Palin spokeswoman: 'Nothing irresponsible about our graphic'

A spokeswoman for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is defending the much maligned map of Democratic House districts that once appeared on Palin's Facebook page. 

It included what looks like the crosshairs of a gun over the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and another 19 Democratic members who voted in favor of healthcare reform. 

Liberal bloggers and commentators attacked the map Saturday, with several suggesting that the visual, along with Palin's rhetoric, played a part in Saturday's mass shooting that killed at least six and left Giffords in critical condition after she was shot point-blank in the head.

Palin spokeswoman Rebecca Mansour told talk-radio host Tammy Bruce in an interview that "We never, ever, ever intended it to be gun sights" and labeled comments from the left, which she said were aimed at politicizing the tragedy, "obscene."   

Mansour told Bruce that the graphic was contracted out and that Palin staffers approved it without much thought, saying, "it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent." 

She said the symbols over the House districts were meant to be "crosshairs that you would see on a map," as opposed to the sights of a gun. 

The liberal blog Daily Kos highlighted the "target list" on its blog and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas tweeted this early Saturday: "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin." 

The tweet included a link to Palin's target map.

Kos also recycled a clip of Giffords reacting to the map on MSNBC, where she had warned Palin of potential consequences to such visuals.

"The way that she has it depicted, has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district," Giffords said. "When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action."