Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who represents a district adjacent to Gabrielle Giffords's, said that Saturday's shooting is a consequence of the vitriolic rhetoric that has arisen over the past few years among extreme elements of the Tea Party.
"The climate has gotten so toxic in our political discourse, setting up for this kind of reaction for too long. It's unfortunate to say that. I hate to say that," Grijalva said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "If you're an opponent, you're a deadly enemy," Grijalva said of the mindset among Arizona extremists. "Anybody who contributed to feeding this monster had better step back and realize they're threatening our form of government."
Grijalva said that Tea Party leader Sarah Palin should reflect on the rhetoric that she has employed. "She -- as I mentioned, people contributing to this toxic climate -- Ms. Palin needs to look at her own behavior, and if she wants to help the public discourse, the best thing she could do is to keep quiet."
Grijalva said that his family has been provided with protection and that he expects further precautions will be taken by Capitol Police when he returns to Capitol Hill.
"Her whole future's ahead of her," Grijalva said of Giffords. "She's a moderate; I'm not. She's my friend. Our difference of opinion did not interfere with our friendship."
"This is a very sad day for the nation."
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