Onetime Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Sunday defended Sarah Palin’s response to critics who placed partial blame for the shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) on the former Alaska governor.
But Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) questioned the wisdom of her response.
Several days after the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., Palin posted a video statement on her Facebook page charging her critics in the media had committed a “blood libel” for pinning blame on her.
Her critics said she had helped create a political atmosphere that could lead to such an event by previously posting a map with gun sights over some vulnerable lawmakers' districts. Those charges were “reprehensible,” Palin said last week.
But Palin’s use of “blood libel” only generated more criticism. The term has long referred to what many scholars call a false charge that Jews murdered children and used their blood for baking matzos during Passover.
Giuliani said during a “Face the Nation” interview on CBS that her use of that term was off the mark -- but the former New York City mayor also defended Palin.
He called her response to the blame “one of someone accused” unjustifiably, adding “facts and circumstances” uncovered thus far show alleged shooter Jared Loughner was not motivated by an politician or ideology. Rather, his apparent unstable mental condition is to blame, Giuliani said.
“This had nothing to do with left or right,” Giuliani said. “Or a map.”
Christie said on "Fox News Sunday" that addressing the controversy in a video pointed to one of Palin's weaknesses as a presidential hopeful.
"I think people learn the most about you during campaigns about how you might govern," he said. "And the way they learn about that is in those unscripted moments when you're not being handled or told what to say, but you have to react to situations like this."
He said it wasn't a criticism of her, but an observation.
"If you avoid the unscripted moments, I don't think that the American
people will trust their instincts about whether you, in fact, would make
a good president or not," Christie said.