(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.
Not going to shut up?
Okay, what's Plan B?
I wish she would go away.
No one "hates" you Sarah. I am not going to listen to your distorted view of US Government based on you obviously limited knowledge of . . . almost everything. I am trying to dismiss you, as you are nothing more than the buzzing of a insect near my ear. Sarah, you have no substance. You are tedious, boring, and really seem never to have grown beyond your Beauty Pagent self importance.
I'm not on the left, I'm a member of the GOP! ...and I wish she would shut up! Until she does, the GOP cannot form a cohesive message for the future that doesn't have her ineptitude attached to it. The New Hampshire Union Leader skewers her on a regular basis, they are a conservative newspaper and they don't like her either and for good reason. This woman has been given a platform to speak from and she doesn't have the intellect to carry it through, she couldn't even stay in her single term as Governor.
I cant believe there are americans who actually voted for this redneck from Alaska and the Republicans wanted her as vice president.
I hope Sarah doesn't 'shut up',.. I like to laugh
Sarah, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE run for president. American deserves and needs to have President Obama for two terms.
GOP, it's going to be sixteen years of winter for your party.
Keep talking Sarah. The more you talk the more people dislike you. Is this lady always the victim? in her twisted mind, I guess so.
The GOP dug her up, please, make her go away! Her ignorance goes beyond stupidity, she's downright dangerous.
Please don't shut up. I want you to win the GOP nomination...so we can all be saved from Republican insanity for another four years...
"...not going to shut up" Kinda like my neighbor's chihuahua.
why won't this dolt just sit down and go away...
Her crosshairs may have been unjustly linked to the shooting, I'll even concede the point, but her behavior in response was appalling. This woman has no class and her narcissism no bounds.
Oh please, just go away. we don't hate you or your "message"... we just don't agree with you and hate the way you deliver it.
Sara is an entertainer and making a lot of money at it.
Sarah Palin please do us all a favor and "SHUT UP!" We don't want to hear anything you have to say. There's an old record that the legendary singer James Brown had back in the day, entitled "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing!" That should be your campaign slogan if you ever try to get into politics again :-)
Sarah, just ignore the Left and keep on talking. We love your message. The only reason they attack you is because they are afraid of you and your message. You are the only sane voice out there. Don't let them supress you and please run for President on '12!
Please Sarah keep talking baby.HA HA HA LOL.
She is a joke but has a right to say, what ever she wants too.
I do so wish EVERYBODY would shut up for a few months. How wonderfully silent the world would become without pundits and politicians hugging all airtime. If we could only trick the cable networks into putting on live snooker or cricket contests, Americans would lose interest in less than 10 minutes. Bring back the Do-Nothing Party and rename it the Doing No Harm Party or the Just Sittin' Around Party. Anything to dampen the hostility or lessen the aggression. It would be great if someone could hypnotize Congress into amiable inaction. Let this Congress be known as the "The Hell With It" Congress–less harm will likely be done.
Of course she isn't going to make an announcement about her "political future." Her money grabbing is dependent on the
suspense factor: will she or won't she? As long as she doesn't make an announcement, she keeps national attention on herself. And if she were to sit down and shut up, who would pay her a damn penny? She gets paid for being a loud mouth and a trouble maker. Without that going for her she has nothing, and nothing in the bank either. Anyone with a fully functioning brain can see right through this woman.
Please, just shut up!
of course she won't shut up.
why should she cut into her profits?
Keep talking and THEY will keep listening. I hope that is all that THEY will do.
...but, MAN, I wish she would...