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. WA

    What about her ties and husband's ties to the Alaskan Independence Party. She even told them to keep up the good work when she spoke at one of their conventions.

    Woman paleeeeeeeeeeeze....go back to Alaskan. What about her ties to a witchdoctor.

    October 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    What is the name of the minister that exorcised the witches out of Palin? He didn't do a very good job.

    Obama/Biden – I voted early – ha ha ha haha

    October 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th


    October 29, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Riaz

    This is going to Back fire McCain/Palin... Release an ad on this and see what they will get back from Obama/Biden... CNN.. where is the fact check on this ??

    October 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Rich in Seattle

    Simply Pathetic!

    October 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Bradley

    Cry baby Failin. Focus, focus, focus! It is the economy, STUPID!!

    October 29, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Judy

    He's NOT a plumber! Get it right!

    October 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. thomas

    SUPPORT CORPORATISM IN AMERICA! Fight against freedom, fight against democracy, fight against humanity McCainiacs. Fight. Fight! FIGHT!!!

    October 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Dee

    She misprounced his name? What a shocker? Someone in the audience should have asked her "Who are you talking about again, we've never heard of that person?"...

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Tell it like it is McWar /Phailling

    McCain /Palin How about your ties with that Alaska felon you were really thick with him and McCain he was your close buddy for years have you already forgotten about that.
    Palin are you busy drumming up some more crooks to build you another house somewhere else on a lake in Alaska?
    Palin Have you been shopping again today on the Republican budget plan ?
    What size are you Palin ?we could use those clothes around here will take donations since you broke the ice there nothing wrong with taking donations is there?

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Pam

    Let's hear some more about Palin's ties to the Alaska Independence Party. Talk about un-American.

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. yvonne, raleigh

    Yes, in Academia on can be put together with people of other nationalities, races and political backgrounds. Happens all the time. But Academics are there to teach a subject, and do research. Two or more professors may be doing research together for academic purposes, and have strong ties to further that cause, and yet not have anything else in common.
    Sarah Palin must realize that McCain is an old man, but the fact that he has no future should not mean that she should forego one of her own. Politically, for her, bad moves. Just yesterday, moreover the campaign was ready to throw her under the bus.

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Greg in Mpls

    How about you explain how your husband was a member of the AIP Sarah?

    That organaization was agaisnt AMERICA itself.

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    McCain FUNDED Rashidi you imbecile!

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. never voted before

    I never voted before. Lies motiveted me to do it for the first time. Family casted 4 votes for BO today.

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Pro-Israel for Obama

    I'm a pro-Israel Jew and there is ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION IN MY MIND: VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN 2008!!!!!

    I already cast my vote 🙂

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. MEP

    She had better give McCain a blast too, while she's at it.He has equally strong ties– but it appears that that piece of information falls into her " never mind" category.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. SAT

    If John McCain also has ties to this gentleman, what is the purpose of bringing this subject up? Isn't it better to let it go? I don't know understand the logic behind the argument.

    Stick to addressing how your team will fix the economy. That is what's most important right now.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. v.ananthan




    McCain / Palin 08

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. tkfarns

    One would believe that McCain and Palin do not believe that this country is founded on different races and different religions..They do not only condemn Obama in their attacks but also race and religion..So much for tolerance...It would be refreshing if either one of them could campaign on their policies..(oh wait..guess they would have to have some first) instead of attacking Obama. I am a registered independent but McCain lost me with his first lie of country first and then picking Palin

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. shawn

    yeah, she is such a great friend and supporter of israel that her 1st mayoral campaign touted her as the "first christian mayor" of wasilla since she was running against an incumbant named "stein"...nevermind that he was also christian...this woman is a joke..

    and for all you wingnuts that think she will be back as leader of your party in 2012, i hate to break your heart but this woman has zero chance of ever getting enough mainstream support to ever get herself elected..sorry, but you actually need independents, moderates and maybe even a few democrats..bye bye sarah!

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. kevin FROM PACIFIC WA

    a small fact at the bottom of the story is totally false...joe the plumber is not a small business owner is a tax cheat and isnt even a real plumber.......

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Nancy From Va

    Sarah go back to Alaska and be the hockey mom you speak of. That I believe is the one and only job you can do. Face the music in Alaska as your political career goes down the tubes!!!


    October 29, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. The Republicans are comedic GOLD!

    Boy they are just trying anything. So despeate.

    October 29, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. The BOTTOM Line..........

    As reported by The Huffington Post

    Sen McCain also has a connection to Mr. Kalidi. cCain chaired an organization that gave Mr Khalidi money.

    "In 1993, McCain became chairman of the International Republican Institute. He still chairs that respected organization.

    That same year, Khalidi helped found the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, self-described as “an independent academic research and policy analysis institution” created to meet “the need for active Palestinian scholarship on issues related to Palestine.” (Its archived website is HERE.)

    Khalidi was on the board of trustees through 1999.

    According to tax returns the McCain-chaired IRI funded the organization Khalidi founded and served on to the tune of $448,873 in 1998 (click HERE to see the tax return)* as first reported by Seth Couter Walls at HuffPo."

    October 29, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 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