Ahead of shooting, Giffords wrote of need to 'tone our rhetoric and partisanship down'

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) wrote of the need to "tone our rhetoric and partisanship down" the day before she was shot and critically injured.

Giffords e-mailed outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R), who will become director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics, on Friday to offer congratulations on his new position, and urge him to use his new job to "promote centrism and moderation," according to a copy of the e-mail published by cn|2 Politics on Monday, and flagged by The Huffington Post.

"After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation," Giffords wrote. "I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down."

The e-mail presages the debate that's emerged since Giffords and more than a dozen others were shot — some fatally — on Saturday, allegedly by Jared Loughner, in Tucson, Ariz.

The suspect's motives in targeting Giffords haven't been fully vetted; he's set for arraignment on five federal charges, including attempted assassination of a member of Congress, in Arizona on Monday.

Still, lawmakers have seized on the shooting to urge a more civil political discourse after last year's healthcare debate and election invoked controversial and occasionally violent imagery.

Grayson said he would "redouble [his] efforts" to promote more responsible politics in the wake of the shooting of Giffords, who remains in a Tuscon hospital.