Penn State has made the wrong kind of national headlines since former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was accused of more than 40 counts of sexual misconduct with eight young boys. So, understandably, former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin felt compelled to weigh in. It went about as well as you'd expect. (In the video above, her comments concerning Sandusky begin around the 14:26 mark.)
During an appearance on Tuesday night's "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren,"Palin had a foot-in-mouth comment after being asked her thoughts about presidential candidate Rick Santorum saying Penn State should not be allowed to play in a bowl game.
Here's what she said:
"It's not the player's fault that they have a perverted, former assistant coach. I would like to see the players not suffer more than they have suffered. As for the perp, and perps, though, that allowed the sinfulness to go on as they had allowed in the past, you know, I say about this assistant coach, Sandusky--hang him from the highest tree, I'll bring the rope. I think it's pathetic, it's horrible, it's atrocious what took place. If it is true that these children were victimized, then he himself and anybody who allowed what he did to go on, they should be the one to suffer, not today's young players who have been innocent in all of this."
Not sure the last time a person was hanged in this country, especially for a non-capital offense. Also, while Sandusky may have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, he hasn't seen the inside of a courtroom on an actual charge.
But why let any of that get in the way of violent rhetoric?
Palin actually repeated her sentiments after Van Susteren asked her to clarify whether she wanted to actually go through the legal process to determine whether Sandusky was guilty, or whether she was — for lack of a better term — going rogue.
"Hang him from the highest tree and I'll bring the rope if he's guilty of what's been alleged," Palin said "If he abused these young children and ruined their lives, unless they get a lot of help, Greta, in order to deal with the victimization that they are now suffering from, he needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law if he is truly guilty."
Everyone has their own feelings about Sandusky and Penn State's reaction to multiple allegations against him over more than a decade, but few of us have the soapbox Palin does. Unfortunately, she has a devoted following and this isn't the first time her misguided and violent rhetoric has drawn negative feedback.