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. gbrown2


    October 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Note to McCain campaign: It's not working

    Give up the senseless negative attacks. For the past month, probably more, all we (the electorate) have heard is reasons to vote against Barrack Obama. It would make sense to most that if you are trying to win votes you would give people a reason to VOTE FOR YOU. Maybe the McCaim campaign managers should venture back to school and take more courses in Public Relations.

    October 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. paula

    McCain gets more desperate every day. Didn't he once support Khalidi in the past. McCain donated $$ to this man and his project, don't know that Obama ever did. I think that makes McCain MORE CONNECTED to him than Obama. I don't think McCain will be able to save his reputation after this election. Sad, that this is what he'll be remembered for; being a desperate hypocrite.

    October 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. sareliz

    This is more and more of the same from John Mccain and Sarah Palin all I hear from them is fueling the hate and fear of American voters. I actually heard about this on TV today and I heard John Mccain has ties to this same person. I simply cannot trust two people to run this country who are so negative and continue to spout lies. WE NEED a president who is positive, inspiring and intelligent. VOTE for OBAMA!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Greg

    Fact check: Joe the Plumber does not own a small business. Talk about bad reporting.

    October 29, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. NoPrty

    Who listens to this whack job anymore? 22K in makeup will never mask the fact that she's a terrible waste of skin.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Andre

    This Republican team will stoop to any level to be heard and insight division.

    I hoonestly hope Senator Obama wins this election so our country can begin the road back to respectability. The Palin/McCain team is so disrespectful! It's a SHAME.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Brian

    Isn't the PLO our allies again Hamas? If Palin becomes president will she hand over our military to the hawks in Israel? Is that why Joe (I love Israel more than the USA) Lieberman hangs around McCain?

    Hey Sarah tell Joe the deadbeat to pay his taxes.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. bryce beamish

    Alaska Independence Party.

    This woman has no brain.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Cdowns

    Palin is too stupid to have friends who are college professors.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. CJ

    This woman should talk. No knowledge. She needs to go home.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Bob Carlyle

    Palin-Wurzelbacher 2012, now there's an unbeatable ticket. The pure energy.. I'm excited just thinking about it. Is anybody in charge of that party? Dr. Frankenstein should have realized he was playing with fire.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. Larry

    Tomorrow the Palin camp will try to tie Senator Obama to Wile E. Coyote, a know terrorist who is out to get the "real" American known as Joe the Roadrunner.

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    I am sure they did a background check on Khalidi at Columbia U...you know Sarah, Columbia is probably one of those universities that turned you down for admission when you went through 5 schools in 6 years to get a JOURNALISM degree...lighten up sister, you don't have the chops to be questioning the cred of scholars at Columbia U.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 VOTE EARLY!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. KateLynn from Ohio

    I echo the sentiments of another buckeye expressed here: Palin, leave my state!

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. rachel

    exactly. um-Alaskan Independance Party anyone? what a hypocrit. this is not going to change anyone's vote. Nice try Palin and McCain. this just puts a big exclamation point at the end of your desperate campaign with no concrete plans to help Americans.

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Debra Austin, Texas

    Palin is a facist like her newly developed mavericky Presidential candidate. They need to move to a country that if more fitting to their political idealogy, like N. Korea or Iran.

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Paul Wall in Dallas

    There can be no doubt whatsoever now that you can put lipstick on a pig. She is a desperate gutter politician. Her fifteen minutes were up long ago. The only person more pathetic than her is her running mate. How many of us know everything about people we go to going-away parties for. How can anyone know all of someone's political views...I don't even know about everbody in my own family.

    She should talk about her firebrand Christianity and what her goals are for Israel: a Christian city devoid of all Jewish people waiting for end-times and Jesus second coming. Like most of the radical religious right she forgets to point out that her interest in Israel is about Christian access to Jerusalem. She cares absolutley nothing for Israel otherwise.

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. JAY N.H.

    Concerned in MA,

    And Palin can?

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. mike

    so Palin's husband may be a Alaskan Indendance Party member. My wife's a Democrat. Does it really mean that her husband and my wife are meeting (or wants to meet) with terrorists like your candidate likes to do.

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Thank you Palin for dividing America with your angry, hate-filled nasty campaign.
    The Rushpublican party is a cesspool of anti-American hate.

    October 29, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. AJWTexas!

    We are observing the most racially motivated and profiling smear campaign ever witnessed by our wonderful country. I am truly amazed and yet ashamed of the evil spirit of my fellow "sister".

    Palin has been a disgrace to not only the Republican party but also to the female species. Her demeanor, opinions and lack of intelligence has been so obvious to the American people that our comedians are banking on Palin"s short comings.

    McCain"s VP selection of Palin was to "inspire" the female voting constituencies. Instead, we, the strong and determined women of America, are ridiculed by this gesture.

    The internal Republican party divide regarding Palin"s selection speaks louder than any commentary, editorial and news soundbite than one could ever imagine.

    It is the year for change,unity and for a positive movement within our country. We can no longer accept the old line of division that the Republicans are so opening representing.


    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. lmc in Seattle

    We all better start keeping track of every single acquaintance, every person we meet, just in case we are called on it later! Has the US become a police state? If we don't meet and talk with people of all races, countries, religions, political persuasions, how will we ever learn about the world? Palin and McCain are desperately picking at every detail they can think of to win–part of their "winning is everything" strategy. Let's pick apart some of McCain's acquaintances! Or better yet, let's worry about whether he could have been brain washed! Most of the public is interested in important issues, not these negative diatribes!

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |


    Palin has been a registered Republican since the early '80's you cannot be a member of the AIP if you are a registered Democrat or Republican. As the Gov of the state she sent them a "Welcome video" which she had to do. Also please do not compare the AIP to hateful Khalidi who was part of the PLO. The only people you hear talking about the AIP are people like yourself who are just misinformed.

    By the way Libby is not a Terrorist, a thief but not a terrorist, and McCain said he is proud to know him and that he demounced his actions and he servred his sentence and paid his debt to society for what he did and knows it was wrong in contrast to say someone like William Ayers or Khalidi.

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. AJ from Houston, Texas

    So this is their Attack-O-the-Day?

    Give it up already...this tactic is NOT working...talk about real issues!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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