Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday night provided the nation with her definition of “blood libel” and defended her initial response to criticism of her map that featured the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in crosshairs. The map was released almost a year before the shooting that nearly took Giffords’s life earlier this month.“Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused, or having blood on your hands,” Palin said.
Unlike her aide, Palin admitted that the map was meant to show crosshairs, but pointed out that it had a long historical context.
“Well, that map wasn’t an original graphic. In fact, for many, 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 whom they believed would represent the constituents’ will better than incumbents,” Palin said. “That’s what this map represented. And the graphic we used was crosshairs targeting the different districts. That’s not original. Democrats have been using it for years.”
While claiming that no political figure was responsible for influencing alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner, Palin also claimed he was “perhaps even left-leaning.”
Palin also claimed that the video she posted online last week wasn’t in self defense, but rather “it was defending those who were falsely accused.”
Like the conservatives who targeted the memorial service in Tucson, Palin also criticized the way people in Arizona mourned, though the memorial was organized by the University of Arizona and not the White House.
“I agree with those who have said that the setting was a bit bizarre, it was kind of like a pep rally, kind of like a campaign stop and that was unfortunate because that really did, the setting, distract away from the message, and the message is, as I prefaced my comments with today, the number one thing to remember here is lives were lost, people were injured by a crazed gunman that I and you and others had nothing to do with influencing him,” Palin said.