Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has responded to critics who have been hinting that one of her Internet postings could have incited the man who allegedly killed six people and wounded 14 more in Tucson, Ariz. last Saturday.
During the recent congressional election campaign, Palin posted a map targeting 20 congressional districts, including Rep. Gabriel Giffords, D-Ariz., as though seen through a rifle's telescopic cross hairs.
On Wednesday, Palin released an eight-minute video on her Facebook page accusing her attackers of a "blood libel" that will itself incite hatred and possibly more violence.
She condemned those who blame political rhetoric for setting off the Tucson shooter.
"Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions," Palin said in the video. "And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere."
Jared Loughner, 22, stands accused of trying to assassinate Giffords, wounding 12 others, and killing six people.
"There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal," Palin said. "And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those 'calm days' when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols?"