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. Florida Sunshine

    Does Palin ever read-up on the topics she speaks on? She makes it all up as she goes along. Does she really think that no one will correct her on her false comments. Sarah Palin is dangerous one.

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Beah


    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Ben Gross

    McCain and Palin are ridiculous. They are making accusations about Obama that are without merit in an attempt to catch up in a race that is already over.

    Obama is a socialist? Face the facts folks. Our government owns stakes in Wall St and banks today! Bush is a socialist!

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. WillCNNpostmycomment?

    Obama has been palling around with professors! Imagine that!

    Besides- what is wrong with being Palestinian?

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Biff

    um... governor... you are MARRIED to a secessionist.....

    ya.... you betcha (wink)

    GOD... can this election please be over???

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Cathy Brandes

    Someone should inform Ms Palin, that Senator McCain was chairperson of an organization which donated money to Khalidi. Beyond responsible, beyond comprehension.
    Ms. Palin, go back to Alaska and take care of the mess there. Perhaps Senator Stevens is not the only one who should resign.
    Oh, to concerned in MA – shame on you for believing the crap the GOP is trying to sell!
    To blindsided: I bet I can find quotes (or the rest of the quote you are leaving out too) – ENOUGH!

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Mike from Vancouver BC

    What newspaper did you get this story from, Sarah?

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Lucy

    You ought to get your facts straight McMoosie, before you open your mouth about Obama's relationships. What I still want to know is WHAT, if anything, will you do for the American people? Why can't you talk issues? Stumped? cat got your tongue, or can't you even pronounce it? It's all up to you now. McSame is so feeble and reckless, he needs you. And that's a sad, sad place to be in. Just go home, McMoosie. Don't you have some mammal to kill?

    October 29, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Hoptree

    Desperate, desperate, desperate. But the sad thing is those who want to believe this garbage without any facts will still believe it. I am still getting emails from people who think Obama is a Muslim, now how long ago was that proven wrong? Give me a break.

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Victor

    John McCain needs to confer with his V.P. She's denouncing her own running mate!

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Eli

    Voters as well as the media should request, no, demand that Governor Palin release her medical records now.

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. RHairston

    I cannot wait until this is over. What is this you all's October suprise? And as a Pittsburgh, PA born and raised democratic woman, let me just tell you now that your hateful behinds have no chance at winning Pennsylvania so why you and McCan't keep coming back is beyond me!

    If you haven't already voted....please make sure you do!!! We have 6 more days you guys...let's do this!!!

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Deb n Texas

    Palin you need to be tied to a professor. I'd like to know how in the hell did you get a degree. I would also LIKE TO KNOW WHY ARE YOUR KIDS NOT IN SCHOOL – BIDEN'S KID IS IN SCHOOL, OBAMA'S KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL AND MCCAIN'S KID IS IN SCHOOL? WHY?

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. RO

    Does Palin know what she is saying, neither does McCain...McCain still sits on the board that gave Khalidi $500,000! Move on, folks!

    October 29, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Dennis, CA

    @ independent:

    LA times is doing what they promised: they are not releasing the tape because they have promised the source that they wouldn't. Plus, even if they released it, McCain made a donation to Khalidi's foundation, so that would only make him look bad. Please stop trying to find weaknesses in the Dem ticket, get over your fears and start working together to fix our economy.

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. simp

    What is hilarious is joe the plummer is campaiging, LOL who in the hell is going to listen to this loser. no plumming lic, owes money to gov't etc.. mccain and big mouth palin are desperate. Really, I laughed out loud when i saw this moron on the news campainging for mcstupid. Now there is talk that he might run for congress, LOL LOL
    does he think the american people are this stupid, well.... come to think of it, yes some are, they are cheering for this big mouth dumb woman why not joe the uneducated plummer, go for it ,these palin fans will vote for you, LOL


    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. oh no

    this witch needs to go back and lead her true party.... the Alaskan Independence party...... talk about Hypocritical.

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Cathy

    Nov. 4 can't get here fast enough for me. I am personally sick of this woman and McDisgusting. These people are so desperate that they are throwing every disgusting lie that they can come up with at Obama. Decent folks are tired, and we will show them just how tired of them we are at the polls. Hopefully, she will be sent home to Alaska next week and McDesperate will be sent to pander which of his 7 houses he wants to go home to. These people should be absolutely ashame of themselves.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Alex from Ohio

    What else do you expect from a campaign that is running out of ideas, running out of hope and running out of time. Both Palin and McShame are dispicable. I used to have so much respect for McCain and would have considered voting for him in 2000, but no longer, as he has clearly sold out to the right wing fanatics of his party who will do anything and say anything to scare up votes and distort the reality of the dire problems we face today in society.

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Dr Roy

    Hmmmm. I think I know why some media outlets are now shying away from Obama. Bad news doesn't sit still for very long.

    LA Times – Let us see the video (unedited) and then decide. If Obama is telling the truth, then the video will reveal that. If he is not, well ...

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Adam

    6 More days and she will be back in Alaska and hopefully on a short leash.

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Rich in Montana

    I am sick and tired of these attacks that are racially motivated. Growing up inthe 60's & 70's made me relize that i would never want to live in a place where such hatred exsists for people of color or race. I didn't think my grand children would have to endure this. We have lost all the people who had the guts to stand up for changing this hatred. J.F.K., Bobby, Dr. King. Now the one person who can give us hope again for communication and open dialog on how to stop this prejudice and segragation come under attack by candidates who think the only way to win is through ugly dialog. I for one have had enough and america had better wake up and give Obama a try. Look what happened inthe past when we calmed down and put our trust in PEACEFULL PEOPLE not VINDICTIVE MAVERICKS!!!!

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. MCD, SF, CA

    I'd be willing to bet that a week or so ago, Palin didn't even know what PLO stood for (can't see that far from Alaska).

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Bethie T

    Looks like Sarah goofed again.

    October 29, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. milo

    "celebrated small business owner"

    I take issue with both of those claims – the second is factually incorrect and the first is debatable.

    McCain and Palin seem to be the only two celebrating this guy, the rest of us see him for the footnote he truly is.

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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