Sarah Palin defends and explains the use of the term blood libel during an interview Sunday on the Fox Sean Hannity show.
> HANNITY: And joining me tonight from Wasilla, Alaska, is FOX NEWS
> Contributor Governor Sarah Palin. Governor, welcome back.
> PALIN: Thanks, Sean. Thank you for the opportunity.
> HANNITY: Let's go back to the very beginning, nine days ago, when the
> shooting occurred. Where were you and what were you thinking at the time?
> PALIN: I was in my home, here in Wasilla, and, of course, my first
> thoughts, when I heard of the shooting, was -- and knowing that there
> were deaths, was how absolutely atrocious this was and how evil a person
> would have to be to kill an innocent. And, then, as things unfolded and
> heard, Sean, about the death of an innocent child, a nine-year-old
> child, I thought nothing could be as horrendous as that. And, you know,
> that is the main thing that we need to remember here, even as we proceed
> in our discussion, Sean, is that there are families mourning and we
> mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve. And may
> our prayers cover these families. And may, somehow, as we read in the
> Book of Jeremiah, God touch these families and envelope them in the
> peace that only he can provide. May he turn their mourning somehow,
> supernaturally, into joy.
> HANNITY: Governor, I Googled your name and I put in the words,
> Governor, Sarah Palin Tucson shooting. And it came up nearly 10,000
> times in 10,000 instances where you connected to this. When did you
> first realize you were being connected to this tragedy?
> PALIN: Well, right away, unfortunately, and not just me. And this
> isn't about me. And my response, four days after this horrendous event,
> and in my response I talked about defending those who were innocent, had
> nothing to do with the shooting. And my defense wasn't self-defense, it
> was defending those who were falsely accused.
> I found out right away, because when I started to tuning in to hear,
> well, who did this? And names were not given, but I read my name in the
> reports. And then, I read Rush Limbaugh and, then, soon your name,
> Sean, and Mark Levin, and, soon, Tea Party patriots, and, soon, the
> entire state of Arizona was being falsely accused of somehow being
> accessories to this horrendous, horrendous crime. That is why I was
> puzzled, at first, as to why, before facts were even gathered -- why it
> would be that the mainstream media would start accusing and using such a
> tragedy for what appeared to be, right off the bat, some political gain.
> HANNITY: Yes, I didn't particularly like my profession, what I do
> for a living, being called a merchant of hate by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
> I didn't like it at all, and I responded. And I'm going to get to your
> choice in responding and all that in just a second.
> A lot of these initial stories, Governor, had to do with this map
> that your PAC had put up during the last campaign, and the fact that
> Congresswoman Giffords was one of the people on, quote, "the target
> list," in the crosshairs that were there. What could you tell us about
> this map? And I'll get into more questions after that.
> PALIN: 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 believe would represent the
> constituents' will better than incumbent. And that is what this map
> represented that we used on my PAC. And the graphic that we used was
> crosshairs targeting the different districts. And, again, that's not
> original. In fact, Democrats have been using it for years. In fact,
> Bob Beckel, I believe that he had bragged on your show, Sean, that he is
> the one who invented these crosshairs or these targets. So, you know,
> that came up right away, that, oh, it must be a cause of this horrendous
> evil act of this shooter, that perhaps he saw that map and that incited
> him towards violence, which, of course, is ridiculous. Again, it's not
> an original use of an icon or a graphic.
> HANNITY: Did you or your PAC have this taken off the Web site
> immediately after the shooting? Because that's been bantered about.
> PALIN: You know, I believe that someone in the PAC, in fact, the
> contract graphic artist, did take it down. And I don't think that that
> was inappropriate. If it was going to cause much heartburn and even
> more controversy, I didn't have a problem with it being taken down.
> But screenshots, of course, have been taken of that. And I don't
> know if the Democrats have taken down theirs in these ensuing days, but,
> again, knowing that that had absolutely nothing to do with an apolitical
> or perhaps even left-leaning criminal who killed these innocents and
> injured so many, I didn't have a problem with it being taken down if, in
> fact, it actually has been taken down.
> HANNITY: Governor, you mentioned earlier the DLC has used this. Bob
> Beckel did say this; Pat Caddell, a Democrat, over the years has said
> this -- this is a DLC map we are looking at in the screen here, a bulls
> eye map targeting districts, and it says it right there, targeting
> strategy. All these war analogies. Clintons had a war room. It's very
> common in politics. Why do you think you were singled out and the left
> singled you out in this, Governor?
> PALIN: I know that it isn't about me personally, but it is about
> the message that I am not hesitant at all to spread across this
> country. And that is that our country is on the wrong track. We've got
> to get put back on the right track, and we have to elect those officials
> who can adopt and enact policy to allow us to be prosperous and healthy
> and safe again. And 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.
> But, again, we know that it's not just me. It's all who seem to
> embrace the time-tested truth that helped build our country. They do
> not like to hear that message. And, as many of them have promised to
> do, they'll do what they can to destroy the message and the messenger.
> HANNITY: Yes, during the campaign, we had Joe Manchin, now Senator
> Manchin, and he took a rifle and he fired a bullet right through the cap
> and tax bill. He said, in retrospect, he probably wouldn't do it
> again. In light of this criticism, fair or unfair, in light of the
> events, do you think targeting maps, bulls eyes, et cetera, that they
> should no longer be used in these campaigns, Governor?
> PALIN: You know, I think it's going to be very tough, and I think
> even futile, really, to really start censoring everyone's speech and
> everyone's icons that perhaps they have used traditionally for decades
> in political races and political talk. And, as I say, I believe that
> some of that will be futile. We hear now of this desire, this demand,
> for civility in discussion when it comes to political debate. And
> certainly I agree with the idea of being civil. By definition civil
> means being well-mannered. Yes, we should be respectful, we should be
> civil, 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 effect the change that we would
> like to see in our government.
> HANNITY: What do you think to pundits -- and I know so much has
> been said, as I mentioned, when we Googled you, it's, you know, 10,000
> articles related to the Tucson shooting. And I've got to imagine that
> bothers you. It's -- I guess the question that I am asking here, some
> have suggested, well, this -- that's the end of Sarah Palin's political
> career. Sarah Palin has become radioactive, is a term someone used, for
> example. Do you -- do you -- does this impact you or your political
> future in any way, Governor? Or change you?
> PALIN: Well, on this day, celebrating the legacy and the life of
> Martin Luther King, Jr., we would be well to remember one of his famous
> quotes. He had reminded listeners that a lie cannot live. And I
> believe that not in every situation, it's just going to be providence
> that sheds light on what the truth is. We have to do our part, also.
> So, in a situation like we have just faced in these last eight days
> of being falsely accused of being accessory to murder, I and others need
> to make sure that we, too, are shedding truth -- shedding light on truth
> so that a lie cannot continue to live. Because if a lie does live,
> then, of course, your career is over, your reputation is thrashed and
> you will be ineffective in what it is that you are trying to do.
> So, I will continue to speak out. They're not going to shut me up.
> They're not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party
> patriots or those who, as I say, respectfully and patriotically petition
> their government for change. They can't make us sit down and shut up.
> And if they ever were to succeed in doing that, then our republic will
> be destroyed. Not necessarily me being sat down and shut up, but having
> the voice of respectful dissent being shut up. That would destroy our
> HANNITY: All right, Governor, we have a lot more to get to,
> including what you thought of President Obama's speech. Also, some of
> the threats that have been levied against you over the years.
> We'll show you some of that videotape and -- and much, much more, as
> we continue our exclusive interview with Sarah Palin.
> Also, an exclusive with Michael Reagan. He responds to his brother
> Ron's allegation that their father suffered from Alzheimer's while he
> was still in office. Michael will be here live in the studio. He has
> some very strong words for his brother.
> That and more of Governor Palin, straight ahead.
> (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
> (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
> PALIN: We know violence isn't the answer. When we take up our
> arms, we're talking about our vote. We're talking about being involved
> in a contested primary like this and picking the right candidate, too,
> John McCain. We thank you for that.
> But this B.S. coming from the lame stream media lately about this...
> PALIN: -- about us inciting violence...
> PALIN: Don't let -- don't let the conversation be diverted. Don't
> let a distraction like that get you off track. Keep fighting hard for
> these candidates, who are all about the common sense conservative
> solutions that we need.
> (END VIDEO CLIP)
> HANNITY: And that was Governor Sarah Palin in March of 2010,
> speaking at a McCain rally in Tucson, Arizona.
> And we continue to be joined now by Governor Sarah Palin from Alaska
> tonight -- Governor, when -- you specifically said when these war terms
> are used, this is not a call for violence. All of that was ignored by
> the media.
> Does that frustrate you more?
> PALIN: Well, I have repeated over and over my condemnation of
> violence and specifically trying to explain that when we talk about
> being up in arms, we're talking about getting to the voting booth in --
> in a democracy within our republic. We want to make sure that we're
> exercising our right to vote. That is our arms.
> But that was frustrating. I think the most frustrating part of this
> has been the accusation that I and others, upon responding to false
> accusations of being involved in murder, that we have interjected
> ourself into the story.
> And, Sean, let me share with your viewers a little secret about how
> the mainstream or the lame stream media actually works.
> It was just a couple of hours after the shooting took place that we
> started getting calls -- Todd on his cell phone and I getting calls from
> reporters, network reporters ,saying, "Sarah, can you comment on this?,"
> "Governor Palin, we need a comment on what do you think about what's
> going on in Arizona?"
> You know, it wasn't time to respond, because we didn't have all the
> information. We didn't have all the evidence.
> So in not responding until it was an appropriate time, until a
> memorial mass had taken place, until the families had opportunity to
> speak and until evidence was presented that I believe proved that Tea
> Party Americans and -- and innocent people had -- had nothing to do with
> the -- with the shooting, should be falsely accused...
> HANNITY: Yes...
> PALIN: -- when finally information was gathered, Sean. And then,
> after those days, I spoke. I was being accused then by these same
> networks -- some network reporters -- of interjecting myself into the story.
> And if you read back my statement of defense, it wasn't self-
> defense. It was defending those who are innocent, talk show hosts, talk
> show host listeners, those who have nothing to do with a crazed, evil
> gunman who killed innocent people.
> HANNITY: Do you -- you know, it's interesting, because the very
> same media that you're talking about, Governor, I have quotes here from
> NBC, from ABC, from CNN, from "National Journal" and the "Anchorage
> Daily News" -- and I can go on and on. The majority of them say
> something to the effect of Palin in the crosshairs -- the very same
> thing that they were so critical of you, they have used that terminology
> repeatedly again and again and again.
> Do you receive, Governor, a lot of death threats?
> PALIN: I receive a lot of death threats. My children do. That's
> the worst part of it, as you can imagine.
> HANNITY: Let me -- let me go through some of the things that --
> that I've picked up -- and these were -- some were controversies at the
> time -- and maybe get you to respond to them. Madonna was once at a
> concert in 2008: "And Sarah Palin just got off my street. She will not
> go to DC. She'll get off my street. I'll kick her ass if she doesn't
> get off my street."
> Sandra Bernhard talked about "if Palin shows up in New York City,
> she's going to be gang-raped by my big black brothers."
> There's a series of left-wing images about you, Governor, for
> example, a cartoon with the acronym MILP that depicts you being punched
> in the face with your glasses coming -- you know, obviously coming off.
> "a mother, I'd like to punch;" a bumper sticker for sale that reads,
> "abort Sarah Palin."
> You know, and I could really go on for the better part of the show.
> And -- because a lot of this -- and the president talked about civil
> discourse. And, you know, I don't think a lot of people on the left
> have been very civil toward you over the years. And I don't -- I really
> don't hear you complaining a lot about it.
> Why do you think they're trying to complain so much as you and this
> one map and -- and some of the -- you know, reload, etc. And some other
> comments you've made?
> PALIN: I think they're -- the hypocrisy there is so glaring and the
> double standards. I mean it reminds me that those on the left if it
> weren't for their double standards, they'd have no standards.
> So it -- it's almost, really, a waste of time to even address their
> hypocrisy. I mean we had a paid CNN host recently who announced to the
> world that her New Year's resolution was to bring down my 16- year-old
> daughter Willow. I mean -- adult on child bullying that -- that's --
> you know, I thought that that wasn't the real hip thing to do.
> But, Sean, here's where I am personally on this. Knowing that, you
> know, the anchor holds. And I believe Second Timothy 1:7, in the bible,
> it says god has given us a spirit of power and love and sound mind. He
> hasn't given us a spirit of fear.
> So I call upon that and hold onto that and know that I don't have to
> be afraid no -- no matter what happens. I -- I don't have to be afraid.
> But when we talk about the need for civil discourse and for the
> condemnation of violence that I believe we should all be believers in,
> then, yes, when -- when I hear those things coming from, I assume it is
> the left...
> HANNITY: Yes.
> PALIN: -- then I know that perhaps they're -- they're not quite
> listening to, yes, what it is that the president just spoke of the other
> HANNITY: Governor, what did you think of the president's speech the
> other night? PALIN: Well, I thought that there were parts of it
> that really hit home, that all of us can hold onto and can -- and can
> live out, obviously. I agree with -- with those who have said that the
> -- the setting was a bit bizarre. It was kind of like a pep rally, kind
> of like a -- 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 today with, the number one thing
> to remember here is that lives were lost, people were injured, a crazed
> gunman that I and you and others had nothing to do with influencing him,
> he is the sole person, I believe, to blame in this. And I thought that
> -- that the president hit on some of that and that was appreciated.
> HANNITY: All right. We are going to have more, including some
> other allegations against Governor Palin. We'll give her a chance to
> respond, the former Alaska governor when we get back. Plus tonight in a
> cable exclusive, Michael Reagan comes forward to dispute his brother's
> shocking claim that he thinks that their father, President Ronald
> Reagan, suffered from Alzheimer's disease while he was still in the
> White House. Michael Reagan in studio with some very strong words for
> his brother coming up.
> (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
> HANNITY: And we are back with more of our exclusive sit-down
> interview with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Governor, when you
> finally released your video, not surprising, more controversy involving
> you. I want to give you a chance to respond to this. One was the
> timing of the release of the video, which was I believe the day before
> the memorial. And the second one was the term -- "but especially within
> hours of the tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not
> manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and
> violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible." And, you
> know, some of your critics saying, you didn't know the historical
> significance. Other people criticized you for that phrase. But I want
> you to address the timing and that phrase.
> PALIN: I don't know how the heck they would know if whether I did
> or didn't know the term "blood libel," nobody has ever asked me. And
> "blood libel" obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on
> your hands. And in this case that's exactly what was going on. And
> yes, the historical knowledge that people have of the term blood libel,
> it goes back to the Jews who were falsely accused back in medieval
> European times of using the blood of children. And you know, the
> criticism of even the timing of this statement is being used as another
> diversion, because I believe that there are many on the left, many
> critics, who don't want, for instance, Congress, to buckle down, get
> back to work.
> There's this trifecta thing going on in our country right now that's
> going to bring America to her knees if Congress doesn't start addressing
> the issues at hand. That being our growing debt, a looming energy
> crisis if we don't start domestically developing our resources, and some
> of the national security policies that have been adopted and enacted,
> like the signing and the ratification of the START treaty that Russia's
> Duma won't even ratify because there are misinterpretations of what the
> preamble means.
> So, we have these things going on right now that have got to be
> addressed, and Congress has got to get back to work. And it's just much
> easier, I believe, for critics of common-sense conservative agenda to
> try to divert and distract from the issues at hand, those tasks that
> must be addressed today.
> HANNITY: What did you think of the criticism of those, though, in
> the Jewish community about the use of that term? I know others came to
> your defense, but what did you think about the critics?
> PALIN: I think the critics, again, were using anything that they
> could gather out of that statement. And I'm, you know, you can -- you
> can spin up anything out of anybody's statements that are released and
> use them against the person who is making the statement. But, no, I
> appreciated those who understood what it is that I meant, that a group
> of people being falsely accused of having blood on their hands, that is
> what blood libel means. And just two days before I released my
> statement, an op-ed in the "Wall Street Journal" had that term in its
> title and that term has been used for eons, Sean.
> HANNITY: Yes.
> PALIN: So, again, it was part of that double standard thing and
> goes back to if it weren't for those double standards, what standards
> would they have, I suppose.
> HANNITY: A lot of Americans, Governor, on the left and on the right
> are interested in your thinking process about what you think about your
> political future. Have you given this thought, say, even prior to the
> tragedy in Tucson about what your political future is going to be? Are
> you thinking about running for president?
> PALIN: I am not ready to make it an announcement as to what my
> political future is going to be, but I'll tell you, Sean, I am not going
> to sit down, I'm not going to shut up. I'm going to hopefully be able
> to help empower others who believe that one of the things that makes
> America so exceptional is our right to free speech. It's our right to
> vigorously yet respectfully debate ideas and intentions in this
> country. I'm going to continue down that path. And if that leads to be
> a candidate for a high office, then I will announce that at the
> appropriate time. But for now, you know, I want to join others who are
> saying, no, peaceful dissent and discussion about ideas, that is what
> makes America exceptional, and we won't allow that to be stifled by
> tragic events that happened in Arizona. One that we should all -- we
> should all gather around, if you will, in order to condemn violence, but
> not to allow it to stifle debate in America.
> HANNITY: Governor, almost from the second that you were on the
> national stage, you have been loved by many, and you have been a
> lightning rod in the public arena. When moments like this happen, do
> you ever find yourself saying to yourself, you know what? Maybe I am
> just going to stay in Wasilla and stay out of this big national debate?
> Do you ever have those moments of doubt, or perhaps feeling that you
> would like the comfort of not having to deal with this all the
> time? PALIN: Other people are facing much greater hardships and
> making greater sacrifices that I am in just engaging in debate. And I'm
> thankful for the opportunity that I have to speak for many. And I will
> continue to do so. I feel very blessed to be in the position that I
> am. And I will take the darts and the arrows because I know others have
> my back and I have their back.
> HANNITY: All right. Governor Palin, we really appreciate you being
> with us once again. Thanks for being onboard. And we'll be talking I'm
> sure in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you.
> PALIN: Thank you.