March 25th, 2010
04:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin 'has been vocal about condemning violence,' aide says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="An image on Sarah Palin's Facebook page featuring crosshairs on certain Democratic districts is causing an uproar ."]Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin's team is fighting back against some Democratic claims that the former Alaska governor is encouraging threats of violence against members of Congress who voted in favor of health care reform.

Democratic officials and liberal Web sites are upset that Palin used an image of crosshairs in a Facebook post this week listing 20 vulnerable Democrats who voted for the legislation. She plans to target them this election year with money from her political action committee.

One House member mentioned the Facebook posting during a Wednesday meeting on safety concerns, a Democratic source told CNN's Dana Bash. Mention of the map brought audible groans to the room, the source said.

Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine released a sharply-worded statement Wednesday night accusing several Republican leaders, including Palin, of inciting dangerous behavior.

"Republican leaders are themselves engaging in actions and rhetoric that previously would have been limited to fringe elements of the Republican Party," Kaine said. "Sarah Palin has invoked health care 'death panels' and has now placed gun sights on 20 Members of Congress who supported reform."

An adviser to Palin responded by pointing to several instances in which the former Alaska governor has urged supporters to focus their energies on civil debate and action at the ballot box - not extremist activities.

"We are now the keepers of an honorable tradition of conservative values and good works," Palin said at the national Tea Party Convention in Nashville last month. "We must never forget that it is a sacred trust to carry these ideas forward. It demands civility and it requires decent, constructive, issue-oriented debate."

The adviser also noted that Palin spoke out last year after the murder of abortion provider George Tiller in Kansas, writing on her PAC Web site that "violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message."

"Its good that she finally agrees with the Democrats on something," the adviser told CNN. "[House Majority Whip] Jim Clyburn said that silence equals consent, and in this matter she agrees, which is why she has been vocal about condemning violence."

Sen. John McCain, who tapped Palin as his running mate during his 2008 presidential bid, defended Palin's Facebook posting on NBC's "Today Show" Thursday.

"I have seen the rhetoric of targeted districts as long as I've been in politics, please," McCain said. "Any threat of violence is terrible but to say there that there is a targeted district or that we reload or go back into the fight again, please, those are fine, they are used all the time."

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. J.R. Wilding

    If you title something Hit list what do you expect to happen. Americans watch too much TV, have too little education and know to little about this individuals, only what FOX or CNN tell them to think. This is what the real tragedy is. Americans, please think for yourselves and study the issues, don't allow policy wonks to dictate your thoughts. Please.

    March 25, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. D

    good for economy even if it is coming from losers, matter of fact, Palin and your PAC should make goal of defeating every democrat reps running for election and reelection it is patriotic thing to do.

    March 25, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Lisa in Costa Rica

    Crosshairs on her website, "don't retreat, reload" comments and Palin says she has been vocal about condemning violence?

    Know what the difference between Sarah Palin and a used car salesman is?

    The used car salesman knows when he is lying.

    March 25, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. IndyAmerican

    This is another asinine attack on Sarah Palin! She used a metaphoric comment about aiming for these seats in the election in the fall and a metaphoric comment about the election being a fight. To reinforce these analogies she used the target symbol.

    March 25, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Mike in NJ

    Perhaps Ms. Palin should go on TV again to explain her stance. (On a non-Fox station) – It could be educational to her supporters.

    March 25, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Nancy

    I saw McCains interview and it was terrible. He looked as if he was laughing about the threats. The words he used in describing the health care reform and the Democrats was horrible. No wonder people on the edge go after people, it is hearing this type of language from McCain that gives them an excuse to target people. It is time for McCain to retire. I hope the voters in Arizona vote him out of office. The Republicans also talk as if all of America is against heath care reform. More Americans are for it than against it.

    March 25, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Bob in Pa.

    Hes looking at me mommy, make him stop.
    Give me a break! Stop being a bunch of crybaby victims
    You all know exactly what was meant by them and they don't encite anybody to violence.

    March 25, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Sarah

    Out of one side of her mouth it is..."Don't Retreat...Reload" and instead of sticking pins in a map she uses crosshairs, then her aides have the gall to say she has been vocal about condemming violence? Which is it? It cannot be both. I think they want us to lose another President. I think they hope for it. The Republican Party created this creature and it would be the right thing for them to stop their demagoguery and tone down the lies, the hate.

    March 25, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Michael

    I'm really, really, really questioning her sanity.

    March 25, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. lucy2

    Are we surprised? This is the politician who never said a word during her campaign rallies when really terrible things were said.
    She may thing her bang bang wink wink approach is cute and folksy, but when real threats are being thrown, you have to use a little common sense.
    Poor McCain is stuck defending her forever now to save political face since he chose her for VP.

    March 25, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. David Dee

    Sarah Palin is SOOOOO entertaining, and not much else

    March 25, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. grammy11

    She is targeting people, not just areas. This is an attempt to commit murder as far as I'm concerned. Telling her followers to reload and follow her targets is telling them to shoot the people she named. Where is the FBI in this? If you or I told someone to load their gun and name people with a scope sign on their area, we'd be in jail..

    March 25, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Horse Manure

    Palin is full of it. She hasn't denounced any of this. At least I haven't heard her say a thing. Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn were absolutely correct in their statement when they said "some" people should know better. Obviously, Sarah doesn't. Well unlike congressmen/women, she's a private citizen now. She needs to watch her back!

    March 25, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. tony

    What's new she did it during the campaign, and her intention was to create racial divide in this country, and that still is her intention what a bimbo.

    March 25, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. MnMary

    Words and images like this are powerful. While the instigators (Palin and other Republicans) may think this is just "harmless war-talk" rhetoric, there are many people who may take this literally. Very irresponsible of these so-called "leaders" to throw that kind of language around so carelessly. And, by the way, there is no such thing as "no communication" - the lack of speaking out against the violence equates to tacit approval of it. Shame on you!!!!

    March 25, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans better rein in John McCain. In their attempt to denounce the violence and threats McCain agrees with Palin.

    March 25, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Eyckie

    I think that if one of those people on Palin's 'Hit List' gets hurt she should be charged for it.

    Nothing like giving the gang-baggers more targets to shoot at!

    March 25, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. q

    it is okay just make sure you do the right thing you are a very powerful motivational speaker otherwise no one would of listened to you so know that if you break it you can fix it

    March 25, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. annie s

    Sorry, but "death panel" Sarah is clearly inciting violence – just like she did on the campaign trail against Mr. Obama. And John McCain will end his once admirable political career groveling in the gutter alongside her.

    March 25, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. cindy ex-republican SINCE MCCAIN PICKED PALIN

    Baloney!!!! She smirked the most evil smirk I have ever seen during the campaign when she stirred the crowds up to yell "kill him" referring to President Obama. And either she id dumber than ANYONE has said and does not know her recent comments can be misunderstood or she is a coniving, evil, hate filled woman. Sarah, the Bible says blessed be the peace makers. You also said GOD will put the right President in office, but yet you critsize him every chance you get and keep the hate going. You and the Republicans will have this all backfire in your faces. We Americans are too smart to let you ruin our country.

    March 25, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Kevin

    To my conservative friends. I am sorry for you and our country that Ms. Palin is the "keeper" of your honorable traditions. She does dishonor to these traditions, trashes intelligent, lively debate and demeans the legacies of Reagan, Goldwater and Schaffley. I hope that you can find your true voice and again be part of the great American debate. We can't do it without you. For as much as I support the progressive, liberal agenda, I'm no fool to have forgotten history and realize that even the best ideas go astray or are stunted without a vigorous, intellligent, informed and well-meaning opposition. Your current party is just an opposition, and that is not enough for our great country.

    March 25, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. rdepontb

    Senator McCain-
    "To say that we reload" is fine, in this atmosphere, when there have been numerous death threats, slurs, spitting, vandalism, talk of "Kill the Bill" and those violence-themed posters--you are off your rocker.

    Ms Palin-
    You, with a family that has been in the public far too much-you certainly understand how words can incite, how example can incite. You know this. We know you are more than smart enough to know this. What is causing concern is your willingness to make believe we don't hear you inciting threats and violence, and your continued insistence on spouting divisiveness.

    March 25, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Henry

    When will Republicans stop saying that these kinds of people don't speak for them or just are a tiny part of their "movement"? It is clear that they forment violence through their words. This is a party of disgust. Who do they appeal to? It is sad that there are so many who blindly will pick up their banner of violence. The Republican party does not stand for the regular person. Shame on them.

    March 25, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. badger

    Maybe she could shoot them from a helicopter like wolves.

    March 25, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Mike Mc

    The fact that she even has to encourage her mindless mob not to resort to violence is scary enough

    March 25, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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