Updated at 12:48 p.m. ET
Rebecca Mansour, an aide to ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin, decried the "politicization" of the Arizona shooting rampage that has left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., fighting for her life.
"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," she told USA TODAY's Fredreka Schouten. "We don't know (the shooter's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."
She said Giffords was never put in the crosshairs on a Palin website that targeted Giffords and 19 other lawmakers who voted for health care. Palin had mounted a campaign to defeat those 20 lawmakers in the 2010 elections. Mansour said it was a map that targeted a swing district.
Rebecca Mansour told talk show host Tammy Bruce that images of crosshairs, contained on a graphic on a Palin website targeting Giffords and 19 other lawmakers for defeat in the 2010 election, were not meant to spark violence.
"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights," Mansour said. She denounced attempts to tie Palin to the violence as "obscene" and "appalling."
"The language of targeting a swing district has been used long before we used it," Mansour said. "We have no idea whether that person ever saw that graphic."
Our original post begins here:
An aide to Sarah Palin defended the imagery that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for defeat last year because she voted for the health care law.
Giffords was shot in the head Saturday at point blank range and is in critical condition. Six people died in the Arizona rampage, including U.S. District Judge John Roll, one of Giffords' aides, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the daughter of a Los Angeles Dodgers scout.
The Mansour interview was first reported Saturday by the Alaska Dispatch. (Continues here)