Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said lawmakers need to tone down the rhetoric in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting and suggested that President Obama orchestrated remarks he made about the teenager’s death.
“It’s not going to do anybody any good to ratchet up the rhetoric based on speculation,” Palin told Fox News. She shared her observations just hours after Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush was asked to leave the House floor after donning a hooded sweatshirt to protest Martin’s death.
Martin’s parents appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus – who have called for the arrest of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman allegedly shot and killed Martin in February in a gated community in Sanford, FL. Zimmerman claims he acted in self defense.
The Justice Dept. and the FBI are investigating but Zimmerman has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
“What concerns me – the facts still aren’t out there,” Palin said. “Obviously when we hear about a 17-year-old young man losing his life, it’s tragic. It’s horrible. I am so, so extremely sorry for the family.”
But she was upset at Rush’s display on the House floor calling it “atrocious.”
“Racial profiling has to stop,” said Rush as he removed his suit jacket. “Just because someone is wearing a hoodie, doesn’t make them a hoodlum.”
“It’s quite appalling that Rep. Rush chose to go this route,” she said. “There are other ways to get your message across. It’s really bad precedent that he’s trying to set – violating such tradition and such rules to make a political statement.”
She also called out President Obama – saying he should not have jumped into the growing outrage over the shooting.
“I think it was orchestrated,” Palin said. “I’m going to get clobbered for even suggesting this, but it is what I believe.”
The president addressed the shooting in the Rose Garden.
“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.”
“Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” Obama said. “All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this has happened.
Palin said she was “very, very surprised out of all the issues that are going on in our country today that the president” would have taken a question about the Martin case.
She said the politicization of the shooting is unfair to Martin’s parents.
“It’s unspeakable the hurt, the sorrow, the loss this family is feeling,” she said. “People who are jumping in there without having all the facts first are making the situation even worse when you consider we are talking about a young man’s life.”