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. Kimberly in Azizona

    OH MY GOD! Can these people be any more pathetic? Palin is JOKE, and now joe the NOT plumber, are talking about Isreal??? ARE YOU KIDDING? The problem with people that support these idiots is they have no education, no sense of loyalty to THIS country, and could care less about the AMERICANS here, its all about agendas with these people. I cant WAIT until Barack and Michelle and Joe and Jill are FINALLY done with these loons! Its almost as enbarrasing watching the right DEFEND these people as my high school prom pictures. This HAS to stop...what a joke they are, and are making this country look like...

    October 29, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Susan

    She sounds like a gossip columnist, not a candidate for political position. Plus, I voted already.

    October 29, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. redleg

    Let's ask her again what her church teaches about Jews deserving to be blown up.

    October 29, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Palin hasn't learned her lesson yet, she's still gossiping without any facts and again it will back fire on her. Palin is an uneducated idiot.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. WDRussell

    The GOP wants to revamp their party because they are nor insane enough. If is wasn't the GOP, I would think it was a skit from SNL.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. JL

    S. Palin is "dumber then a boxes of rocks rolling down hill and the rocks are winning". What about her "ties" to the GOP's crazies like G.W. Bush and R. Cheney? This comes from someone is not aware of the position of Vice President in America. Get a life Palin and try not to tell to many LIES when that happens.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Edwin

    Palin and Satan almost rhyme. Coincidence? I think not.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Alisha, MN

    Palin equals the very definition of insanity- Doing something over and over again, and expecting a different result. What a MESS!

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. Lauren

    Tell the truth Obama, just please tell us the truth and do not tell us your were 8 years old when you knew Rashid Khalidi.

    Come clean with America, tell the truth.

    You lied about campaign financing, what esle have to not told the truth about?

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. hurriCAIN PALIN

    do what you can to defeat the false prophet messiah saviour. nobama cannot and will not bring change and hope, cant believe he suckered all you nobama democrats.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. pam

    Do other's tire of what a hypocite MacCain is?

    October 29, 2008
    Categories: Barack Obama

    Khalidi's defense

    I emailed Rashid Khalidi earlier about McCain's suggestion that going to his going-away party was like attending a neo-Nazi event, and he emailed back just now that while he's not talking to the press himself, Harpers writer Scott Horton had today rebutted "a few of the stupider and more outrageous things said about me."

    He referred me to Horton's defense.

    Horton goes after Khalidi's National Review critics, whom McCain is following, on several specific points - that he was a PLO spokesman, founder of a Chicago social service group, or Obama family babysitter - and concludes:

    Of course, Khalidi has been involved in Palestinian causes. [National Review writer Andrew] McCarthy ought to ask John McCain about that, because McCain and Khalidi appear to have some joint interests, and that fact speaks very well of both of them. Indeed, the McCain–Khalidi connections are more substantial than the phony Obama–Khalidi connections McCarthy gussies up for his article. The Republican party’s congressionally funded international-networking organization, the International Republican Institute–long and ably chaired by John McCain and headed by McCain’s close friend, the capable Lorne Craner–has taken an interest in West Bank matters. IRI funded an ambitious project, called the Palestine Center, that Khalidi helped to support. Khalidi served on the Center’s board of directors. The goal of that project, shared by Khalidi and McCain, was the promotion of civic consciousness and engagement and the development of democratic values in the West Bank. Of course, McCarthy is not interested in looking too closely into the facts, because they would not serve his shrill partisan objectives.

    I have a suggestion for Andy McCarthy and his Hyde Park project. If he really digs down deep enough, he will come up with a Hyde Park figure who stood in constant close contact with Barack Obama and who, unlike Ayers and Khalidi, really did influence Obama’s thinking about law, government, and policy. He is to my way of thinking a genuine radical. His name is Richard Posner, and he appears to be the most frequently and positively cited judge and legal academic in… National Review.

    By Ben Smith 12:44 PM

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Sam

    Is she generating a new type of hatred? Since when are Palestinians bad? Did this woman really go to college? or even High school, how did she get to be Governer? I am so sad that America has so much ignorance.. We really need to focus on the education system in States like Alaska and others.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Jadie

    Sarah is a very angry hockey mom...she'll probably shoot a moose or something.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Ron

    Yeah, pitiful...

    VOTE OBAMA '08

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Ryan

    Palin will bite off Obama's ear in the second round.... oh that's another historic act of desperation.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. ME

    Carol....absolutely disgusting is your ingorance when it comes to Palin. I take it you live to watch MSNBC....

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Jen the Mom

    These type of attacks show just how racist Palin is. And she calls herself a Christian. She has no plans, no substance, just hatred. All of us, at some point or another in our lives have been freinds, co-workers or neighbors with someone who might have done something dishonest or whatever. Does this make us just like them? No. Are we responsible because we knew them? No. I think her new shoes are too tight.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. former republican for OBAMA

    All I hear from the McCain and Palin camp. Is Fear , Hate, And alot of WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. chelle

    So apparently Sarah, Obama can have no acquaintances that disagree with American policy? Lord help America if that is the attitude John McCain's administration would take with the world. This might come as a surprise to Mrs. Palin, but lots of people take exception to how the Palestinian people have been treated. This doesn't mean they are anti-Isreal – just that they can see two sides to the story. So Obama's acquaintances and advisors are celebrated professors, outstanding financiers, Republican senators and McCain's are "Joe the Plumber"....and the dumbing down of the Presidency continues.....

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Dan

    Desperation again.

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. alex

    Wow really this is all they have. Please stop talking Palin. This would be a perfect time for Mccain to suspend his campaign! This is low!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Sara

    Palin – go back to Alaska and take "Joe the plumber who's not really a plumber and doesn't pay his taxes but is somehow more American than people who do" with you!!!!

    Believe it or not, anything that's not about the issues IS negative campaigning, but thankfully, in less than a week we won't have to hear from you anymore!

    October 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Jason B.

    Boy, she really feels the need to spew the hate lately. This gal just scares me. It's people like her that are causing so much misinformation and hatred about Mr. Obama to be spread. And yet again, she fails to mention her boss' ties to racists and bigots. (former Congressmen) But she seems awfully intent on dragging out the ol' "Barack knew a guy that knew a guy that he use to work with" speech.

    Oh...and since I once spent a week in Texas, does that make me a "fellow Texan"? Perhaps it gives me foreign policy experience since I was so close to Mexico...

    October 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. A recovering Republican

    Dont' they ever learn? How about McCain's cosoriting with aovowed atheists, homosexuals, philindarers, corupt politicians, child moslesters, etc. Yes, I'm tlaking about the US Senate and Congress. I have praised many at retirements and other social functions, as well as funerals when I really don't like them and can't stand them. That doesn't mean anything but filling a social obligation.

    We have seen a new low from the lowest of the low.

    10 years sober

    October 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. ok...

    I do really hope she becomes the face of the republican party, then those crazy people will never be in power 🙂

    October 29, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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