September 18th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin nixed from Iran rally

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Palin is no longer attending an anti-Iran rally."](CNN) - Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has been uninvited from attending a rally against Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad next week in New York, one day after Hillary Clinton nixed her appearance at the event because the Alaska governor was slated to be there.

“In order to keep the focus on Iranian threats and to ensure that this critical message not be obscured, the organizers of the rally have decided not to have any American political personalities appear,” the organizers, which include several Jewish groups, said in a statement.

In a statement, John McCain expressed disappointment over the decision.

"Governor Palin was pleased to accept an invitation to address this rally and show her resolve on this grave national security issue, regrettably that invitation has since been withdrawn under pressure from Democratic partisans," he said. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with Republicans, Democrats and independents alike to oppose Ahmadinejad's goal of a nuclear armed Iran. Senator Obama's campaign had the opportunity to join us. Senator Obama chose politics rather than the national interest."

A spokesman for the event, Glen Rosencrantz, would not confirm a Politico report that several high-profile Jewish Democrats had pressured the organization to nix Palin from the event.

But in a conference call with reporters Thursday, Ira Forman, the Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said his group strongly disapproved of Palin's invitation to the event.

“We have a presidential election where the McCain-Palin ticket want to use what’s supposed to be a very, very bipartisan-type of operation to, again, use it as a campaign event," he said.

The organizers announced earlier this week that both Clinton and Palin would be "keynote speakers" at the event, along with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. But aides to Clinton announced Wednesday the New York senator had been unaware Palin would also be attending, and as a result would not appear at the event after all.

The McCain campaign quickly criticized the move and suggested it came at the behest of the Obama campaign, though did not provide evidence that was the case: “Senator Clinton has since withdrawn from the engagement, presumably at the behest of the Obama campaign, and according to news reports, Senator Obama's campaign may be leaning on organizers to disinvite Governor Palin as well lest the rally appear partisan," McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said.

UPDATE: Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor has issued a statement reacting to McCain.

"This is another dishonorable lie from John McCain. The Obama campaign had planned to send a surrogate to the rally," he said. "The truth is, John McCain had a real opportunity to stand up for Israel's security yesterday, but he refused to stand up to his allies in Congress who blocked Barack Obama's bipartisan divestment bill that would have increased pressure on Iran. So while Senator McCain uses the 'Stop Iran' rally to issue dishonest political attacks, he has refused to join with Barack Obama in supporting the kind of sanctions that could actually stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."

- CNN's Martina Stewart contributed to this report

Filed under: Extra • Hillary Clinton • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. chris S.

    wow, so everything is obama's fault now, i think john mcshame is getting a little bit paranoid. i guess you got to have a little bit more to say than i could see russia from my house

    September 18, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. JOHN


    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Republican for Obama/Biden

    According to some news reports, it was considered by the McCain/Palin camp that her attendance at this rally would give her to opportunity to meet foreign leaders AND to come away with some knowledge that she could use in upcoming debates against her democratic counterpart, Barack Obams – oops, I mean Joe Biden. Suddenly, as it has been with most things revolving around this woman, it was all about her.

    I'm glad the organizers decided NOT to invite ANY political candidates. They would detract from the real reason the rally is taking place. Palin is a woman who is attractive, athletic and probably makes a great moose stew by she has no substance and very very little experience. She would not be able to bring anything of substance to the rally and therefore would be equivalent to lipstick on a pitbull – it looks good but really has no real purpose.

    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Los Angeles, Hispanic Conservative

    To quote the Greek God,,, oh where is his temple? Oh go to Universal back lot.... This is politics as usual... More of the same... Where is the Hope? If you listen to liberals long enough... all you here is complaints and that the sky is falling... is Obama Chicken Little now?? Wow. Where is the HOPE??? What is your plan Mr. Greek God? I hear McCain's ideas and they make more sense to me than yours. I don't want a socialized govenment! McCain/Palin are by far the better choice.

    September 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Thanks, but no thanks

    Did they find out about Palin's anti-Semitic preacher? Many in the Jewish community are not happy about it.

    September 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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