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. LA Clark

    Why is the McCain campaign pushing for the Times to show this tape so much? If the McCain camp believe it's that important, I'm sure they can find another copy of this tape and distribute it themselves. But, do they? No. This is just another last minute ploy by the Republicians to muddy the waters and take things out of context. Amazing!

    October 29, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Georgia for Obama

    McCain gave that man Khalidi USA grant money wny Palin discussing this to the American people....Palin I wish you would back to Alaska and get impeach...Palin where your medical records because I want to know if you really had this baby I heard the baby is Brystol baby...

    Palin where your medical records release them to the public

    October 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Manuel TX

    So, let's see the tape.

    What's the big deal?


    October 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Lu from Houston, TX

    Truly desperate.

    University of Chicago, like any other major universities in the US, have a wealth of international scholars. We can't tie Palin to any of them because she was never admitted to one major university.

    October 29, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. marlin

    Palin needs to get educated before she speaks, see below:

    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 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. WhiteWomenforObama'08

    She is a deperate person.

    If the GOP, after this game changing election really, decides the way they want to go is more religious social conservative, then they deserve what ever failures she brings them.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. mike

    How pathetic this woman is. Get use to her now if you so desire because after next week and God willing, she will be a pice of ancient history. Her political future will never progress because she is exposing herself as a liar every day on the campaign trail. She may be attractive on the outside, but inside there is nothing.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Heather from Seattle, WA

    Why does this woman insist on being so darn divisive? Now is the time to do what we can to promote peace, especially in the middle east. It's just another desperate attempt to use fear and I hate to say it but racism against Obama to cover up the McCain-Palin's failure to spark support on the key issues. Why should we be scared that our Presidential Canidate is a former colleauge of an esteemed Palestinian professor? I think it's wonderful that Obama has spent his life surrounded by people from different nationalities and opinions. This is exactly what has given him the preparation to be a knowledgeable and fair leader. I think what is far more scary is to have a person like Palin, who has made it clear that to be a real "pro american" you have to agree with her and her very small and closed minded view of the world in power!!!

    Vote Hope over Fear!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Yolanda

    Still nothing about the economy from Palin. She has NO CLUE. Her only talent is to sling mud fast and furious.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Independent White Woman for Obama

    I am so tired of this. When will this election be over?!!!!!!!!!!! For one thing, they are making up lies again which means I need to keep my promise and donate another 15 bucks to Obama. My credit card and my psyche can't take much more of this!

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Dennis

    "On Wednesday, she tried something different."

    Just like every other day in this pathetic campaign she's running . . .

    Just go away, Sarah the Clueless.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. Lynn

    Here is a quote from Sarah Palin in the New Yorker Sept 22/08:

    "And Alaska – we're set up unlike other states in the union, where it's collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the weatth when the development of these resources occur'

    The article goes on to say "Alaska is sometimes described as America's socialist state because of its collective ownership of resources...
    Google" the newyorker the state of sarah palin" to read the rest...

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  13. Lu from Houston, TX

    Division, division and division.

    Palin continues to alienate the muslim communities in the US. If she was in power, would she drive them to concentration camps?

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Tannim

    File this under the "Who Cares?" department.

    We've armed Israel to the teeth, yet we refuse to let them go their own way and kowtow to their lobby as if they are some sort of political demigod.

    Ignore the Israeli lobby, and let them be their own nation without our crutch. Ditto for every other nation in the world.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. mama4obama

    Put a sock in it lady. You know not what you speak of.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    What a fearful thought that the GOP is using this dolt as the new standard bearer for a new generation of Republicans.

    Another fine reason to vote for Obama–show just how much credibility this skirt wearing "Daniel Boone" really has with the average American.

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. RepubNoMore

    Keep talking lady...the more lies and hate you spread, the more you alienate the average american!

    October 29, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Stormie, Independent, VA

    McCain is so stupid. He's the one with the money trail to this guy...why would he bring this up?

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Janet Jacme

    The sooner this dolt leaves the airwaves, the better. I've had just about enough of her idiotic rantings and her ugly style of politics.

    Please go back to Alaska and wait for Putin to rear his head in the airspace.

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Rose the white woman

    McCain had ties with same Khalidi and helped fund his organization. Palin is just hoping the American people are more uninformed than she is. Sorry Sarah. Not possible.

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Connie from Indiana

    I am so happy to see the energy goddess campaigning with Joe the plumber the economist and foreign affair expert. I have a Randy the carpenter, laid off , Kim and Wes the factory worker that are afraid their plants are going to close. Why if Joe the plumber wants to buy his own company isn't he home working ? VOTE EARLY INDIANA / VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. ed

    I can't beleive the campaign that McCain/Palin are running, they have accused Obama of everything in the book, a terrorist, socialist, unamerican & so on . The last time that these tactics were used was before world war two when a guy named Adolf was running down the jews & calling them every name in the book & the fight speech McCain made, if it was translated into german i wonder who it would sound like. These campaign tactics don't sound like they are trying very hard to unite a already divided nation I have voted republican before but I don't even know this party now.

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Dale K. Bethel, Oh

    Palin is not the only one to descend into this kind of disgusting finger-pointing. Politicians of every stripe have been doing this since John Adams.
    My question is: Why do we elect/re-elect these "no lie is too big as long as it gets me elected" people?

    dale k

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. vahe

    tomorrow Palin will come out with another dumb idea..... she will tell people," Do you know Obama was having coffe with Sadam last monday?" well america you need to know real obama.... John and i are mavericks we know how to help you..... Get a life palin you are very nasty persoon and your future is on life line after this election

    October 29, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Observer

    They already tossed the kitchen sink–now comes all the rest of the plumbing in the house. Must be a make-work program for Joe.

    October 29, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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