Giffords had history with Palin, Tea Party
January 8th, 2011
11:43 PM ET
9 years ago

Giffords had history with Palin, Tea Party

(CNN) - As of Saturday, Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' name appeared on a website titled "take back the 20" as part of a list originally issued by Sarah Palin of vulnerable House Democrats. A map on the site showed crosshairs over the contested Democratic districts.

Palin first posted the list in March 2010, naming 20 House members who voted for health care reform and represented districts that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona won in the 2008 presidential election.

The post read, "We'll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington," and was accompanied by a map with targets over the districts.

At the time, Giffords responded to the map by saying on MSNBC that her long-serving colleagues had "never seen anything like it."

"The thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district," Giffords said in March. "When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

After Giffords was shot in Tuscon, Arizona, Saturday, Palin responded on her Facebook page:

"My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shootings in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

At a press conference Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik criticized people who are making a living off "inflaming the American public."

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," Dupnik said. "Unfortunately, Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

And Saturday's tragedy was not the first time the Arizona Democrat was targeted. The day after she voted in favor of health care reform, a glass panel at her Tucson office was shattered.

Giffords won a close race against Republican Jesse Kelly in November. Kelly was a Tea Party favorite who ultimately received 47 percent of the vote to Giffords' 49 percent. The Republican-leaning 8th district went for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer responded to the events Saturday by saying the group is "shocked and saddened" by the "terrible tragedy."

"These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are especially grievous when committed against our elected officials. Spirited debate is desirable in our country, but it only should be the clash of ideas," Kremer said in a statement. "An attack on anyone for political purposes, if that was a factor in this shooting, is an attack on the democratic process. We join with everyone in vociferously condemning it."

Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords • Sarah Palin
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. grrace

    What can I say, ever since the Palin HIT List , I saw this coming.

    January 8, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  2. JJ

    Shame on Sarah Palin, she has the blood of a much better woman than her on her hands. How many more template "messages of condolence" does she have, ready to send out? One for each of the other 19 of her targets? And the people defending her actions ought to be so ashamed of themselves. I will predict right now that this is the end of the Tea Party, and certainly the end of Sarah Palin's ambitions to be anything other than a hateful dingbat.

    January 8, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. victor J

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander... I hope Sarah Palin reaps what she has sown

    January 8, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  4. David c.

    Just wait. Fox News and Palin will denounce all of this an unrelated to their vitriol, just like they did when Dr. Tiller was murdered after O'Reilly said it was okay to murder abortion providers.

    January 8, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. me

    We show our disdain in America with a ballot box; not with bullets. Condolences to the families and also to the shooter's parents. This very likely isn't what they dreamt of for their son.

    January 8, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. John

    Old Chinese proverb: Those who profit from inflammatory political rhetoric pay when unstable crazies listen.

    January 8, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. joe

    I think the moment, the Tea Party formed, we all realized where this was leading and we did nothing. CNN, Fox and every media outlet is to blame for having the craziest of the crazy on and letting them spew their garbage. That is not objective journalism, its a rubber stamp journalism. As well as the public for drinking the Kool Aid. I am very curious to see who this second gunmen is. I hope AZ has a death penalty and a good prosecution team. My thoughts and prayers to the victims.

    January 8, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  8. Rob

    Sarah Palin and the rest of her gang need to be tried for murder. She and her gang are partly responsible for this tragedy. Why in this world anyone listens to this nutbag is beyond comprehension.

    January 8, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  9. RDM

    Way to go Sarah! No you didn't pull the trigger but you whip these idiots into a frezy to do these dumb things and then have the nerve to send your condolenses? Very presidential Sarah......

    January 8, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. Aubrey

    How about background on the ACTUAL murderer. Does he have any ties/made any statement on support of Palin/Beck/Tea Party? No no and no. Quite the opposite, as if it matters. 6 people are dead and many more injured, and the Sheriff, CNN and many others use this tragedy as an opportunity to make false and inflammatory remarks about a political rival. You do a great disservice to victims of this horrific event and the American people looking for honest reporting. I suppose sensationalism sells, but shame on you nonetheless.

    January 8, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. twiddly

    There's blood on your hands now, Palin.
    Thanks to the fanatical angry rhetoric from you and Beck and Rush and Hannity etc.

    January 9, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  12. Truthseeker

    Sarah Palin, you have blood on your hands.

    January 9, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. Jeff in DC

    Sarah Palin is America's version of Muqtada al-Sadr.

    January 9, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. Squigman

    My heart breaks for the victims of this heinous act. My heart breaks because of the violence in our nation. My resolve is to look beyond the present, and attempt to make the place where I live a little better. If this means turning my back on the rhetoric, and hate filled extremist, then so be it. It's time for common sense to take center stage, and for those who attempt to insight violence, either through radio or television to be held accountable, then punished accordingly.

    January 9, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  15. Jake

    Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Fox News, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh all have blood on their hands today. They preach hate to stupid people and this is what happens.

    January 9, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  16. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    Well, though Sarah Palin got her Second Amendment solution, the shooter cannot really be thought of as belonging to any side. His youtube video is the rantings of a true whack-job, filled with repeated examples of the same really lame fallacious logic, and obsessed with the government's evil use of . . . grammar. Not a major talking point of either side. He likes guns and does not like god – again, not fitting into any existing approach.

    Just a kid with massive sanity issues.

    January 9, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  17. Warren

    The right wing has lost its mind, I'm sorry. Yes that left wing had its share of retards during the Bush administration but none of them killed children. This country is being taken over by ultra-conservative lunatics and it's fucking scary.

    January 9, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  18. teacher in california

    for a year people have warned that sarah palin was guilty of incitement to violence. now it's happened. arrest palin now!!

    January 9, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. Mike

    This is an extremely sad incident and my prayers are with the congresswoman and her family. This incident should be a wake up call to all of the politicians that have in the past election insinuated violence as a means to bring about political change.

    January 9, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. Dianne, IL

    While we can't blame Palin for that sick person's actions,we can blame her for her idiotic rhetoric and her violent themes.

    January 9, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. Paul M

    Id like to trade my sherrif Arpaio for this Dupnik guy. He has a much clearer understanding of what the real danger in Arizona is.

    January 9, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  22. lina

    my prayers are with the victims

    January 9, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  23. sonny c.

    Of course all of these self-proclaimed patriots bear no blame-like Pontious Pilate, they have clean hands.

    January 9, 2011 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  24. geno marcello

    this is a tragic moment in u.s. history. i hope and pray it won't occur again to other elected and appointed representatives of federal and state government. but the leaders of this country need to realize that many people are disturbed deeply by the representation they are receiving. millions of americans are without work and many many citizens have seen their retirement funds and hopes for the future vanish because of inept or corruptt representation by our elected politicians. the people we send to office must do a better job. we need to build a safer, more civil nation where everyone gets a chance to be heard, and when horrible incidents like this are a thing of the past.

    January 9, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  25. Elizabeth

    Another instance of Sarah Palin saying something stupid. She offered her CONDOLENCES to the family of Gabrielle Giffords? Giffords is alive, not dead!

    January 9, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
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