect this woman to presidency – I will move out of my country.
After all that has happened, Palin still manages to blame the left for the junk that comes from her mouth.
Let her keep talking! Best thing ever for opposing politicians is to have her on the ticket. She's too stupid and egocentric to see that she's going to ruin her own party.
How relentless does the criticism have to be for her to get the hint and leave politics?
.."... I am not going to sit down. I am not going to shut up,"she said,"because I am an idiot!"
She's technically right. But I wish she'd shut the hell up and let a real leader, such as Ron Paul, lead the Tea Party movement. Her being a figure head is just an embarrassment to everybody.
It is indeed her good fortune that she lives in a country that both values and allows freedom of speech. It is, however, unfortunate that she has neither the finesse or grace to know when it would be in her own best interest to remain quiet.
Sarah Palin for 2012, in the oval office, please
Most people are just so sick of Sarah Palin. Because of all she has said and done, she should sit down and shut up, before the majority of Americans throw up!
You can keep speaking your mind and making a fool of yourself as you do so. That is your right. I have no need to try to disarm you, you do it so well yourself.