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. Brian

    I don't know how many times Sarah Palin is going to put things on the internet that call for the harm and/or assassination of elected officials before she is indicted???!!! First "don't retreat, RELOAD".... then she actually puts out a map with GUN CROSS HAIRS on it for every district where a Democratic congressman or congresswoman voted for the health care reform. The article is right- there are too many Timothy McVeighs out there who carry a deep, twisted hatred of government, and when they see people like Sarah Palin putting cross hairs on a map of the country, something ticks in these deranged people and you get what happened yesterday. Palin should be indicted tomorrow!

    January 9, 2011 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  2. Blakstarn

    When you post and encourage such bile, how can you not except that sooner or later things of this nature will happen. Actually it validates the issues. So when tragedy happens don't scurry back into the shadows and speak of how outraged you are that things like this have happen, when this is what you really wanted to happen. It is very sad that people make profit off of situations like this and done have the character to admit it.

    January 9, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  3. Alert Citizen

    Tea Party people have their B's in their throat now. Consequences? Does any one in Palin family know that does that mean? they are l"earn from the experience and then forget "kind!

    January 9, 2011 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  4. joyost

    When you use suggestive violent speech, wink- wink, you are responsible when OTHERS act . When you shout "kill them", and someone does, you can't say you're not part of it. It's inciting others to do violence. Blood is on your hands even though you weren't there, you did'nt fire the gun yourself.

    January 9, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  5. me me me

    Palin should be arrested!

    January 9, 2011 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  6. rusty155

    This Is why Saran Palin Is UNQUALIFIED and shouldn't be able too run for any PUBLIC OFFICE of any kind. If she wasn't just a big IDIOT she should have know putting cross hair on people, they may be sick people out their that may try too do It. Someone In Politics should NOT HAVE SAY anything like that to begin with.

    January 9, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  7. Pickle

    Maybe, just maybe, we should lock Sarah Palin up for inciting violence.

    January 9, 2011 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  8. Mattski

    I guess the crosshairs over Giffords' face don't seem like such a good idea now. Who didn't see something like this coming? Time to rachet back the hate-talk. We're all American's.

    January 9, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  9. Larry Bradenton, FL

    Finally...the demise of Sarah Palin!

    January 9, 2011 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. denisey58

    The shooter had no history with Palin...was not her supporter...was not part of the conservative movement or the Tea Party movement. If fact he was liberal........and didn't our president , the most liberal presodident ever, say ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’
    Wake up liberal media.........and wasn't the judge appointed by Bush? Are there any true journalists left in America?

    January 9, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. Lorna

    Sarah Palin's condolences and prayers are a travesty....she and Beck and Limbaugh incite this type of behavior with their thoughtles words and insinuations. They will try to mitigate it and say oh it's just a figure of speech but it IS NOT! What are the connotations in Palins world for "salvo" and "cross-hairs"? Just when I thought I couldn't find her any more dispicable...low and behold....

    January 9, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  12. Ed Coyne

    In the first moments after the shooting, the left-wing blogs were on fire, blaming the shooting on "right-wingers", Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. However, when the facts came out that the shooter was actually "pretty left-wing", as described by people who know him, they shifted the blame to "vitriol" and "violent speech" from the right, obviously because "left-wing nut job" didn't fit their agenda.

    I have news for them; The shooter's name is not "Vitriol". It's "Jared Lee Loughner", a crazed, left-wing nut job. Suggestion: Have a shred of integrity.

    January 9, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  13. Stephanie Fries

    Out of respect for Gabrielle Giffords and the many people who lost loved ones and the shock that myself and others in Tucson are feeling.....PLEASE DO NOT give the former Gov of Alaska any press regarding this. You people are unbelievable.

    January 9, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  14. tcalder

    It's in no way new that mentally unstable people are influenced by political rhetoric that uses violent language and metaphor. Not new. Not at all. We should know better. Speeches and warnings were made and given in 2008 that I vividly recall – and still it continued. I am sure I am not alone in, sadly, not being surprised by this. IF this incident changes that kind of language (as violent deaths in the past have temporarily), I can only hope that this time it is a permanent change. Although history shows us otherwise, let's try. Media, politicians, individuals, we all share the responsibility.

    We all control our own vocabulary, and the symbols we use – at least that.

    So, let's try.

    January 9, 2011 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  15. Johnny

    This is a misleading article. It mentions a history between the shooter and Palin, but then no actual history is mentioned in the article, other than the shooter used one of Palin's maps. Judging from the rantings of this guy, he would have just as easily shot Palin or any other politician.

    January 9, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. Gil

    If this doesn't bring forth the rage and absolute disgust for Pathetic Palin and the teabuggers then nothing will. Have we become so hateful and Unchrsitian to let these people, with their ignorance and stupidity have a place in politics and American life? If we have then America can go to?

    January 9, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  17. Mfjan

    Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Russ Limbaugh should be man up and take responsibility for this shooting because they are the one who indirectly inspired these mad, angry people to man up to shoot.

    January 9, 2011 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  18. Pam Geurink

    That title "history with palin, tea party is misleading. Everyone in politics makes comments about one another during campaigns. This is a nothing story, a non-story, if you will. Don't inflame anyone else with any more of these exaggerated writings.

    January 9, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. jeff

    Sadness , complete sadness

    January 9, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  20. Maryellen

    With all the hate flying around this was bound to happen, what a horrible tragedy and shame on those that would contribute to inflaming the American public and setting these unbalances individuals off.

    January 9, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  21. wgf

    What a terrible tragedy this is. I feel so sad for all the families involved.

    I wonder whether Palin's bravdo will allow her to continue to talk about "reloading".

    January 9, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. David

    And what do the political, religious and media hate-mongers expect? (Yes, Fox News, I mean you). Get people fired up with, "this group or that group is responsible for your problems and needs to be eliminated"...and this is what you get.

    Hitler did it with the Jews and so America goes, it seems.

    January 9, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |

    The others targeted by Palin and her loyal, fanatical, cookoo-clock Palin-nuts need to hire bodyguards as soon as they can.

    January 9, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  24. Kanoodle

    It is not just Palin's rhetoric. It is Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity, Tea Party... They are all
    creating fear and they feed the delusional. The unstable people read more into what the right extremists say and they
    believe what they say is a call to take violent action. The Fox Network and the Tea Party are pushing the paranoia and fear.This was bound to happen. I feel so bad for what happened to the innocent people.

    January 9, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  25. Jeff In Ohio

    CNN might want to mention Palin has scrubbed her Facebook page of the imagery. To late, the Internet never forgets.

    January 9, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
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