Sarah Palin Denies Connection Between Her Target Map and Tucson Shootings
Sarah Palin is denouncing speculation that her rhetoric made an impression on the disturbed man who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She e-mailed with conservative host Glenn Beck, who read part of their exchange on his radio show.
Beck read from an e-mail he sent to the former governor: "There are nutjobs on all sides. Terror is terror. I don't care if it's for Allah or your party. You are not a freedom fighter. You're a killer."
Palin is under fire over a map which was posted on Palin's website in 2010 at the height of election fever. It shows crosshairs that target members of Congress in 20 districts, including Gabrielle Giffords's in Arizona.
"We know violence isn't the answer. When we take up our arms we're talking about our vote," Palin said in 2010.
Palin spoke out about the map controversy when she campaigned with John McCain in Gabrielle Gifford's home district in Tucson.
"This B.S. coming from the lamestream media about us inciting violence. Don't let the conversation be diverted," she said, to a cheering crowd.
That same week Giffords's Tucson office was vandalized. The congresswoman raised the issue of Palin's crosshairs map on MSNBC last March. Her words are now haunting:
"We are on Sarah Palin's targeted list. But the thing is, that the way she has it depicted is in the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action," she said.
Palin has repeatedly denounced acts of violence in her public appearances.
"Don't retreat, reload. And that is not a call for violence!" she once said.
Just hours after Saturday's attack, the crosshairs map was removed from her website.
A key Palin aide, Rebecca Mansour, spoke out on her behalf today.
"Where I come from, the person that's actually shooting is the one that's culpable. You know, we have nothing whatsoever to do with this," Mansour said.
Coincidentally, Bristol Palin moved to Arizona the same day as the massacre.
The former Dancing with the Stars contestant is reportedly planning to attend Arizona State University.