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. Guy in Seattle

    She's talking about something that she didn't even know 2 months ago. Oh yeah, she's a parrot!

    October 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. arc, Lugano CH

    Nancy October 29th, 2008 3:02 pm ET
    Here are the list of connections why not to vote Obama:
    Ayers, Wright , Khalidi, Odinga, Resko to name a few… Oops, sorry, these guys are just people who live down the street from me.
    All you people who believe that, I have a bridge to sell
    You do know that Senator Obama is bi-racial right? Would it matter as much if his 'white' side has the same connections?

    You aren't a bi-racist or a bi-bigot are you?

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


    Don't insult your unintelligence

    October 29, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Wally

    Blindsided: Obama *never* says "muslims" in that "stand by" quote you keep posting all over. Please don't spread hatred.

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. bill

    Hey Pain....why not read the Rolling Stone article about John McCain....and then run your mouth. why not stump about the AIP...hmmmm...you attended their meetings, etc...so why isn't that "palling around".......oh...i get it...a double standard..what's godd for the republicans is tabu for the democrats.......................

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. I Shoot Wolves from a Plane and Cut Off Their Paws

    Palin is working on getting more support from her legions of "Joe The McCarthys"

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    That's about enough out of you, little Miss Fearmongering Lying Alaskan Socialist!

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Peter Zheutlin

    This is ridiculous, a return to McCarthyism. Goodness, McCain himself has a connection to the same guy - McCain headed a foundation that gave a grant to an organization headed by the same guy! And given the radical gibberish that comes out of the Alaska Independence Party to which Todd Palin once belonged, Sarah Palin ought not to be throwing stones. And she pals around with convicted felons, too. There are plenty of photos of her with Senator Ted Stevens.

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Sarah, tell us about the very un-American AIP that you and Todd belong to!!!

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Rudy H.

    I'm so sick of Sarah Palin....JUST 6 MORE DAYS FOLKS!

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Don

    With all due respect to the reporter, Joe Wurzelbacher, or 'Joe the Plumber' is not a small business owner. He has stated that he wants to be, but in the interest of accuracy, this reporting error should be acknowledged and corrected.

    Not a slam against the man, but facts are facts.

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. georgia for Obama

    OK ,Sarah we've heard your misleading bit on this . Now can we hear about yours & Todd's connections with the secessionists,Troopergate & misuse of elected office power for starters ????

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. McFailin

    Palin palled around with convicted (stevens) felon.

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Gene

    Watch how Sean Hannity takes this false information and runs with it without ever once questioning McCains connections to the same man. Fox news should just be honest and say that they are NOT fear and honest and are iin favor of the Republican ticket. I would have more respect for them as a news organisation. Every time Sean interviews either McCain or Palin, it is sickening how he drools all over them...

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Vee

    Nancy: Is that the bridge to nowhere?

    October 29, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Robert

    As a Floridian, I still get ribbed about the 2000 election mess.
    I want to extend a heart felt thanks to Gov. Palin for finally making her state the butt of the joke and taking the heat off Florida.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Desperate Republicans

    So desperate, talk about the issues Falin.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. This Canadian Loves Obama

    Yawn. So bottom line is they want the American public to believe that Obama is conspiring with terrorists to take over the world. That's it in a nutshell.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Sam

    McCain might not have known Khalidi personally, he has ties to the him as well. in the 1990s, while McCain was chairman of the International Republican Institute, that group gave grant money to the Palestinian research center, which is co-founded by Khalidi.

    Should not Palin Criticisize McCain for that tie also or she just has a short memory or She is just trying to build her political future for 2012.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. EDW

    Desparation from Socialist Palin

    her list went on. In the past, she said, “Alaska was conceding too much, and chipping away at our sovereignty. 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 wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” And she said, “Our state constitution—it lays it out for me, how I’m to conduct business with resource development here as the state C.E.O. It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.”

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Carlos

    Our biggest problem is not Obama's terrorist ties ... it's his ideological ties to Karl Marx.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Lansdale PA voter

    I would have considered voting for..., but ... Sorry this time...Mr. McCain – you just lost my vote because your pooooooooooor judgement - you picked the worst VP!!!

    You said COUNTRY FIRST, the fact is WINNING THE ELECTION FIRST. Do you believe P..lin has read any book (even one page) about ECONOMY?

    I will cast my vote to Obama on 4, Nov

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Mia and Mike

    Canadian POV, your post sums it up beautifully! I just thought it deserved to be viewed once again:

    Obaman has relationships with internationally respected scholars and the uneducated, unintelligent VP candidate tries to use that against him? What about her own affiliation with AIP? What about her abuse of power and the continuing (and expanding) investigation into her actions?

    So, having Joe the fraudulent plumber by her side is supposed to give her legitimacy over a Harvard educated candidate.

    She is so vile and relies only on divisive antics to fuel her blind ambition. The world doesn't need another Rovian Puppet.

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Stone Harry

    I can't beleive the campaign Obama and Biden are running. Do they think Americans are that stupid? Obama should go live in Russia for some time and then he will know what he can do with his socialist agenda! Just say NO to Obama/Biden! This is not good 'Change'!

    October 29, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. West Virginia for Obama

    I am so sick and tired of the lies, filth, accusations and name calling that is coming from Sarah Palin and the rest of the Republican party. I'm a Democrat, but I don't vote by party but rather by person. I voted for Regan and Bush Sr. I also voted for Clinton. I am so proud of the conservatives who have taken a stand and said no to McCain/Palin. This has been a dirty, disgusting campaign raged against Obama, yet he has met every insult with intelligence and grace. My daughter was watching Palin and McCain on television recently and she asked if Palin would be what Cheney is now (vice president) and I said it was possible. She said, "OMG, our world!" As the saying goes, out of the mouth of babes.

    Please people, get out and vote as early as you can. And take friends and relatives with you.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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