Palin: 'I am not going to shut up'
January 17th, 2011
10:08 PM ET
3 years ago

Palin: 'I am not going to shut up'

(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.


Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. TCVAN

    OK, so she's not going to shut up. Then how about not giving her a voice, starting with you CNN?

    January 17, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. sharon

    She wouldn't say that she wouldn't use a crosshairs map; she wouldn't say she'd tone down her rhetoric, and she was misleading people when she talked about the Democrats having maps similar to hers. They don't.

    She will not accept that her language is not civil, and that her rhetoric is mean, cruel and unwarranted.

    And she didn't mention any of the victims by name. It would appear she is more preoccupied with her being a victim.

    This interview has put the lid on her "career".

    January 17, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. trainspot

    really, it's for your own good.

    January 17, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. CoonDog

    Palin you just don't know when to shut up. You are playing to a small base of Replubicans which is getting smaller every minute.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. teamtrek

    Mrs. Palin doesn't have to shut up, and the rest of us don't have to listen. I guess it all evens out.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Clay Wood

    She may not be going to "shut up", but smart Americans can shut her off.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. ALexander

    Seriously Palin, if you would just shut up, the spotlight wouldn't be on you all the time.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. chris

    I think the dems are counting on her not shutting up.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. Ken B

    Once Palin stops hiding and actually talks to all of the news media, all of Americans, she will realize that she cannot engage in polical debate wihtout having her mouth get in her trouble that she cannot explain away with selective media contact. Blood libel is clearly derogatory and offensive to many people, as is the use of crosshairs on political figures' images. She needs to learn diplomacy, and sensitivity to issues that affect us all. I suppose that if she runs for the Presidency and wins (god forbid!) she can always just quiz the office after a couple years again,when yet another job gets too tough for her because she has to face everyone in the country instead of only sympathizers.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. wpate

    I am not on the left, but I think I'm right...I know you that "just because everyone's done it" that that makes it right. So stop acting like a "middle-schooler" and please do not talk unless you have something good to say.

    January 17, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Jack

    Political future......evil lady go away.....

    January 17, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. SF moderate

    If she isn't going to sit down and shut up then someone should so it for her!

    January 17, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. jsutton

    I'm sorry to hear that.

    January 17, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Mona

    I just wish she would put a sock in it! She doesn't have anything constructive to say, just, babble, babble, & more babble!
    She's only in it for the money bottom line. Just say for one crazy moment that she did become president (oh God, I can't
    believe I even said that) how long do you think she would last? She would quit in a heart beat! Please Ms.Palin, could you
    just return to Alaska & enjoy your family, I think they would really love it if you were there 24/7.

    January 17, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. MDS in AK

    That's just a pity for us Alaskans. Voted for her once as our governor; never EVER again.

    Hope you folks in the '48 don't think we're cut from the same cloth she is– I'm sure as heck not.

    From this disgusted Alaskan vet.

    January 17, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Meaty Portion

    Will you people just stop interviewing her?

    January 17, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Beverly

    Go Ahead. Keep Babbling Ms. Crosshairs Palin. We won't shut up either!

    January 17, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  18. Turnedoffbypolitics

    No one should be offended by what this lady she has no intelligence so we should not be surprised what comes out of her mouth

    January 17, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. Q

    If there ever was any doubt about Palin, it has surely removed. What a LOSER!

    January 17, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  20. A CNN Reader

    Sure would be nice if you would ... We ARE NOT voting for you Palin... or any of your Palinittes... so back off and get lost...

    January 17, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Fart

    Maybe we'll all get lucky and she'll leave office half way through if she is elected by dim wits.

    January 17, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  22. Stanley

    "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.

    Ms Palin, please name one...I know you can name just one Democrat that used the crosshiar in an ad.

    January 17, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  23. Mr. Moderate

    Once again,she plays the victim. OK Sarah, can you cite one specific instance of a Democrat using a gun sight on a map? How about "don't retreat, reload"? And given that you are employed by the owner of the Wall Street Journal, I don't really see them using the term as an excuse for your use of it. It was probably the same writer anyway. An just what is your message?

    January 17, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. mom2homer

    Oh well. 'Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

    January 17, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. amit

    Amazing. The lady has a natural at keeping media focus on herself. She's gauranteed to make a lot of money for herself.

    January 17, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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