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. KJ

    All the Palin-McCain ticket is doing is trying to draw connections between Obama and people he barely knows. William Ayers didn't work. This won't work either! Obama/Biden 08!

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Winnie Hussein . . . in Montana

    Blindsided – those comments are twisted and taken out of context. See the truth on factcheck.org.

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

    DESPERATE. Smacks of an ABUSE OF POWER, by trying to stir up fear.

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Woe

    Really now Sarah, Someone should investigate your ties with Santa Claus and the bridge to nowhere.

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. js

    Will someone please put a muzzle on Sarah Palin? Or better yet, suggest that she spend this upcoming weekend on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney!

    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. zack, nj


    October 29, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Jodi, NC

    The ease in which Gov. Palin lies and distorts to serve her objectives is eerily similar to another Vice President.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. GMT

    Obama did this back in 199whatever, McCain was involved with so-in-so back when blah blah. There is one week left before the election. Who cares who these two have known over the years – everyone in Congress has skeletons if you want to dig enough. They both need to either tell us how they plan to fix this country, or shut up.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. eg

    Why are so many afraid of the truth? If there is nothing to the video, then the LA times should release the video and let us judge for ourselves. Perhaps it was the fact the Ayers and his wife were present at this party too.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Kathryn of Evanston

    Sarah Palin is uninformed. She needs to research her facts before she talks or maybe she should just not speak...oh, what a novel idea...Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi were colleagues at UofC...Sarah Palin doesn't even qualify to put her right toe onto the campus at this fine University where my entire family attended. Sarah Palin is so ignorant she can't even pronounce Mr. Khalidi's name correctly. Do we really need someone of her ilk representing the USA? I think not. It was bad enough when I worked in London that people asked if all Americans were like those on the Jerry Springer show but to actually have one of these people representing our country is reprehensible, at best. I hope and pray that Senator Obama wins this presidency so that once again, the USA will become the leader that the world has known and admired.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. we shall overcome

    Alaskan Independence Party

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Stevo

    She's one to point fingers. Rogue diva go away! Can't wait til you lose.

    Clearly another instance of nothing to say for themselves, so they sling mud instead.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. jmaxwell


    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. arc, Lugano CH

    Yet another lie propagated by the campaign of Old Dying Man McScum and Palin White Trash Trailer Park Queen.

    McCain & Palin have nothing left to count on but the fear and bigotry of their supporters.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Noah

    The Alaskan Independence Party was something Palin's husband belonged to 20 years ago and that she had no ties to. Nice try desperate Liberals. Obama has relationships iwth the most radical elements of social and political life.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Kim

    So, if I have a relationship with people from other cultures and religion, I am a terrorist??? If so I need to withdrawl from college, do not talk to my neighbors, and live in a box. Thats what the GOP is about? No wonder they have dumb people following them. If seems to me the message is be a dumb redneck and your Pro-American. Good job America!

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Dave from Alaska who knows Palin from Schooll


    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Cathy

    More of the same... throwing up old stories to see if they'll stick now. Face it, Obama has the experience of working with people from all walks of life. Obama's background and heritage have enabled him to see the world through different eyes – eyes that see us all as kindred spirits and not just us vs. them. I congratulate him on his diversity and his willingness to listen and not just dismiss.

    October 29, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Bill in Ct.

    CNN where's the tape of this crazy lady Palin praising the Alaskian Independent group that wanted to separate Alaska from the U.S.. This woman has no shame and she lies so much. I guess she think people won't know about her relationship with AIP, O that's right she doesn't know them like she was found guilty of abusing her power in Alaska but let her tell it, she said she was glad that she was cleared of the charges, how DELUSIONAL

    October 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. Sue

    Give it a break, Sarah. Everyone who doesn't believe in your idea of America is an anti-American terrorist! Never mind that fact that McCain has ties to this guy. You are a disgrace, and we "real" Americans will be so glad when you go back to Alaska–maybe they like your kind of divisive hate-mongering up there.

    October 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Emily

    This woman is delusional. Look at the Separatist Party in Alaska, look at abuse of power. Why isn't the Obame campaign throwing this stuff in her face. There certainly is enough of it.

    I can't wait for this to be over so I don't have to hear "My Friends" followed by some lie from that old death's head. He and Palin have redefined themselves and not in any positive way. Her screachy voice won't be missed much either.

    Obama/Biden 2008 VOTE VOTE

    October 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Hela

    Palin, don't you learn! It's a fact that your attack strategy is not working and the more you do it, the more you are confirming that you and McCain are on the other side re: the issues. You have changed the course of politics for the worst. What a shame!!!

    On another note, I wonder why permanent residents (green-card holders) are not allowed to vote. We pay taxes and all our dues like any other citizen. I just wish I had a chance this time – only this time!

    October 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Alabama Voter

    What about your ties to Khalidi McCain your the one who keeps throwing money at the problems instead of trying to peacefully end them. I can't even believe they let her say anything about this when she has her own moral ethics (troopergate) and ($150,000 shopping spree) to think about. What about her ties to Stevens?

    October 29, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Missy

    Nancy: I'm not an Obama hired gun. You need to fact check some more. You sound like Republisheep.

    October 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Deputy B

    And on a related note, here's an interesting CNN Politics.com headline: "GOP split over whether Palin is party's future"

    It seems that some want Palin, others are strong on Jason from the Halloween movies, and a number would like to legalize human cloning to see there's anything they can do with Joseph Goebbels. However, those for human cloning are generally okay with Palin.

    October 29, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41