Speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday night, Sarah Palin was defiant in the face of the recent attacks on her in the aftermath of Tucson shooting, saying that her critics were “not going to shut me up.”
In her first public interview since issuing her video response to the Arizona shooting, Palin spoke out on “Hannity” against critics who have called her campaign rhetoric “vitriolic” and made subtle and not-so-subtle inferences that such language in some way motivated alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people and injured many others, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, on Jan. 8.
Palin said that the criticism surrounding her past comments was intentionally misinterpreted by members of the media in an effort to marginalize not only her but conservatives generally. Allowing the criticism to successfully censor dissent, said Palin, would allow “our republic to be destroyed.”
“[And] not necessarily me being sat down and shut up,” clarified Palin. “But having the voice of respectful dissent being shut up.”
“I’ve repeated over and over my condemnation of violence and trying to explain that we when we say ‘up in arms’ we mean the voting booth,” Palin continued.
Palin remarked to Hannity that within hours of the shooting, before all the facts were in, reporters began calling her for a response. Palin also castigated those who accused her of injecting herself into the story when she was already being “vilified” and dismissed the meta-debate about her use of the phrase of “blood libel” in her video response last week.
“I don’t know how they wouldn’t know ‘blood libel’ obviously means falsely having blood on your hands,” said Palin. “I think the critics, again, were using anything that they could gather out of that statement.”
Palin said the criticism of her video statement was “being used as another diversion” and said she was being held to a “double standard.”
Asked about her future political prospects, Palin played coy.
“I’m not ready to make an announcement as to what my political future is going to be,” said Palin.
Reiterating her original point, though, Palin said, “I’m not going to sit down, I’m not going to shut up,” promising that she would continue to stand up for “our right to vigorously, respectfully debate ideas.”
An earlier version of this article slightly misquoted Ms. Palin.