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. kinglywarrior

    Whatever Obama said at the event was NOT worth $450,000...which is how much MCCAIN gave Khalidi's foundation.

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. DeNel - Dallas, TX

    Nov 4th can't arrive fast enough. I’m confident that most Americans wish Gov. Palin would go back to Alaska and shut the he!! up. I pray Joe the plumber and Sen McSame goes with her. How many races and cultures can they offend before leaving center stage?

    No surprise why Americans are hated all over the world.

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

    What a hack. People who listen to this lying bit*% are fools. McCain has a greater working relationship with Khalidi than Obama has.

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. JoycesVoice

    Can you get Sarah to tell us about her affiliation with Alaska's Independence Party? She addressed them in March 2008 asking them to continue their good work. Here's another instance of her drag on the ticket. Better still, what about the Fannie Mae lobbyist inside his campaign. No wonder someone in their camp said she was a whack job. No wonder she and McCain have had a falling out. The second honest thing he did, admitted "mavericks" disagree. Not where I come from, they engage in constructive strategy as team players. GO MARSHALL MAVERICKS! Not you Sarah!

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. david

    When is airhead barbie going home to chase moose?

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Michelle, PA

    Now an uninformed comment from the fictitious Joe the Plumber is controlling the "message of the day" from the McCain campaign.

    YAWN! Six more days and we get to play with the adults again.

    October 29, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. A southern girl

    I'm so sick of hearing this lady talk about Obama!!!!!! We have a few more days left before Nov. 4th. Can you please talk about what you and your running mate will do for this country???? It is so true what Obama said, " when your losing or don't have any ideas you attack your opponent." What is your point Sarah!!!! Another quote from Obama, "I can take one more week of name calling, but this country can't afford to take four more years of the same policies!" These people are NOT his close Friends, get over it!!!!!!! How do you know derogatory comments where made, where you there Sarah?

    October 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Pillar Strength in Missouri

    I see Palin is reading her hypocritical Bible again. I'd like to send her the Saint James Version. It might add more substance to her message and I can get the English Standard Version if she prefers! It talks about Truth. Her and The Focus on The Family Tribe must read the same perverted interpretation. I'm glad I'm not into that religion. I believe its called a Cult.

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

    Roll tape of Sarah Palin addressing the Alaskan Independence Party. Be sure to mention one the recent presidents claims he launched her political career by getting her on the city council. Please also mention that he had an open door policy to the Mayors office and later the governors office. CNN when are you going to quit allowing them to manipulate the main stream media with their lies.

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

    Palin can better serve our country by looking at Russia from her front porch and sounding the alarm if any commies make a move. She can be compensated with expensive wardrobe and a personal hair stylist and makeup artist.

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

    L.A. Times is going to wait until the last moment to bust Palin's bubble, she shouldn't get her talking points from Rush and O'Reilly,
    It was a going away party, what does Israel have to do with a Professor leaving one University to another University, ABSOLUTELY nothing, Palin is a puppet for the GOP and will say whatever she has to for them, because to be in her position you have to SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE PARTY

    October 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Palin's future with the party is at stake. Go Palin Go! The more crap comes out of this woman's mouth, the more she will end up splitting the Republican Party into two.

    Has no one noticed the lack of interest in Palin's ties to the Alaskan Independence Party? The Party that wants to succeed from the U.S.!

    I thought this woman was supposed to be an expert on energy. Interesting enough that she talks little about it on the campaign trail?!

    October 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. TD Friedman

    If she had even the slightest idea who he was I would take this more seriously. Her speechwriters should know that she needs phonetic (that's pronounced fuh-net-ik) spelling to know what she is reading back for them.

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

    Wurzelbacher is not a small business owner. For the love of trruth please fact check a little bit.

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

    Ms. Palin stop, please stop. You are like a small child throwing a large tantrum. Enough.

    October 29, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Ms. GA

    Are you serious??? Why is she still talking? She doesn't know policy and McCain has clearly expressed how he knows NOTHING about the economy so all have left is lies and rumors.

    October 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Texas Mom for Obama

    Sarah Palin, as a woman I am disgusted with how you have allowed yourself to be used by the McCain campaign! We women have come a long way, and you singlehandedly are taking us back 100 years! You knew that you didn't know anything about national or foreign affairs, and yet you saw opportunity to further your own selfish ambitions to be McCain's VP by accepting a position you have no clue about! Stand up for all women, and stop allowing yourself to be used and abused by McCain and his handlers. Confess your lies, and maybe you can return to Alaska with your dignity still intact.

    October 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. jackie ohio

    Oh My god, what will they do next. just because a fellow profesor might have different in opinion then OBAMA should have disowend him. You know most friendships are not )you need to act, think, dress and eat like I do) Oh gee isn't that socialisim? think before you speak is what my grandma said

    October 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Sabreen60

    What in the world was McCain thinking?? What is he thinking, now?? I and think millions of others have no respect for him. He showed no judgment in picking Palin – a person who has no moral center. At least when McCain lies, you tell by watching his body language that he's not completely at ease. Palin – she doesn't blink. She looks right in the camera and lies. She is disgusting.

    October 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. 62 year old white woman

    She is a total numbskull! Her running mate has more to do with Khalidi than Obama. And, Joe the Plumber is NOT a business owner...she can't even get that right. He WANTS to be a business owner!!

    October 29, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Bill,ca

    CNN should show that vidio tape where Sarah Palin adresses the alaskan breakaway party.

    She has more dirt on her heels then Obama and McCain together

    What a miserable person she is, the worst in american history.

    Oh well, this hate mongering will get her nowhere.

    Obama / Biden 08

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

    Have they changed the definition of "Maverick"? Does it now mean "Dangerously Ignorant and hateful"?

    October 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. PartyHeartyArtie

    "Palin described Wurzelbacher as “a fellow Alaskan” because he once lived near Fairbanks."

    Hey Sarah, does he owe back taxes up there as well.

    October 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Ken

    Mccain met Khalidi in New york city and him and cindy mccain donated to his foundation for poor children in Palestine.

    I would think the relationship didn't start yesterday as we can see...

    October 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. samantha

    Reading this article absolutely disgusts me. It is perfectly acceptable to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you politically. In fact I'm pretty sure that is how you begin to understand both sides of an issue. I'm also pretty sure they call that a healthy debate. As for him being Palestinian, WHO CARES?! It's a nationality, the same way Italian, and Israeli and Greek are for example. Why is it not ok to even talk to people of middle eastern beackground during the election? I don't understand it! I had many conversations with my neighbor who was Iranian. What does that say about me? NOTHING, but that I talk to my neighbors!!! Geez, if McCain thinks its wrong to talk to people with opposing view points and differing backgrounds he will amount to nothing should he become president. Vote for the guy who can have civil conversations with people of all backgrounds and ideologies. Vote for Barack Obama!

    October 29, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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