Sarah Palin told supporters at a Saturday rally in the Nevada hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that they should ignore the media's depiction of tea partiers as violent or abusive after many Democrats received threats and abusive language over the week, often from Tea Party activists.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When we talk about fighting for our country, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear the air right now about what it is that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking about,Ã¢â‚¬Â she told a crowd of about 20,000. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not inciting violence. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get sucked into the lame-stream media lies."
Palin is one of many GOP leaders fighting to paint the media and Democrats as the problem after the controversy over health care was amplified to a new level as reports of harassment aimed at Democrats continue to emerge.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Violence isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the answer,Ã¢â‚¬Â Palin told her supporters. She said Ã¢â‚¬Å“our vote is our armsÃ¢â‚¬Â and said tea partiers should not be discouraged because Congress passed health care last week.
Instead, Palin wants her supporters to channel their energies into defeating congressional Democrats who supported the legislation come November elections.
She addressed criticism that she had helped to stoke the abuse with a Facebook post that told conservatives not to retreat from fighting health care, but to "reload" and "aim" for Democrats.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If we stick to our principles, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to be just fine," she said. "Now when I talk about itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a time to retreat but a time to reload, what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m talking about Ã¢â‚¬â€ now media, try to get this right Ã¢â‚¬â€ thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not inciting violence. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trying to inspire people to get involved in their local elections and these upcoming federal elections."
Reid responded to a Tea Party in his hometown with this statement.
"I'm happy so many people came to see my hometown of Searchlight and spend their out-of-state money especially in these tough economic times," he said. "Ultimately, though, this election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachute in for one day to have a tea party."
The numbers don't make Reid's chances of reelection very likely. The most recent poll shows 33 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Reid, while 52 percent said they have an unfavorable view, amounting to the worst predicament he has faced in years.
"It's a bunch of bunk that the media is trying to feed you. Don't let them try to divert attention from the issue," she said.