Sarah Palin defended her response to the Tuscon shootings last night, arguing that her use of the term ‘blood libel’ was appropriate and that she had been unfairly targeted by the mainstream media for her use of a crosshairs map.
“This isn’t about me,” Palin told Sean Hannity in an interview last night, expressing her dismay that the mainstream media had “start[ed] accusing and using such a tragedy for what appeared to be, right off the bat, some political gain,” by connecting her to the shootings “before the facts were even gathered.”
Palin remarked that the crosshairs map was not an “original graphic” and pointed out that Democrats had used similar maps. “I have repeated over and over my condemnation of violence,” she said later in the interview, discussing how violent terms were often used in politics as metaphors for going out to vote.
But Palin also indicated that she was personally aware of the dangers heated politics could pose. “I receive a lot of death threats. My children do,” she said.
Asked about saying ‘blood libel’ in her video message, Palin defended her use of the term. “Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands,” she responded. “In this case, that’s exactly what was going on.”
Expressing concern that liberals were using her as a “diversion,” Palin speculated that there are “many on the left who don’t want, for instance, Congress to buckle down, get back to work.”
Palin argued that her political future wasn’t over. “In a situation we have faced in these past eight days, of being falsely accused of being an accessory to murder, I and others need to make sure that we, too, are shedding light on truth so that a lie cannot continue to live,” she told Hannity. “If a lie does live, then of course your career is over.”
And she touted the importance of not letting calls for civility overshadow the need for vigorous discussion and disagreement. “Yes, we should be respectful, we should be civil,” she said, “but we should not use an event like that in Arizona to stifle debate and that time-honored and cherished tradition that we have in America, being able to respectfully petition our government and protest peacefully and respectfully in order to affect the change that we would like to see in our government.”