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. Sam the Butcher

    Sarah the Socialist going negative? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

    I love that Sammy Jo the fake plumber was there, he is all in favor of socialism you know mooching off of the regular tax-paying citizens while being an unlicensed dead-beat.

    And Sarah the Socialist, while we're on the same old tired subject of past palling around partners, let's talk AIP, Muthee, Jews for Jesus, Ted Stevens, G Gordon Liddy, Charles Keating, PNAC shall we.

    Is the Anchorage Daily News also a pet newspaper since they have endorsed Obama and said the local governor (that'd be YOU) is too risky. So the ADN is a pet newspaper, too, also, too?
    When Putin rears his head in US airspace where is that he goes?
    I'll try and find ya some and bring em to ya
    I have vast sources of info....whatever comes across my desk (like Birch Society newsletters).
    As I understand it he (Rick Davis) recused himself from the situation....rinse repeat.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. vicki

    McCain, Palin – just 4 words: you are truly disgusting.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Maddie

    This will all come back to haunt her if she has the nerve to attempt a run in 1012. I'll never forget this hateful, angry woman.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Lesley

    I'll be glad when November 5th comes and we won't have to hear from Palin any more. I thought she said she was tired of Joe the Plumber last week? He's a fake idol and a symbol of a desperate campaign.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. debra from Georgia

    Palin you are an idiot, go back under the rock you can from, you are a liar, a clear cut liar, you are a fraud, a national fraud. Americans are truth human beings, you are not patriotic, being patroitic is telling the truth about a fellow american, you will not get elected again as governor because you whether sell your soul to the devil than to be truthful about a fellow american.

    Go Obama/Biden 2008 and 2016
    and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama 2016 and 2024

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Houston Boy

    Is this the future of GOP? God help them.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Soccer mom from Manhattan

    Is this a fight that the McCain camp really wants to bring? First, they admit to not having all of the details so this whole story is going off half cocked but the even bigger elephant in the room is that Palin is no one to talk about Liberationists. She is married to someone who wants to "liberate" from the U.S. Futhermore, Palin is someone who is ethically guilty of corruption and pal'd around with someone who is criminally guilty of it. The best is yet to come. I understand that the same people who built Steven's house, built hers too during her final year as mayor.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. paul (reformed republican)

    This is simply unbelieveable to me. Palin STILL has not learned her lesson. She's a "maverick" alright. I truly wish the RNC the best of luck in attempting to reel her in. According to many within the party, she is (almost) single-handedly destroying what is left of the Republican Party. After Rove, Cheney, Rice & Bush wreaked havoc with the credibility of the party along comes Palin to put the final nails in the coffin???

    This is just as bad as Elizabeth Dole (whom I once highly admired) calling her Democratic opponent "Godless" – and that is all the more reason for the separation of Church and State.

    The Republican Party has become the party of Division and more government in our everyday lives telling us all where we are allowed to worship, how to raise our families, and who we can love.

    After 28 years as a registered Republican it's no wonder I switched sides.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. terri in MT

    Palin is going to have to answer to her God someday for the lies she has been spewing lately. What a shame that she is a representative of christians to the world. Sam Wurzelbacher (joe the plumber) is and has always been on the payroll of the mccain campaign. he has been a plant by the repubs all along.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Oblio

    Governor Palin's beliefs and behavior represent the very reasons why the Republican Party finds itself in retreat.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Bill_ MA

    Sarah Palin is one hate filled woman. She, and McCain can't wait to start a war with anyone, anywhere. Germany became a belligerent nation under similar fear, hate, and war mongers. Sarah would rather hear "bomb, bomb, Iran" What a sicko.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Robin

    So what? The guys a well respected professor on Palestinian issues. McCain even donated $500,000 to his group. Just because he is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause does not make him a terrorist.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. DP

    I'm seriously starting to hate this woman!

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Monica from Albuquerque

    From Top McCain Campaign adies: Sarah Palin is a "rouge;" "diva" and a "whack job". Further, these aides are acknowledging that she has no understanding of foreign or domestic policies.

    This is not the democrats or the left wing liberal media talking–it's McCain's own Camp!!!!

    Wake up folks. Obama/Biden for 2008.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Kim

    *yawn* Nobody's listening anymore Sarah.

    Maybe we could just put Sarah on an ice floe and send her out to sea along with her lies, deceits, fear-mongering rhetoric.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. JohnInOhio

    Perhaps Palin is unaware that her running mate was more involved with Khalidi than Obama.

    A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.

    The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi's group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of "sociopolitical attitudes."

    Are we so far gone that it is a political liability to KNOW someone who is Palestinian?

    Sad! Truely Sad

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. GregK

    lets look to the tape and then you will find who is Barak is. Socialist, Marxsist and friend of antisemits.

    October 29, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. rapidone

    Just when you thought McCain and Palin couldn't be more sleazy, they've pushed to lower themselves to lying scum.

    Hypocritical Demagogues are no better than the new Hitlers, preying on peoples' fears and hate.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Janis

    I am extremely worried about Obama's safety. The fear tactics of the far right and the McCain/Palin camps, combined with all the racial hatred is terrifying. The Republican party should be ashamed supporting this kind of behavior.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I love how all they have left is to follow Sean Hannity down the gutter. Its so sad and pathetic. Get ready to Go home Sarah you might want to bring a coat =)

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. just an independent voter

    Oh please... Someone let Palin know that she needs to talk about something else because nobody believes this one...

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. DPerry

    So they stick to this because it has worked for them right? The whole William Ayers thing gave them a huge lead and they want to put the nail in the coffin with this, that's what they're doing. Isn't insanity doing something over and over and expecting different results??

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. dan

    The Wicked Witch of the West spews more garbage – just in time for Halloween......

    Nothing but a middle-aged "Hoodsie".......

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Abdul

    Wait a second, isn't this the same Khalidi who had money raised for him by John Mccain back in the 90s?

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Essay

    Did Palin ask questions about McCain's $800K support of Prof. Khalidi? After all, he is President of the American Committee on Jerusalem. FYI, Khalidi has gone on the record several times as saying he strongly disagrees with Sen. Obama's views regarding Israel. Do your own research. The McCain campaign has spread enough lies. Find out for yourself and get out and vote.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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