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

Palin blasts Obama for ties to Palestinian professor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/29/palin6.jpg caption=" 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. Mike, Vancouver

    This is akin to people complaining that she was even born.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Ben

    This little Hitler in high heels needs to be destroyed on Nov. 4th before this country loses any freedom we have left. AMERICANS NEED TO STOP THESE HATEFUL THUGS.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Carolyn

    Wow, the McCain/Palin campaign really doesn't get it. Their campaign hits rock bottom and all they do is start to dig.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Sadie

    I have been to Palestin - I have had dinner with Palestinian families. I have friends who Palestinian. I have listened to their ideas and dreams. I have had dinner with Israeli families. I have listened to their ideas and dreams.

    What is Palin trying to imply? How dare she? Has she sat in Jerico or Jerusalem and spoken with the people of that region? What is she trying to imply...that listening to a diversity of views is wrong? That somehow looking at different sides of a complex situation is..."unpatriot"...or worse "terrorism?" How dare they....how pathetic.



    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Spencer/VIRGINIA

    And his bozo obviously doesn't know what she's talking baout.


    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. a sympathetic Canadian

    will we ever hear from Palin or McCain how they want to deal with the economic and financial mess their party (government) put the US into? Or do we have to live with stupid, hateful, unprofounded allegations and Joe the Plumber who is not even a plumber but a brain- and clueless clown being used by the repugs. How dumb can somebody be to believe all that crap?

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Skip in NJ

    Your article incorrectly describes Joe Wurzelbacher as a "celebrated small business owner". He is not a small business owner.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Tim

    Hmmm, maybe they should look at McCain's relationship with Khalidi as well.

    In 1998, McCain, as chairmen of the International Republican Institute gave $500k to the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. A group, Khalidi helped found.

    So does that mean McCain is supporting Neo-Nazis?

    Peter, how about an update to this story?

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Will

    Apparently his connections to Ayers weren't inflaming enough, so they need to pick somebody a little bit more "ethnic".

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. GlenR

    And so the GOP tactic of appealing to bigots continue. The guy criticized US policy toward the Israeli Palestinian situation? BIG DEAL! I thought this was an election for President of the UNITED STATES not Israel.

    Here's a question...Why has no one criticized Ms Palin for her and her husband's ties to the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party? Or is getting control of the Alaskan oil fields and then seceding from the union not a threat to the US?

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. G-man

    Maverick for Obama-Biden!

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Echo - Independent

    Hey Palin,

    Lets talk about your hubby being a member of the AIP. And your affiliation with him and his party. And please for crying out loud, PLEASE GIVE THIS WOMAN A PACIFIER! She is spiting hate and lies.

    God she is a disgrace!

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Bulldog

    Palin is an IDIOT

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Reagan Democrat

    Will the real Barack Obama, please step foward, not. Who is Obama? If such a video does exsist how could I ever even enterain voting for him. This is news worthy, let the major news media's presure the LA Times into clearing the air. I'm not crazy about McCain/Palin, but if this is true we are being CON'D by Obama and his public relations committee. Just remember Americans you don't have to love the Isrealies, but don't turn on them all that do fall. God I hate to sound like a right wing fanatic, but somethings are worth standing up for.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    I was hoping for some civility in this campaign. At the very least I was hoping that Palin would not say anything so ridiculous that I could no longer ignore her. Well, here she goes again: the message of the day is that someone's home movies are the key. Two days ago, it was a spliced audiotape. Last week, it was an "attack" on a McCain supporter. Before that socialism, Bill Ayers, ACORN and whatever nugget this idiot can pick up off the ground. Give it up, Palin, these things have no traction. If there was ANYTHING on that video, Hillary would have gotten it. Let's talk about YOU you pathetic and shrill poor excuse for a candidate. How about Troopergate? What about your impeachable offenses? What about your complete lack of knowledge about what it takes to run a country???
    Good thing she brought "Joe" on stage-guess he is that campaign's expert on Israel now.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. oh, please

    Hmmm. Ayers didn't work. Wright didn't work. I know! Let's try Khalidi!

    This is McCain's main message to America. "BE AFRAID of the dark-skinned man with the funny name! He's SCARY! He hates Jews and will murder your babies!!"

    Excuse me, I have to go gag now.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan


    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. John

    Oh my God ! Talk about Desperation. Palin has a witch Doctor and McCain is on a witch hunt. McCain was Chairman of an Organization that funded Khalidi and now he dares critisize Obama for teaching at the same University ?! Thats not Mavericky, just pathetic.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. arc, Lugano CH

    This latest 11th hour attack has no substance. Five minutes ago, Palin supporters didn't even know who Khalidi was. All they knew is that Obama is a Muslim who pals around with Ayers. All they cared about was the free hotdogs, bed sheets and pointy hats that Palin had promised to hand out at the Klan Rally following her campaign stop.

    It's not like the Palin supporters who are screaming injustice five minutes later have ever lived/worked/traveled overseas. Many of them couldn't even find Palestine on a map.

    October 29, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Terry T KC MO

    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

    WHAT?!?!? He’s not a small business OWNER!!! Not even close. He's an unlicensed plumber making less than $40,000 per year in a two person company that earns $150,000 per year. Additionally he has no plans to purchase the company he is currently working for and he's a tax dodger who has an $1100 TAX LIEN on his home. He stands to PROFIT from Obama’s tax plan but, is getting so much attention from the Right wing media that he just can’t help himself.

    Correct your article please….

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Robbin in Ohio

    OK, first she's saying Obama is Muslim, then he was a terrorist, now he's buddies with a Palestinian (and so what, by the way?).... how blatantly RACIST and Xenophobic can this campaign get ? And how sad is it that the McCain/Palin ticket is figuring they will attract the moronic, racist voters with such tactics.

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Bob

    Go home..if you can find the berries in the snow.

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Theresa

    How come Obama is connnected to all these extremeists? We keep hearing these names and yet the media refuses to investigate it. Talk about bias!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. adrian ramos

    Obama is paling around with professors at a major university! oh no the horror! give me a break Palin.

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Maurice-College Park Maryland

    Lord Vadar I mean palin has reached the end of her usefulness to the Republican campaign and party,here she is spewing more crap from that open sore between the tip of her nose and the end of her chin.She says the Public has a right to know what Sen.Obama's remarks were during a going away party for an accomplished Academic.Okay fair enough,lets kick this up a notch..you and your terrorist Husband should keep your inexperienced mouths shut,you have no knowlegde of Foreign affairs or Policy you have no knowledge of the fundementals of economics,you are grossly unqualified to run across the street let alone an enitre nation.crawl back into that beavers nest and you and your husband can continue counting mosse bones until its time for you to resurface...hopefully you'll have had enough common sense to learn a few things while in your hole.I have had bowel movements I have enjoyed more than hearing you speak.

    October 29, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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