Sarah Palin has officially broken her silence and responded to criticism that she is somehow connected to the shootings in Tucson. The response came via a video on her Facebook page released Wednesday morning, and included her calling the shootings "inexcusable" and "incomprehensible" while accusing journalists and pundits of "blood libel":
In addition to the video, Palin included a written statement of her remarks.
"After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event," she said.
She went on to quote Ronald Reagan in encouraging the country to hold the shooter, not society, responsible, and also alluded the her oft-referenced congressional "target" map that singled out Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's district:
President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.
She also made sure to call out the actions of the many news outlets and journalists that politicized the issue. "But, especially within hours of a 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," she said. "That is reprehensible."
To those who blame the shootings on violent political rhetoric, she posed a couple questions: "But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols?"
"America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week," she concluded. "We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy."