(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.
Palin – put a lid on it!
What a surprise, she isnt going to shut up!
Keep up the fight Gov Palin, we got your back.
Oh my god, will she just go away? There is no there and it is becoming increasingly more embarrassing for we Alaskans. Every day.
Can we just gag her? She has stated her case, now it is time for reality.
WOW- She, Sean Hannity, and FixNews are playing the victim role? It is pathetic first of all to see someone who is supposed to be a "National Figure" so polarized! She has no Center offerings to get someone like me to at least come around to nodding my head "North and South"! All she offers is small "far right-wing" "Don't Retreat, Reload" rebel talk! She and Sean sounds ridiculous if they sit and listen to their own conversations; you talk about the "blame game" you are hearing it full blown from them. They should step back and take a look at who is defending and who is being very, very quiet! The REPUBLICAN PARTY wants her gone, not the Democratic Party. The GOP do not like her as a failed Governor or a Leader of the GOP! Get the hint Sara and Sean!
In my opinion, just saying I'm sorry or wrong choice of words or even making it NOT about me is the best way to get one's message across if one's message is important. If one can not do that, then I believe that person is self-centered and self-serving.
I am increasingly dismayed that Dana Loesch, St Louis Tea Party founder, is often featured to provide commentary. Tonight she was particularly absurd. She talks over her opponent and makes ridiculous arguments. I am sure there must be better spokespersons for the conservative perspective out there...well, maybe not.
Sarah Palin cannot speak in a clear and concise manner. She was being 'given' all the questions and still, did not get the main point. As a politician, she was suppose to give all the 'right' answers. In her mind, it was still, all about Sarah. She fits, so completely, the definition of narcissism. She still thinks it is all about her. Since her early, early days, she complained about the 'haters'. Anyone that does not 'love' her is a hater. She has no intention of running, she wants to be in the limelight and make lots and lots of money.
As Americans, we have lost our way. We don't need pathetic "Mama Grizzlies" that lack the most minimal skills or knowledge to lead a state, much less a nation. Out of 300 million people it is sad to think we can't find a few hundred statesmen and stateswomen. If only we had a border fence to keep her locked up in Alaska where she belongs.
Sara – Just put a lid on it – we are SICK and TIRED of your babblings!!!!!!!!
This medocrity does not deserve the attention she's getting.
Where is this woman from? Not the same United States of America who fought for women's rights, civil liberties and freedom of speach? Just because you can speak freely doesnt mean you can speak maliciously
America! We have now come almost full circle. We once fought for freedom from the British and tyranny. It is now time to fight tyranny alone. Did you know that everthing our founding fathers did was illegal, but what the British did was legal. If this sound familiar and you follow Palin you still have not learned the lesson, but,,,,you will and it is coming soon. There are many more illegal people out there who have had enough and we see what politicians and their mouth pieces do. Clean up America! Eliminate the rich by sharing the billions they cannot possibly ever spend and give it to those who need it to survive. Stop the taxes that help pay these unholy political saleries and retirement plans, and those taxes that pay for your friends business from which you (Politician) will receive a portion. Oh, it will not be too visable to the public but as a Senator in Alaska said recently. Whats a few hundred thousand, no one will ever know..........
No one wants you to "shut up". Just be more considerate when choosing your words.
Sarah Palin, please get some help! There has to be something wrong with a person who cannot say – I am so sorry for the victims of these horrific acts and I apologize for anything I may have said or done to contribute to these events. Then and maybe only then people will sit down and shut up – until that happens enjoy tyring to explain all of your stupid comments / actions before and after these shootings.
The Women's Lib Movement has been set back a decade by this arrogant uneducated bear hunter
When is this creature finaly going to shut up...you should shut up, you phony puppet. How much did the Koch pay you for thois never ender non sense rambling....just shut up, sit down and rot.
i really wish she would go away, far
She needs to "shut up". Every time she opens her mouth she hurts her chances at ever having a successful run at the Presidency. Who wants a person who can't think before they speak representing our entire nation? I don't.
jeez Sarah. We'd love to hear your message, but you haven't got one. Being critical isn't a message. It's being trite. How about one good solution to anything. Then we may listen
Like the stubborn child throwing a temper tantrum, "I'm not going to sit down. I'm not going to shut-up". This vile speaking varmit needs to go back to Alaska and hunt caribou for dinner for the family. She is, without a doubt, the most destructive person to come along in politics since Jessie Helms. I reallly wish she would run off to Russia to run for President.
Wow, she's still on this. Move on.
I wish she would shut up.
I wish I could wave a magic wand and send Palin back to Alaska for good. She is the poster girl for complete incompetence. Which makes anybody who follows her is as incompetent as she is. I hope to wake up tomorrow and discover she was just a bad dream.