(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.
Yes, that's right Sarah. It's all about you.
She is a good business woman. I wish I can pretend to be an idiot like her and make all the money that she makes.
Palin should show some respect but the guilty always say they're innocent and if I was on the jury I'd say she's guilty. She would have depicted a firing squad and would still claim innocence. I hope that she gets a conscience someday. When Ms. Giffords is finally able to speak or write Palin will finally shut up. Those are the consequences of her words and graphics.
Please SARA, don't shut up...every time you make a speech I get a bonus since my boss thinks I look BRIlLIANT in comparison. Anyway, I bet you'll shut up once the FBI asks you about your accessory activities!!!
Sarah please shut up
Well you not shutting up is really a shame and a pain.
Too bad, I wish she would shut up. It's no surprise, tho - she clearly loves the sound of her own voice. Now if only the media would just ignore her...
sarah went on to say "Contract graphic artists will get you everytime. Damm those left wing contract graphic artists!!! Wasn't my fault he picked a rifle sight when I asked him to portray gifford's as one of the "targets". That left leaning graphic artists' rifle sights were only up for months, how should I have known they were on my second-amendment-defending-gun-in-your-face-you-socialist-democrat patriotic facebook site?"
I get Heart Burn when I eat Taco bell at midnight... perhaps some people get heart burn when a loved one is shot?? Sarah Palin has a way with words that makes me miss the days of correct grammar usage such as that of when I was in Kindergarten!
she is getting to much attention, so she will keep her huge mouth going. She is loves the spotlight.
Sarah Palin is just like Beck and Limburger– no matter what the story is, everything is about them.
If she new what was really good for her country she'd let the smart people run it and back away. If she knew what was good for her family she would spend time with them instead of embarrassing them. Her greed is incredible.
Sarah... That was bad!!! Damn it I was looking forward to all the comedy this next summer when you ran for president.
How anybody can like this sarcastic Palin!?She is so unpleseant person
It's a shame that Palin doesn't plan to shup up. Her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard.
She is confusing the issue, people are telling her to shut up, just to think before she speaks.
"I am not going to sit down... I am not going to shut up" There is of course an easy response here that I will avoid. I am not sure Sarah really gets it. I fully support her right to engage in relevant and even controversial discourse. However, she fails to own a new track that would allow her to do just that without hateful and demeaning rhetoric. Leaders who are truly remembered as positive contributors to movements, philosophies and political positions are ones who could make even controversial points with articulate grace. If Sarah truly wishes to become a positive leader, then she must abandon cute phrases and clever derogatory one liners.
Shut up, and sit down.
Sincerely, Planet Earth
Nah, let her continue to speak. Every time she opens her mouth to change feet, the Republicans shudder, the Democrats are gladdened and the country is embarrassed, particularly when viewed from overseas by either travelling Americans or friends and foes, alike.
Poor thing is so full of herself that it is a shame....
I noticed that Hannity never cut her off once during the interview like he normally does people.
All Fluff interview....
However, I bet George H. W. Bush would tell you to "sit down and shut up."
Not going to shut up? What a surprise
By all means, Sarah... keep digging.
That's right, Sarah. Keep talking. The more you open your mouth, the less chance there is of you being in the White House.
I used to get really angry at Sarah Palin. Then I realized that she has a serious illness. It's called stupidity.