Ex-governor defends controversial remarks

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Fox’s Sean Hannity show that her use of the term “blood libel” referred to those “falsely accused of having blood on their hands” and is not at all an anti-Semitic slur.

Publicly defending herself for the first time against criticism following the Tucson, Ariz., shootings, Palin said that she used the term to describe comments made by those who falsely tried to link conservatives to the assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Some Jewish groups strongly protested her use of the term, which historically was used to accuse Jews of using blood of Christians in religious rituals.

“I think the critics again were using anything that they could gather out of that statement,” she said. “You can spin up anything out of anybody’s statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement.”

Politico reporter Andy Barr tells KNX 1070 Palin’s defense was bizarre in more ways than one.

Palin, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, said the criticism won’t stop her from speaking out and accusing Democrats of taking the country in the wrong direction.

“They can’t make us sit down and shut up,” she said.

Palin said her political action committee’s use of crosshairs to identify targeted congressional districts for Republican pickups was not original and has been used by Democrats. As she spoke, a Democratic map was shown on the screen with circular targets of districts Democrats wanted to win.

The former governor said the crosshairs graphic was taken down by the PAC’s hired graphic artist after the criticism began. “I don’t think that was inappropriate,” she said

The shooting on Jan. 8 killed six and wounded 13, including Giffords. Her district was among those in the Palin site’s crosshairs.

Palin insisted that she has “repeated over and over my condemnation of violence.” She said she was frustrated that conservatives who responded to false accusations -blaming them for the shootings – have become part of the story.

Asked why she was singled out for criticism, Palin, speaking from her hometown of Wasilla, said, “I know that a lot of those on the left hate my message and they will do all they can to stop me because they don’t like the message.”

Palin added, “I receive a lot of death threats. My children do.”

The former governor said she supported calls for civility in politics but added, “we should not use an event like that in Arizona to stifle debate.”

Asked what she thought of Obama’s speech at a memorial for the victims, Palin said, “I thought there were parts of it that really hit home that all of us can hold onto and live out.”

Palin received lower marks for her handling of the tragedy from more Americans than President Barack Obama did, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday found.

Nearly 8 in 10 of those surveyed gave Obama high marks for his response, and 71 percent of Republicans approved of Obama’s leadership after the shootings, the Post reported. About 30 percent of those polled approved of Palin’s response; among Republicans, her positive marks rose to 56 percent.

More than half of those polled said the tone of the country’s political discourse didn’t contribute to the shootings.

The poll of 1,053 adults, conducted by telephone Jan. 13-16, had a margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage point

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. jujubee1 says:

    What more can this person do to prove just how ignorant she is?! Please, GOP, please please please run her in 2012!!

  2. FAILIN' PALIN says:

    Sarah Palin’s message is hated because she is ignorant. Nothing intelligent comes from her mouth. Now she says she wont shut up? Why am I not surprised?
    Palin did not cause the shooting in Arizona, but she contributed with her vitriolic rhetoric. I don’t comprehend why the tea party endorses and puts their money behind this obviously uneducated trash-talking loud mouth!
    The tea party will continue to defend and stand by this piece of work…but obviously all the money the tea party backers purport to have CANNOT buy class!

  3. PL says:

    2010: In her Elmer Fudd accented Repudiate, she created refudiate
    2011: she redefines Blood Libel
    How does that saying go?
    If she had a brain she would be dangerous

  4. StrangeBedfellows says:

    Funny, people are generally bullied by those that frighten them.

    Must be some of you are really afraid of her.

    And most of yoy would be the LOUDEST at screaming about their free speech rights if you were told to shut up.

    1. FAILIN' PALIN says:

      Free speech is not the issue. However, freedom of speech should neither impinge on others rights nor should freedom of speech cause harm or allude to violence. It is quite obvious that Sarah Palin is uneducated, a college drop out…and it is clearly evident!

      I am not frightened by Palin in the least…I simply marvel at her sheer stupidity and those who buy her garbage.

  5. todd says:

    Telling lies hinders true discourse (Sarah Palin is not a college drop out).

    So too does your hate speech. Wise up.

  6. FAILIN' PALIN says:

    Hate speech is what Sarah Palin pushes best. I am merely making an observation that MANY agree with. You sir, are in the minority.

    However, you are absolutely right on one thing: Sarah Palin is not an actual college drop out, she just college hopped her way to a degree. I think THAT bolsters just how impulsive she really is and inevitably that impulsiveness spills over into her public speaking opportunities. Perhaps barely college educated, but NOTHING to show for it!

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