AP Exclusive: Giffords vows return to Congress

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The book also offers lighter moments, like when President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, visited Giffords at the Texas hospital. Giffords kept replying to Bush with the only word she was able to say: “chicken.”

At another point, a specialist showed her various politicians to see if she recognized faces. When she saw Arnold Schwarzenegger, she said: “Messin’ around. Babies,” an apparent reference to the former California governor’s marital troubles.

As she progressed, Giffords learned to talk again, completing phrases from the Constitution and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The book reveals that because of her injuries, Giffords has lost 50 percent of her vision in both eyes.

The book also mentions Sarah Palin, who was criticized after the shootings for a map posted by her political action committee that showed a number of Democratic-held congressional districts marked with crosshairs. Giffords’ district was among those covered by the tiny symbols, which were supposed to indicate seats that would be targeted by the GOP.

Giffords found the map disturbing. After the shootings, Kelly vented his feelings about the map to President Barack Obama. He thought Palin might call to offer condolences because of the mounting criticism, but she never did.

Representatives for Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Palin’s attorney, John Tiemessen, said he would relay to the former Alaska governor the AP’s request for comment.

The book also reveals that the couple was quietly trying to have a baby. Giffords had undergone several rounds of fertility treatments in the last few years and had hoped to get pregnant early in 2011.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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