Newt Gingrich wants fellow Fox News employee Sarah Palin to think before she speaks.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll (.pdf) showed that Palin’s approval had plummeted following her use of the term “blood libel” in the wake of shootings in Tucson, Arizona that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the hospital.
“I think that she’s got to slow down and be more careful and think through what she’s saying and how’s she’s saying it,” Gingrich told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Tuesday.
“There’s no question that she has become more controversial.”
“But she is still a phenomenon,” he continued. “I don’t know anybody else in American politics who can put something on twitter or put something on Facebook and automatically have it become a national story.”
In a video released on Facebook after the shooting, the former Alaska governor attacked critics who said that her political advertisement which put gun sights over Giffords’ district had created a dangerous environment for the congresswoman.
Palin defended herself by saying, “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
The term “blood libel” was historically used as an excuse to persecute Jews. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during the attack, is Jewish.
Fox News pundit Mara Liasson said Sunday that by using the term, Palin had admitted political discourse could cause violence.
“I think the critics, again, were using anything that they could gather out of that statement,” Palin said Monday.
Gingrich and Palin may find themselves as opponents if they decide to try for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, but neither had made an official announcement.
At the height of last summer’s health care debate, the two were in agreement that the new law would create “death panels.” Palin has even been accused of stealing a Gingrich article for one of her speeches.
Karl Denninger, considered a founding member of the tea parties, has called both Fox News employees a “joke.”
This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Jan. 18, 2010.