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. FP

    - "It was the first time the celebrated small business owner has appeared with Palin on the stump."

    This is factually incorrect.
    "Joe" (The Plumber) does not own a business.

    "Joe" is simply a plumber who dreams of owning his own business, and dreams of making enough money to be taxed at the higher rate.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. c. nelson

    Okay, she was dead wrong with the other dozen calumnies, but this time we should believe her? When it's a week before the election?? Oh simple-minded lying Republicans, we know you now, we know you to the core. This is your bright idea for an October Surprise. If it were true, or even partly true, or even a teenie-eenie-weeney bit defensible, you would have brought it up months ago.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Florida

    Simply DISGUSTING!!! This woman has been slinging mud from the moment she stepped on the national stage. Palin, if you can read, please put a sock in it and give us an alternative you moron. As Bubba would have said...Its the economy stupid!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Catherine

    When is the media going to talk about her connections and Todd Palin's connections to the AIP (Alaska Indpendence Party)???????????????

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. JD in Moraga

    Two words for the documented power-abusing ethics-challenged Governor: GO HOME!

    Every time she opens her mouth, "stupid" comes out. She must be getting her information from Fox News.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    Oh Please Please Make sure on Nov 4 2008 You get out there and Vote for Obama round up everyone you can, and just when you think you have had enough of the lines, Think of the Last 8 years think of Iraq and all the lives lost and Money Wasted, Think of your Jobs Gone, think of Your Home Values dropping, most Importantly Think of Govenor Palin and if Mccain should win and something happens to him WE HAVE HER Think of all of this and you will stay in those lines!

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. bruce

    please spare us the innuendos.

    Once again, this campaign is off the mark. Though I am sure that these persoanl attacks appeal to a certain fringe element, the appeal is lost on thinking Americans who require more subtance in their arguments.

    You are running out of time in this election and haven't yet convinced anyone that these personal attacks are valid. Wake up!

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. wycliffe, NJ

    Why is he teaching at colombia if he is anti-American--deport him, if he is doing something illegal.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Jon(CO)

    If we vote in another party using the tactics of division no one will ever run a positive campaign again. If issues, character and intelligence matter to you, chose wisely.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Lori

    This would be a better attack if McCain's group didn't fund this "terrorist professor" for over a decade.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Colm

    What a shameful person!!!!! Poor lady...so dull she can't see what they are doing to her

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. bruce

    Hmmmm..she needs to explain the AIP affiliation, seems that borders on treason....
    and Mccain....well...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.

    when are these two going to tell us how they are going to fix this country...not just tear down and use fear...I am sick of them both.
    I am aa repub but I am voting for Obama.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Proud to Be an American

    Republicans. We the people of the United States are no longer afraid. You can not turn our votes by fear any longer. We are ready to stand as a nation and say we are ready to take on any challenge ahead of us. We are ready to tighten our belts, put our noses to the grind stone, work hard, play hard and pray that our nation can have a leader again. Not a bully who uses fear to manipulate. We are ready for a leader that can inspire and moblize the American Spirit that saw us through the Great Depression, WWI, WWII, the Cold War and brought Civil Rights legislation. The same spirit which took us to the moon will free us from our dependence on oil, both foreign and domestic. We are ready to fufill our destiny as set forth in the constitution that all men are created equal. We are ready to stand up and fight to protect those rights once again. You had your time to use fear to manipulate and re-write our laws. NO MORE. NO MORE. NO MORE. We are ready to elect a leader with a vision that can mobilize our American Spirit once again! Vote Obama/Biden! Vote Obama/Biden! I did yesterday!

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Kia.

    If i have to hear Palin say "you betcha" one more time I'll scream.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    One word for you Palin > Independence Party... You people hate being a part of America and still do. You and McCain still haven't fessed up to what you actually plan to do with this country just in case you win the election.

    October 29, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. mark

    During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.

    A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, "West Bank: CPRS" on page 14 of this PDF.)

    The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi's group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of "sociopolitical attitudes."


    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Brielle

    Someone PLEASE shut this woman up! We are tired of hearing her spew hate. Enough is enough; she needs to go back to Alaska and quit politics altogether.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Alison B

    As if there was nothing else important to discuss. Did she do the research on this or is she reading it from a cue-card. Like my mother says if you don't have anything good to say about someone don't say anything at all – I guess she never learned that.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. cal

    This big mouth witch is hugh liar. what about her and first dude relationship the independent party in alaska, that succession party where the they wanted to denouce america and become their own country, why hasn't CNN talked at all about that? but you print this bull $%#@ about Obama because mcsane said it. palin is a self interest evil, loud mouth, nasty, totally ignorant witch and I can't wait until this is over so she can take her lying big fat mouth back to alaska.


    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Cory

    Even if everything she is saying is true, I simply respond so what? Khalidi is a leading expert on the Middle East and Islamic relations and a professor. As president I would like to hear what he has to say and his opinions? Will I agree with them and whole-heartedly adopt them? Of course not, but the fact of the matter is he is a respected authority and deserves to be heard. I would be scared to have people like Palin and McCain in office who are simply going to shut their ears to those who have a dissenting opinion. People have to realize that the government is charged with representing all of us and that includes liberals, conservatives, christians, jewish, islamic, athiests, agnostics, and people who have made mistakes in the past. We are all Americans and every voice deserves to be heard.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Jean

    I am so disgusted with the idiotic accusations coming from these two. Why can't you go to a going away party and say nice things about someone? Especially if the person is nice! It shouldn't matter if the person is pro-Palestinian – it doesn't mean you agree with their point of view. I like the secretary at my job but she's a staunch conservative republician who hates all thing democrat and wishes California would fall into the ocean. When she retires, I will have something nice to say about her. Trust me – Obama supports Israel and will not turn his back on her. However, he might just be the one to help bring some real peace to Israel and Palestine.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. MTG

    I simply can not believe the stuff that this woman comes up with and she is suppose to be a Christian.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. elaine

    I think the smear campaign may of back fired on this one. John Mccain and the repub pary gave substainal donations to this mans organization. If they are questioning the relationship with Obama they better look at their own.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. M

    Obama has been palling around with professors! Imagine that!

    Besides- what is wrong being Palestinian?

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Ben - Portland, Or

    Let's not forget....

    Yasir Arafit, former PLO leader, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in '94... he shared the award with two Israeli leaders, Shimon Peres (former President of Israel) and Yitzak Rabin, for their work to bring peace to the two parties.

    I'm just trying to understand the logic here...

    If the leaders of Israel met with, worked with, and shared a peace award with, the leader of the PLO, then are the Israelis supporting terrorists? Are the Israeli leaders anti-Israel? Beacase it's that logic she's using with Obama and Khalidi.

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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