Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin on Wednesday rejected any link related to the harsh political rhetoric which was blamed for contributing to Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Xinhua reported.
"Like many, I've spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance," Palin said. "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 was referring to critics who had suggested that Palin's firearms-infused rhetoric contributed to the Arizona shootings, which killed six people and wounded 14 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
After the shooting, a national debate arose over whether there was a link between harsh political rhetoric and the shooting.
One of the facts cited in the debate is that Giffords was among 20 lawmakers targeted in campaign literature by Palin, the conservative icon who may be considering a presidential run in 2012.
Also, the district Giffords represents had been targeted in a map Palin's political operation employed during the last congressional campaign. The map featured symbols that critics said were gun sights, but a Palin aide later argued they were surveyor' s marks.
In her Wednesday statement posted on Facebook, Palin said such maps are used by "both sides of the aisle."
She strongly refuted the notion that overheated political speech helped give rise to a climate that placed lawmakers such as Giffords at risk. The critics "incite the hatred and violence they purport to condemn," Palin said.
"Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. 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," Palin said. "As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, 'We know violence isn't the answer. When we "take up our arms," we're talking about our vote.'"
Those "media and pundits," she said, "should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible."