U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will step down from Congress this week to focus on her recovery, her staff announced Sunday.
“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” Giffords said in a video message.
Giffords, a third-generation Arizonan who served five years in the state Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2006, will not seek re-election this fall.
Giffords vowed to return public service.
So out of touch was I, that I had not even seen Rep. Giffords speak since she was shot. Here is the video in which she announces she is stepping down:
The transcript from the YouTube page:
Arizona is my home, always will be. A lot has happened over the past year. We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for we can change things for the better. Jobs, border security, veterans. We can do so much more by working together. I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week. I’m getting better. Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country. Thank you very much.
I still remember watching the video when Giffords read the First Amendment on the House floor:
That happened shortly before she was shot. Ever since then, people have tried to exploit the actions of her crazed would-be assassin to smear Sarah Palin and others, and portray conservatives as people who incite mentally disturbed people to commit acts of violence. Many of these critics are, in classic Alinsky fashion, making these accusations because they themselves have embarked on a campaign of inciting people based on phony accusations and dishonest rhetoric. These people know who they are and they know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to silence conservatives and make us ashamed to express our views in a forceful fashion.
So on this sad day, when Rep. Giffords announces her intent to resign, it is well to remember that she is a symbol, not of the dangers of free speech, but of the dangers of trying to stamp it out. Those who seek to exploit Giffords’s tragedy are guilty of an assault on the very Constitutional protection Rep. Giffords was so proud to read on the House floor.
I know that we all wish Rep. Giffords well, and are pleased to see her speaking and smiling. I hope she is correct that she will return to fight for Arizona and for our Constitution.