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. Amy

    Gov Palin, are you dense? Attacks haven't worked so far this campaign. Why do you think they will now? This seems so desperate – just like Sen Dole in North Carolina!

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. dan

    Palin is just attacker .. she is not qualified to be VP ... she deserve to go back ALASKA and never come back never heard her name FOREVER..

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. john johnson MI

    There they go again trying to lye their way into the White House. But it seems the best is yet to come, because the whole household, including Joe the plumber and the stinking bathroom sink, has been catapulted at Obama.
    We nee new politics of hope in America.

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

    Someone needs to stuff a sock in this twits mouth!
    She is the one being investigated!
    What nerve.
    I cannot wait to be rid of the republicans come Nov 4.

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Jennie

    What a pathetic fool.

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. barbara

    Can they throw anything else at Senator Obama. It is remarkable that the man is still standing. Please, Senator Obama, don't let them get to you. There are millions of people counting on your strength,

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. E POP

    "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."

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. jim

    Sarah Palin, you put the "CoUNTry" in "Country First".

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Anna

    Is cow-towing done with a tractor? Mr. Producer, you shouldn't be criticizing other people's pronunciations of names if you can't spell kowtowing.

    October 29, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Im the taxman

    Its time to tax any church that can talk up politics.

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. tell the truth

    blindsided –

    blind is more like it. stop making up quotes from obama's book. your supposed quotes aren't even in there and i'll bet whatever you want that you've never even read the book. (as an aside, i strongly suggest reading "dreams from my father". it is extremely well written and thoughtful and thought provoking. i think it's better than his second book, the audicity of hope, which was written after he was in elected office).

    anyway, i'm not a particularly political, but i teach literature. beware of anyone who mentions quotes from a book, but references no page number. blindsided, and others like him/her, are certain you won't take the time to read through all 800+ pages of obama's books to get the facts. so instead he/she tries to pull a fast one by distorting quotes, taking them completely out of context, or just making them up.
    it's stupid and counterproductive. we all have a right to the truth. it's not fair to make up things about people and spread them. perhaps you're still in kindergarten and haven't learned this valuable lesson yet.

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. REG in AZ

    Palin is a personification of the Republican Party today and clearly represents its problems. Arrogant, aggressive, self-focused, grossly dishonest, boldly out of touch and focused on benefit for a few while neglecting the majority – ie, irresponsible and self-indulgent without a conscience! And now she and McCain are desperate and the worst of them comes out.

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |

    Someone needs to stuff a sock in this twits mouth!
    She is the one being investigated!
    What nerve.
    I cannot wait to be rid of the republicans come November 4.

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. John

    I am so disappointed to see this Man (McCain) stoop to such levels as to question the very freedom we have to disagree with people and still be able to work with and know them with out being implied as un-American. I see hints of racism in both McCain and Palin.

    They are in my opinion displaying “Jim Crowish” behavior and they both disgust me to the depths of my soul.

    I already voted for Obama

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. E

    #1, Israel does commit horrendous acts against innocent families who owned the land for a millenia and were shoved off of it 50 years ago with the support of the West. Terrorism comes in all shapes, colors, sizes and religions.

    #2 Joe the Plumber is an unlicensed fraud and and a tax evader, not a hero.

    how about people try reading a book instead of listening to this ignorant beauty queen?

    October 29, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. No McCain!

    I need to research this further... but based on what CNN wrote, I do not find anything wrong with criticizing Israel. In fact, I see a touch of hypocrisy, why is it okay for us to insult other countries but its wrong for other countries to criticize us?

    To fellow Obama Supporters: Please research it a little further before calling her a complete moron (but I already thought she was.)

    To McCain Supporters: Please research this to prove she's right.

    October 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Malo

    palin watch out for you surprise October. Palin you are a scape goat and you are a disgrace to womanhood.
    Why are you allowing these people to use you like a robot.
    Did you get all the facts before you started accusing someone.

    What more again that you guys have that we haven't heard.

    Obama is terrorist, no he pals with terrorist,
    Obama is anti- America, no he loves America
    Obama pals with a pastor that curse America
    Sarah had a man who cast out witchcraft from her body.
    That pastor needs to come back and put more evil spirit in her.

    October 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. thorswitch

    Any particular reason your report fails to mention that the organization Khalidi founded – Center for Palestine Research and Studies "conducted regular public opinion surveys in the West Bank and Gaza with financial support from various foundations and from the International Republican Institute, McCain's organization for promoting democracy around the world." This support was not insubstantial – over the course of the 11 years that McCain led the IRI, they provided over three-quarters of a million dollars (just over $800,000.)

    I think that should be a significant part of any story about McCain and Palin's criticism of Khalidi.

    October 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Ally

    Now Palin has a dead-beat daddy (Joe the Plumber) standing by her side. This is an outrage to single mothers. Why isn't Joe working or is Palin paying him for his services?

    October 29, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Gary

    Cheer up America, there's some relief in sight. After November 4th, we won't ever hear from Sarah "Dick Cheney with lipstick" Palin and Joe the Tax Evading Right Wing Republican again!

    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Goutten

    Election after election we hear the same talk from the Repub. Keep in mind that the GOP is the cause of this whole mess in the first place. Know McCain and Palin are acting like they are not Repub. and they are different forn there party memebers.

    We see you as you are not as who you are trying to be

    Shame on you for acting the way you act John MCcain when you have fought along side Blacks during your tenure with the arm forces.

    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Sly in Seattle

    Wow.. Sarah Palin is a horrible horrible person.. unbelievable

    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Billy


    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Lewania Chapman

    The McCain campaign and his rogue companion are pathetic. I know why he voted with Bush 90% of the time, he is every bit as dumb as Bush. What in the heck is a "redistributionist", sounds like something Bush would have said. The Rogue candidate' s political career is over she looks just like Joe Lieberman.

    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Steph in Vegas

    Sarah Palin is a dispicable human being. The GOP would have had this in the bag had McCain used sound judgement and picked Mitt Romney as his running mate. This ill-informed heffer has dragged this campaign to the fiery pits of the hell she claims to hate.

    October 29, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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