January 18th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Palin: 'I am not going to shut up'

Alexander Mooney
CNN Ticker Producer

(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."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Connie

    No one is telling her to shut up – she just has to be careful what she says and how she says it. I know that she is very direct, but sometimes things are better left unsaid, and that she has a problem with.

    January 19, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  2. Jackie Fenning

    I feel that some of the rhetoric used by Palin and her colleagues is criminal. I hope every word is being scrutinized, including the hate radio shows. I am certain there are more than just suggestions that the unhinged come after our elected officials with guns. I am thinking about Portland, Oregon circa 1978 and the murder of an Ethiopian man by three white men. A famous white supremacist was ALSO CHARGED though he wasn't there, for writing the book that inspired the three men. Isn't this case very similar and in fact much more criminal?

    January 19, 2011 at 3:27 am |
  3. Patricia

    Keep talking Ms. Palin. The more you talk to stupider you sound. You will defeat yourself.

    January 19, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  4. John Hurd

    Gingrich has it all wrong. Palin needs to be more courageous. She should be saying things like, "Good hunters finish off the wounded animal, with a sharp knife if needed." What could be wrong about such a comment? It doesn't name anyone or any place. It's a general comment about hunters, right? Palin would be a wimp to back down. She should show some backbone and make full use of her right to "free speech." What a dumb statement she made about not having a problem with removing the cross hairs graphics from her site if it was "going to create so much heartburn." (Moron!)

    January 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  5. Connie Rubin

    Palin may not plan to shut up, but that doesn't mean the media has to cover her comments. You can shut her up by ignoring her.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  6. Liz

    I don't think it's a coincidence that she started her video making a point of praising the Christian mass that took place that day (rather than just acknowledging her sympathy for the victims and their families), then tossed in a term known to be representative of hate towards Jews (even in these modern times) and finally go the extra mile to be dismissive of concerns expressed. Sarah Pavlov knows what terms to use to get the desired behavioral response from her base.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  7. Mike Licht

    Former Temp-Governor Palin is entitled to use the phrase "Blood Libel." She can see Israel from her house.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  8. Cindi

    You need to shut up Sara. It is all about you, you and you and we are tired of you, you, you!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  9. William of Iowa

    "I am not going to shut up" – Sarah Palin
    A position reenforced by two panelists given to interruption and loudly talking over one another. Affirms the "gutter" level of discourse this issue, as well as others, has come to.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  10. ed

    Keep talkin' baby. We love every word.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  11. John Moore - PA

    Palin continues to speak in the macho, tough guy style that her followers love. We can all make noise about what is wrong and play to an easily aroused crowd but where are the specifics? When she takes something important like Healthcare and lays out a plan for the public to review I will begin to listen. Until then I will continue to view her as an opportunist lacking in any real smarts.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  12. thomas

    The more she talks, the lower the GOP's chances are in 2012...

    January 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  13. Kim

    Inappropriate and most certaily unsuitable timing for any political nasty rhetoric and Palin caught the blunt of it.There were media reports out of line and let's support the positive for prayer and recovery.Get the whole story and not just one side of it and kinda see why Palin was offended and spoke up.We were all upset seeing this tragedy and it's horrible but be brave and stay positive.Would it have been better for Palin to have said to heck with politics ? People are hurting and have passed away and it's a horrible tragedy that shook up the country. Maybe a good time to ignor the insulting political media and take the high road instead with response and a focus on nothing but those that have lost their lives.Poor timing for politics !

    January 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  14. dom youngross

    If someone who swung back to the right last November isn't already weary with the three-fingers-pointing-back leftists, you will be. Before the end of the year. Reeling from the results of last November's midterms, if they went this low and malicious via spurious accusations so early in advance of the 2012 elections, where else can they go but further downward? Watch as it unfolds, how much more vicious the hypocritical leftists get with Palin.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  15. Denise

    Sarah has nothing to apoligize for.You people need to apologize to her, but that would never happen because you people in the media have no heart and can't admit when your wrong. We all know the liberal media has it in for sarah. No wonder nobody watches your programs.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Johanna

    Wow. I can't even begin to count the number of flaws in Dana's defense of Palin and her disrespect for Cornell is tangible. She has mastered the art of deflection, subject changing yet still maintains her focus as being the forever victim. Wow. I'm disgusted by Dana and Palin. Since when did saying "sorry" become having your head on a platter?

    January 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  17. Donigan Merritt

    What Ms Palin continues to make clear that she doesn't understand is that it's not about "shutting up." That's just the usual victim ploy. What it is about, Ms Palin, is for you to understand that public speech has consequences and that it cowardly to try to back out of the implications of your public speech when you don't like the consequences. If your public pronouncements are meaningless and without influence, then you might as well be quiet, but if you believe that your public pronouncements do influence at least some of your listeners, then you (and every other person with a public speaking platform) need to accept responsibility for the consequences of your impact. If you can't do that, then indeed shut up.

    January 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm |