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. alan in AK

    "Khalidi — whose name Palin mispronounced "

    Did she pronounce it "Khaladi"? That would be hilarious, because they are a coffee company here in AK

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Bruce

    Palin better shoot McCain with that big gun of yous he was responcible to big contributions to the same GUY maybe giving mney is not as bad as having a drink. but then you are one to talk with your ties ot AIP

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. lyn

    God help us all if McCain and that VP win this election, we will be going to War with every country in the World. Wake up people and go out and VOTE early . We need to unite this great country and the World and not divide it with War. Vote for Obama & Biden they are for unity we need them.VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Al

    ... and I blast McCain for ties to Palin: an ignorant extremist, very dangerous for our country.

    And also I blast Palin for ties to McCain: he is as dangerous as Bush, plus bad temper! Can you imagine any enemies of our country who could do more harm?

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. bud

    I'd rather have a President that had friends in the past that "might" seem questionable than a VP, poised to step into the Oval Office, who's already been termed "an abuser of Power." It's gonna take McCain-Palin a full six months to wash all the sludge off themselves after the campaign they've run.

    And, on another note, since the $150,000 worth of clothes belongs to the GOP, what are they gonna do with them? Hold them for 4 years in hopes that they'll still fit? Sarah doesn't understand that the GOP doesn't BUY the stages, lighting and sound. They RENT it!

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. mike in VA

    So much for the land of the free and freedom of speech, and religion. This is a professor who's entitled to an opinion. Its not like he's taking action on terrist actions. This really sound like fear and racism. I don't buy it.

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. WheresMyRepParty

    While McCain was chairman of the International Republican Institute, they gave grant money to Khalidi's Palestinian research center, upwards of half a million dollars. Now if this guy is so bad, why did McCain support granting this guy huge sums of money?

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. ATLian

    Blindsided, please stop spewing Republican talking points and go to Fightthesmears.com to read the real quotes from Barack's book.

    October 29, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. sandy

    I knew it was going to get really rough! All of you out there supporting Barack just hold on to your seat! It will be over in just 6 days and I pray every day Barack Obama wins this election. God Bless America.
    And God Bless Barack Obama and his family.

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Mary

    Does Sarah Palin even understand the definition of "negative campaigning"?

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Setys

    Senator Obama attended a dinner party with Khalidi but McCain gave him $450,000 in grants?

    Who is more connected to Khalidi?

    Vote Obama/Biden

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. bpledger

    I am really tired of the name calling and finger pointing from the Mccain campaign. They blame Obama they blame each other. Pretty soon they'll run out of people ot blame.

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Jackie in Colorado

    Pitbulls are outlawed in Colorado. Why doesn't Palin get the heck out of here already!
    COLORADO will be BLUE!

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Truth Be Told

    rather, what about mccain's connection to you?

    October 29, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. MsRotten

    "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.”

    OK.....Ms. McLipstick....I have a question for you. Why did you hide behind the McCain Campaign when it came time to answer questions about "TrooperGate"?? How about your home in Wasilla? WHO built it for you and Toad? It was, indeed, the SAME PEOPLE who did the (FREE) renovations to Stevens home...wasn't it?? Your home was built for FREE! You have about 9,999 more questions to answer when you get home to Alaska on Wednesday!! You spent $500 MILLION (gave it away to Canada) for a "fantasy" gas pipeline....WHY? There are ZERO plans for your "make believe" pipeline....WHY do you keep telling people that YOU are building one??

    YOU are a FRAUD and a LIAR McLipstick!

    October 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. TjayeInLA

    If she had managed to stay in a university for more than a semester, she might have known that there are a variety of thinking minds there and different people learn to relate to one another. Her limited exposure to different people has contributed to her narrow mind and lacking intelligence.

    October 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Brian

    Rashid Khalidi spoke his mind at some point in the past? Apparently free speech is not part of the republican agenda.

    October 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. kennyboon

    I cant vote, because I am a Malaysian. If I can Palin and MCain would not be my choice. They have divided this nation more than any Americans leaders in history.

    October 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. cool onlooker

    God knows how close you are to the corruption crew in Alaska. Better keep your mind sober.

    There is no way American people can put her name on 2012 ballot. Toooo absurd.

    Intorable absurdity.

    October 29, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Seriously?

    Palin leaves me speechless. She is that stupid.

    October 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Independent in Portland, OR

    I've attended a lot of parties with colleagues whose world views I don't agree with, even if I respect the people themselves.

    I may even have listened to them express their point of view and not launched a rebuttal at the time, despite the depth of my disagreement.

    So – are all of those viewpoints now mine as well?

    October 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Mike from Missouri

    What about her ties to the Alaska Independance Party

    October 29, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Peggy - TX

    Palin – you are a joke. You will say anything. You lack a moral foundation. Of couse you will not read this b/c you live in a bubble. You are being used to deliver the garbage the McCain does not want to touch – for good reason. What is scary is the large number of Americans that actually will vote for you.

    Palin, why do you shoot wild wolves and why did you try to take polar bears off the endangered species list. Don't You think that God loves those animals.

    Evil is as evil does !!! YOU EVIL DOER!!!!

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. carol

    When Sarah Palin realizes she has been convicted of her abuse of power....maybe she will get off her soap box and keep her mouth shut....she must STILL THINK she has done nothing wrong!!!!
    I find it amazing how she has the nerve to be out there talking about
    anyone else...when she is a walking, talking felon herself.....but some people are so brash and power hungry they think they are above the law!!!!
    All of this negativity that McCain and Palin have shown in their campaign will come back to haunt them and even now it will not endear a lot of voters toward them.
    We need this election to be over and see the back of those two shameless creatures.

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. Karen

    If I have to hear Palin say "you betcha" one more time, I'll scream. Only 6 more days. . . . . .

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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