Days after the Tucson shootings, Sarah Palin launched a web-video campaign to counter what she called “blood libel” against her by the media and supposed opponents who had linked her famous cross-hairs graphic and other right-wing rhetoric to violence. Many Jewish leaders — and even some of Palin’s conservative colleagues — criticized the former governor’s use of “blood libel” because of the term’s anti-Semitic undertones.
But last night on Fox News, Palin refused to apologize and remained defiant. “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,” she said, adding, “And ‘blood libel’ obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands.” She also dismissed criticism from Jewish groups. “I think the critics, again, were using anything that they could gather out of that statement.”
Today on ABC’s Good Morning America, host George Stephanopoulos noted that Palin’s favorability is at an all-time low according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll out this morning. He asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich how she can turn it around. While Gingrich was careful to give her faint praise, Gingrich advised Palin to be more aware of what she says:
GINGRICH: I think that she’s got to slow down and be more careful and think through what she’s saying and how’s she’s saying it. There’s no question that she has become more controversial. But she is still a phenomenon. I don’t know anybody else in American politics who can put something on twitter or put something on Facebook and automatically have it become a national story. So she remains a very formidable person in her own right.
Last night on MSNBC, conservative commentator David Frum appeared to come to the same conclusion as Gingrich, but advised Palin to just stop speaking altogether. “She should stop talking now, really,” Frum said, calling her video response to the Tucson shooting “a disaster” and “a failure.”
“They’re not going to shut me up,” Palin also told Sean Hannity last night, “They’re not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party patriots.” Referring to that comment on his MSNBC show this morning, conservative Joe Scarborough re-asserted his belief that Palin’s “political career is over.” He said, “She is now putting herself in the league with Mark Levin and talk radio hosts. … And I think that about says it all.”