October 29th, 2008
01:12 PM ET
6 years ago

Palin blasts Obama for ties to Palestinian professor

 Palin's criticized Obama's ties to Palestinian professor Rashid Khalidi.
Palin's criticized Obama's ties to Palestinian professor Rashid Khalidi.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (CNN) – Sarah Palin thrust Barack Obama’s relationship with a Palestinian academic into the national spotlight on Wednesday at a rally in Ohio - a tactic reminiscent of her repeated attempts to tie Obama to former radical William Ayers.

Palin kicked off her rally in Bowling Green by stressing, as she always does, that “it is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record.” In recent weeks Palin has used that line to open up an attack on Obama’s tax plans. On Wednesday, she tried something different.

“It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years,” Palin said. “This is important because his associate, Rashid Khalidi, he, in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he's a former spokesperson for the Paliestinian Liberation Organization.”

Khalidi - whose name Palin mispronounced - is currently a leading scholar of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, and was a contemporary of Obama’s while on faculty at the University of Chicago.

Khalidi has been a stern critic of United States foreign policy towards Israel and has accused the country of “occupying” Palestinian territories, but he has denied acting as a spokesman for the PLO.

The Los Angeles Times reported in April that Obama praised Khalidi at a 2003 going-away party for the professor when he left Chicago. The McCain campaign has pressured the Times to publicly release a videotape of the event, but the newspaper has refused, citing the request of a source.

Palin said the public has a right to know what Obama said at the event.

“And the twist here is that there's a videotape of a party for this person, back in 2003, a celebration of him, and Barack was there, and we know some very derogatory things were said there about Israel and America's support for that great nation,” Palin said.

“And among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism instead of the victim. What we don't know, what we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he now professes to support, and the reason is the newspaper that has the tape, the Los Angeles Times, refuses to release it.”

Palin accused the Times of being Obama’s “pet newspaper” and said the paper would win a Pulitzer Prize for “excelling in cow-towing.”

The Republican vice presidential nominee was joined at her Ohio rally by Joe Wurzelbacher, known to the world as Joe the plumber. It was the first time the celebrated small business owner has appeared with Palin on the stump.

Palin described Wurzelbacher as “a fellow Alaskan” because he once lived near Fairbanks.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (1,018 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Between Stevens and Palin both Alaska Republicans, makes ya think what kind up nuts are up there?

    October 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. IRAQ WAR VET IN FLORIDA

    Failin' Palin is becoming Sooo desperate..LOL

    GO BARACK GO !!!

    October 29, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Chris - Canada

    Hey, I've visited Alaska twice and I walked into Alaska from the Yukon!
    That makes me a Sourdough! These are desperate times. Maybe she should make him an honourary citizen of Alaska and then he could vote for this empty headed would be Politician. I can only hope that the people of Alaska are finally seeing their Govenor as the simple minded creature that she is!!

    October 29, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Yes, I'm voting for the
    Marxist Socialist Arab Muslim who pals around with terrorists Ayers and Khalidi and uses drugs in Rev. Wrights Church with Father Pfleger and Louis Farrakhan.

    McCain and Palin stop taking your talking points from Sean Hannity. We all know he is an uneducated idiot.

    I really can't believe this is their closing arguments.

    What idiots.

    October 29, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Linnae

    Obama and all his elite professor friends! Why can't he just be friends with more plumbers?

    October 29, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. ran

    Enough is enough. People vote for Obama/Biden and in such #'s that there can be no doubt who we want as our next POTUS.

    McCain/? and other hateful/fearful/racist Republicans need to be kicked out of our politics.

    October 29, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Ties to a Palestinian Professor?! That's Un-American! That's Treason! Ties to an Alaskan Separatist movement however is as American as Apple Pie, cheating on your taxes and lying to Congress.

    October 29, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. mjc

    ANONYMOUS: Did you even bother to do a Fact Check on McCain and Palin's lies? Well CNN did. Look under Fact Check!

    The Verdict: False. What McCain is doing here, in part, is comparing apples and oranges. He compares two different aspects of Obama's tax plan as if they were the same. And Biden never said people making less than $150,000 are the "only" people who would get a tax cut under Obama's policies.

    October 29, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. alvino

    John McCain, too erratic to be president, maybe he should try in 2016.

    October 29, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. KennySFV

    These two are desperate and absolutely, unapologetically wicked! We absolutely have to be rid of these right-wing liars next week! Obama-Biden 08!!

    October 29, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Dan

    Maybe if we shut our mouths and listen to the people in the middle east, we can find out why they all hate us. The right wing nuts in this country are going top pull us down. If Obama get's 800,000 people per rally in Europe waving American flags, it should tell you something. IF YOU ARE LISTENING.

    October 29, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Lou from CT

    Here we go again...trying to make something out of nothing...

    McCain/Palin – talk about the issues and stop the CREEP-style, Swift Boat, and splatter theory attacks – if you dare.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 29, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Amy

    Oh my goodness..is she still around. This woman has the brain of a fish & just like McCain & the rest of the Republicans will lie & steal to get this presidency. If America is so stupid to let these kind of people get the presidency..then God help us all!

    October 29, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Felix

    Palin, go and read some newspapers!

    October 29, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Ronni

    is there no end to her uninformed gibberish, solid like a rock for Barack.

    October 29, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Independent and running..to the Left

    When will McCain understand, that the more this woman talks, the further down in the polls he is going to go? He is fortunate this election is over in a week. A few more weeks of Palin, and he would have no votes, no honor, and a civil war left to his name.

    If he would drop her from the the ticket TODAY, I may be tempted to vote for him. Now there would be a Maverick move!!!

    October 29, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Peter in San Antonio

    Man these idiots are getting desperate. It's time to show the Republicans that they need to stop picking stupid people to ruin (I mean run) their party. Just get out there and vote for Obama to send a clear message. I just did. Thank God for early voting.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    October 29, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Alobama

    One certainly couldn't accuse Palin of having ties to any professors.

    October 29, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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