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. Spencer/VIRGINIA

    @ Concerned in MA

    Hey buddy, what about her and her husband's ties to AIP? What about her unethical behavior? How about McCain supported Mr. Khalidi's foundation? Cat got your tongue. You latte sipping righties better get ready for CHANGE.


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

    Has Sarah Palin EVER said what she brings to the table as a leader for this country???? All I ever hear out of her mouth is hateful talk and smearing.......

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Jonathan

    Khalidi was never at any point a spokesperson for the PLO. Isn't "spokesperson" a rather public job anyways? Isn't it obvious that he's telling the truth, if there isn't a single record of him actually speaking for them...ever?

    Not to mention that John McCain funded Khalidi's organization during the '80s...

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. White Christian Mother for Obama

    "…while McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute, the group gave grant money to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi."

    – just says it all, doesn't it???

    Give it up already, you fighting a losing battle

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. TjayeInLA

    I suppose she neglected to mention that is the same man McCain gave nearly half a million dollars to for his studies.

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Nice try, Caribou Barbie! Another Sarah, Sarah Silverman punked you guys with the Big Schlep, getting Jewish kids all over America to go to Florida and tell their Grandparents to vote for Obama!

    Do you know how much you scare people? Maybe it's becuase you never denounced Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaskan Independence Party. You remember, the home grown terrorist who was murdered in 1993 during an illegal sale of plastic explosives that went bad. ...

    Nice friends!

    October 29, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Sarah

    Are you kidding?? Again?? Republicans, please talk about important topics. This is not working, and that's why you'tre behind .... Focus on our country problemes and find solutions ... That's what Obama is doing ...

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Brandon from Ohio

    I think she figures if she makes up enough crap about Obama everyone will forget that she was found guilty of abuse of power and guilty of unethical conduct. I just find her continued mudslinging to be final week entertainment. But you know in all honesty, the really sad thing is that this woman is in charge of a STATE. And just pushes aside her mis-conduct conviction. But yet has the audacity to tell a Senator from Alaska he should resign (and by all means I agree), while she keeps running for an even HIGHER office. Just a dirty dirty politician in Daily Scandal Palin.

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Maggie from Virginia

    Is this the same Khalidi McCain donated $800,000 too? CNN, time for a fact check.

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. mike

    At least Gordon Liddy was brave enough to serve his sentence (pay his debt to society), unlike the fugitive Bill Ayers.

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    Lies by Palin!?

    Enough already Obamabots if there is nothing for Obama to hide on the tape then why won't he call the LA Times and tell them to release to just end it?

    The person who has been untruthful with the American people since day 1 is Barack Obama!!!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Ken in Dallas

    Is this how it ends for the Republican party?

    Fictional plumbers, fictitious accusations, hatred, venomous mendacity?

    This is desperate, repugnant, and the exact opposite of how our politicians should conduct themselves.

    I'm ashamed for them. I'm ashamed for anyone who believes in them.

    I'm deeply ashamed for anyone who votes for them.

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Geeque

    What about John McCain ties to this man, McCain had dealing with him as well; All I will say is follow the cash.

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. On the home stretch

    I am Jewish, I support Israel, and I also support Barrack Obama for being able to talk to leading Palestinian intellectuals like Khalidi instead of pursuing the mis-guided policies of Bush-McCain, which would rather divide, isolate and dominate the Middle East with policies and ideology from the last century. Thank you Joe and Sarah for reminding me why I am voting for Obama-Biden on Tuesday!

    October 29, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Daisy

    Why doesnt she instead concentrate on her clothes and shoes. She does not look intelligent so why appearing to be one?

    What do people do at dinner parties? EAT!!
    And why dont you go ask McCain why he gave $450,000? In my opinion that is more of a significance than dining?

    Yeah!when was the last time she made sense, anyway!

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Steve

    I heard once that it is not a wise move to criticize someone who buys ink by the barrel...

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Concerned in CA

    Attack, attack, attack....no substance, no policies...just keep attacking...

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Rose

    This is a direct quote from the previous article:

    "And while McCain might not have known Khalidi personally, he has ties to the Palestinian as well. During the 1990s, while McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute, the group gave grant money to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi."

    More republican vitriole and lies.


    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. leon levin

    This is the comments of someone who's state has wanted to succed from the US. How about an answer to that fact .


    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |

    You are abhorent woman. Get lost.

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. MLD

    McCain supported Khalidi's group himself when McCain was chairman of the International Republican Institute.

    The McCain/Palin hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. disgusted

    When did Joe the Plumber become a small business owner? I thought he worked for a small business and had dreams of maybe some day buying the business (hopefully after he sees fit to pay his back taxes).

    October 29, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Independent

    Why doesn't CNN work on the LA Times to release a transcript if they can't release the actual video? What's the harm in investigating the story?

    It would be nice if someone from the media asked Obama what his vision is for America. Is it a society where there are no winners, no losers, everyone is equal? No workaholics, no slackers? Just like the Beatles song "Imagine"? Sounds nice until you actually think about the consequences, one of them being the vaporization of the American Dream.

    I don't have a much as the guy next to me, but he works harder for it and he deserves it, not me. What is wrong with that concept?

    October 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Sunshine

    @JEFF : Thank you for posting your comment. I hope McCain and Palin see this and stick there feet futher in their mouths.

    McCain and Palin are too concerned with bringing fear upon this BRAVE nation. As Americans we should not stand for it and vote Obama and Biden to run this country safely.

    October 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. jj in Idaho

    Actually, it's probably not the alleged PLO connection that scares her...it's his credentials as a professor. God forbid we should have well-educated leaders who pal around with other well-educated people. All that education makes keeping the electorate a-feared and suspicious of difference and change that much harder.

    Don't Gloat, Just Vote!
    Peace out

    October 29, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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