Sarah Palin defended her use of the term "blood libel" on Monday by saying she was describing comments by people who tried to link her to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing of six others. She also said the suspect appeared to be "apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning."
The former Alaska governor, appearing from Wasilla, Alaska, spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity in her first comments since using the phrase "blood libel" in a video posted on Facebook. She said the phrase refers to being "falsely accused of having blood on your hands. In this case, that's exactly what was going on."
Jewish groups have objected to her use of the term, which historically has been used to accuse Jews of using Christian blood in religious rituals.
Palin also said she was praying for the families who lost loved ones in the attack, citing the book of Jeremiah, part of the Old Testament.
She defended her use of a map used by her political action committee that featured targets to represent Giffords' and other districts. She said Democrats had used similar graphics and that they had "absolutely nothing to do with an apolitical or perhaps even left-leaning criminal who killed these innocents and injured so many." (Watch at 4:58 in first video below.)
Palin declined to say whether she would run for president in 2012, but told Hannity, "I'm not going to sit down. I'm not going to shut up."
Watch videos of the interview: