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. Tommy

    The unnamed McCain campaign spokesman described this woman best – "Whackjob"

    October 29, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. AJ

    Is this woman capable of an intelligent thought?
    I think she needs to go back to monitoring Russia from her porch!!

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Kevin

    to Blindsided -

    try reading the rest of the book so that you know the full context of the sections you're quoting.

    If you don't, then you're the only one who is truly blind.

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Lynnette

    The visual of: Open mouth, insert foot comes to mind with Palin. She really needs to keep her mouth shut because the only things that keep coming out is garbage, garbage, and more garbage. Unbelievable.

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. Zen

    She's a tool.


    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Karen Sullivan

    McCain and Palin have really steeped to beyond low throughout this campaign. And they complain the press has been biased?! Who do they think they're kidding?! They create their own negative news stories just by being the liars they are. They are the masters at spewing mistruths, half truths and inciting skinheads. They don't care what the truth is; they just want to win at any and all costs and I find that dispicable. I couldn't vote for these people who have a total lack of integrity. I now can't believe anything that comes out of their mouths because they have lied and twisted everything in this election. I suppose the Republican Party has now been reduced to a bunch of racist skinheads now...dispicable.
    Obama/Biden 08 and Beyond!

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. what the duce

    she a barbe Girl in a barbe world-she has a boyfriend his name is mc-cain.

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. banderson

    These people are grasping at straws. What will they call for next? This is not a new story just like the interview that Obama gave was not a new story. These people are just trying to play upon people fears in hope that it will get them elected. Doesn't this sound familar to anybody? This is the same thing the Bush administration did for 8 years, play on people fears.

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

    McCain is a part of a comitte that donated $450K to a group founded by Khalidi! What is Alaskan for hyprocrite? Also, with six days left, when is McCain and Palin going to address real issues?

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. rahepee

    I hear you, Ms. Palin, but I do not trust you. Therefore I don't believe what you are telling me about his professor is accurate. To many lies in the past. But one thing I do know. All you and your partners in crime have now is personal attacks, because you cannot defend or win on the issues. IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!!!! Try to deflect McCain's "trickle down economics". Try to tell me that deregulation of the financial market is best. It won't work because you and McCain are WRONG. Democrats have always built up the infrastructure and the economy. Republicans always pi$$ it away with wars and welfare to the wealthy.

    October 29, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Jim

    For your information, Israel IS occupying Palestinian territory, documented under international law. How blind can one be?

    This is disgusting.

    October 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Amer

    Now i know why he chose Palin, to do the dirty work for him. she has nothing to lose.

    how many top notch university professors will be dishonored for the same of this low campaign. at least they are free thinkers not like Bush, McCain and you ms. Pain.

    October 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. gwen

    For Concerned in Ma – that's all it takes for you to believe somebody is a radical terrorist is to have Sarah Palin (who can't even name a newspaper she reads) to say so!!! Get the facts, Khalidi is a prominent professor – he has had ties with both Obama AND McCAIN, just because people have different opinions then you does not make them terrorists!!! This is like the 1950's and Joe McCarthy, the repubs will start lies about someone, link them to someone else and therefore you're both guilty – of the made up lie – who would of thought America could get so low again – thanks Sarah!!

    October 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Chi4Obama

    Is this the "Big October surprise", that the GOP was been warning us about for months. Give me a break.

    October 29, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. MARY

    Poor Sarah. They still won't let her be herself. She has to read the scripts that are sent to her by the Mcdummy campaign before every campaign event.

    I sure would like to see the real Sarah Palin. Who is she? I bet she wishes this election was over so she can let the American people know her. Right now she's just McCain's Robot – blasting Obama for every public appearance, dinner he ever attended.

    Sarah, leave that campaign – come over to the Obama side.We will treat you with respect and dignity.

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. jeremy

    "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."

    Sarah should try to read up on facts before she opens her mouth. Her running mate actually gave $100's of thousands of dollars to this man. Khalidi is not a bad person.

    This is blatant race baiting by the GOP. I have friends from Palestine and they are not bad people.

    The GOP has no platform for this election so they are race baiting and using fear once again. It isn't going to work this time.

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. D from NC

    and yet another useless attack....

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Dennis, CA

    @ blindsided:

    Sir, you are misinformed and need to do some reading. Hope is a good thing. Without hope, there would be no life. And since when believing in a religion (Muslim, Christian, Jewish etc) is a bad thing? What is bad about someone talking about their search in life for where they belong You are not speaking so differently from skin heads? Don't we all go through that, knowingly or not? Stop your discriminatory comments please.

    With that said, Mr. McCain gave $500k to Khalidi's research firm. Why when GOP speaks, they only tell one side of the story?

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. John

    WOW!!! Excellent CNN/Palin/McCain in their intense research have brought to light another amazing NON-ISSUE! This is what comes from being so narrow minded that they think anyone who is slightly differently is a terrorist! Open your eyes fools!

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Rob

    When is McCain going to repudiate the comments made by his own running mate?

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Oh! The Irony

    Obama once stood in line next to a convicted felon while paying for groceries. He even said "hi" to this man of darker skin. This relationship must be thoroughly investigated. Obama must opbviously feel the same way about crime as this felon.

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. eloise

    I agree! Send Palin back to Alaska. They voted her in – let them have her.
    ps – I already voted for Obama

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Yousif Auchi

    Israel is the reason Arabs hate Americans. Israel is the reason the US fails to make any accomplishments in the middle east. Israel is the reason $4.2 billion are sent yearly in the form of "financial aid." Israel is the reason 750 Lebanese children were killed in July 2006, because of the abduction of 2 soldiers.

    Even if Obama does support Khalidi's statements, do you blame him? Palestine over Israel anyday.

    Obama 08'

    October 29, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Vote Obama in '08

    I think we should be more worried about Palin's intensions in '12. This women has proven herself to be someone that cares only about herself and her own agenda.... I'm from Alaska and many, many people here are insisting that Palin be impeached.... If Alaska dosn't want her anymore there has to be reasons and most Americans just haven't done their homework.... NO WAY TO PALIN.....

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Woman Against Palin

    This woman is a disgrace to everything American. She should go live in Russia since she can see it from her state. I can't stand her and if she tries to run for President in 2012 Gold help us all.!
    And that voice........... !!! 6 more days !!!!

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41