(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.
Watch out America, she's not going to shut up! God help us and this country from "It's All About Me"!!
I couldn't resist the blank comment section.Maybe we leave it that way she will get the Hint and go away.
Her opinion has been registered and logged and deemed to be completely useless. Next contestant please.
I wish someone would ask Palin if she goggled Rep. Giffords name after she heard about the shooting. I goggled that morning to learn about Rep. Gifford. It took about a minute to connect Palin's map and the gun sight. Huff had over 6,000 posting about the map when it was released in March. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is on the internet saying that the map is despicable. The victim Rep, Gifford on the internet back in March after her office was damaged. She expressed her concern about being targeted with gun sight.
Palin and her supporters sound absurd playing innocent.
After GW Bush I thought I'd never see another politician as gifted at butchering the English language but apparently I was mistaken. I don't know how they did it, but the Republicans have come up with another one. Can anyone decypher this for me?
"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 to whom they believe would represent the constituents' will better than the incumbent,"
i hope that she is the republican candidate for president. because you can't run for president and only speak to the public via your facebook account and fox news.
Hit em where it hurts, Sarah! While I'm not a fan of yours myself, no one should be told to sit down and shut up and no one should have to be subject to character assassinations. Oh my...did I just commit some heinous "rhetoric crime" by saying that? So sorry.
She says that the Democratic Party has been using cross-hair maps against their opponents for years? I challenge her or anyone else who might believe that to come up with a reference to one. As for blood-libel, I think that she once again used a phrase that she knew nothing about , then had to scramble to find a way for it to mean something. She is entitled to her opinions though why anyone else would want to hear them evades me, but lies are not opinions they're just lies.
She is not Presidential material. She is not in high school, trying to be miss popular. This is President of the United States. She definitely is not clicking to think she has the intelligence and education to be president.
sure she is not going to shut up till we pay her to shut up.
She doesn't have a second chance.Give it up Palin.You cooked your own goose!
She's just too stupid to know her 15 minutes are up.
Sarah- I am not asking you to "shut up." What I am asking is for you to put more thought into what you ask of your followers. For example, during the election, you directed people to confront those with Obama stickers. Also, your "paling around with terrorist" statement brought out the crazies. Do to some incidents reported in the news and with you inciting crowds, I was afraid to have an Obama sticker on my vehicle. In fact, I really thought Obama would be killed before the election ever took place. My elderly in-laws were afraid to say to their church congregation that they supported Obama. To do so would mean that they were going to "hell" and they would not be welcomed at their own church. In my opinion, that is not American. Please learn how to discuss the issues as you will not be elected as President by inciting hate. It seems that McCain put you out there to rile the masses and you seem to still be playing that role. You can stop that behavior!!
Good for you; you've had the target on your back since 2008 from the Left, and you'll have one on your back seemingly forever from teh Left.
Palin for President (2012)
When we tell you to 'shut up', we are only saying this for your own good.
I am a Republican, and I want you to SHUT UP already! LOL
Think of all the ribbing Dan Quayle took just for spelling potato incorrectly. This woman makes him look like Einstein- a feat that seemed unimaginable.
That's too bad... I was hoping that she would sit down and shut up. Oh well, one can dream...
I wish she would go back to Alaska and just shut up can't stand her
Dear Sarah, continue your talk...utlimately you will destroy yourself...take care
Please don't shut up. Every time you open your mouth your poll numbers drop.
Poor Sarah.............She is always the victim. And, I hope she doesn't shutup. Eventually no one will admit ever backing her for anything. No one will admit ever buying her books. No one will ever admit paying her to speak or paying to see her speak.
If Palin was a liberal, there would be no controversy. Givem Hell Sarah!
Keep talkin', Sarah. Keep building the case for anybody else as a better Presidential choice.
"I'm Not Going To Shut Up!"
This is sad news. I wish she would reconsider.