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. Mike Mullin

    Again cnn will not give the facts. On politico.com right now is a story about Mccains close ties to this man when Mccain was chair of the IRI and was funding his work to promote democracy in palestine. This is outrageous that on a sister website there is an accurate story and again just like the 54 times between oct 6 and oct 15 when you broadcast incomplete or erroneous facts about acorn you are putting a story on line or on your broadcast that other networks are reporting all the facts about. This is outrageous.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Bill in CT

    AAAARRRRGGGG won't this campaign ever and and when will this person ever go back to Alaska! McCain has no plan, no policy, no ideas. All he and Palin have are attacks and desperation. No way to govern!

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. brunswick, Md

    This is useless and baseless.....this is what i hate about being Republican???
    Do they have anything else to offer beside this stupid stuff

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. David


    Do you mean that Obama knew another person with "radical" ideas? Isn't it strange that another professor at one of our nation's finest educational institutions is under the microscope. He is an expert in the Middle East, and experts often disagree with each other.

    It almost seems to me that the McCain and Palin, or at least the folks running their campaign(s?), have something against thought, reason, and logic. They seem to have something against academia, against treating issues as complex, against higher learning, against seeing America as a part of the world instead of just the leader of it.

    They seem to think that it is a crime to work with people that we might not agree with; does this reflect how they would behave in office. Would anyone who has "radical" views be off-limits?

    I can't wait to not hear any more of this garbage from them.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Barbara

    I think the way the republican partys campaign has been going lately they need to clean up their own back yard before bashing others. talk about skeletons coming out of the closet, they are not clean.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Jim Schimmer

    She is just DUMB.

    THATS HER QUALITY... I swear...



    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    OMG, so long as we are calling folks out on the truth, Sarah, how 'bout Todd's affiliation with the AIP, your connection to a witch-hunting Pastor and your own abuse of power. People are not sleeping on these issues. Such a shame, after she actually did a halfway decent job on that energy speech this a.m. I hardly recognized the voice as hers, what with the lack of shrieking and initially the lack of attacks on her oppONents. LOL

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. MLH

    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Has no one enlightened Ms. Palin as to the fact that her running mate also has 'ties' to Rashid Khalidi.

    October 29, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. David Orbach, New York, NY

    Quick, duck! Here comes the kitchen sink!

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Ken

    The neo-nazis are coming on strong. They are desperate in their failure. This, in and of itself is not surprizing. But what should be worrisome to us all are the tens-of-thousands partisan [R] supporters that will cheer and support these nazi-like tactics, even as they wear their lapel pins and claim love for America....hyocrites to the core.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. antibias

    joe isn't a small business owner, come on cnn. the man isn't even licenseed

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. yeah right...

    it's so amazing that the republican supporters talk about Obama's lack of solutions, when they wilfully ignore his proposals and instead turn to the slander and lies that show up on the republican propaganda network (i.e. Fox news) and the proven lies that come from the republican candidates. I saw many who posted that they will not tune in tonight. What are you afraid of, actually learning something. I know that for many of the right wingers that's scary, that education make you an elitist but you should try it sometime. Listen to both sides before you make a decision. But who am I kidding. Those hard righters wouldn't survive the stress of actually thinking something through first, hence two terms of George Bush.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Mark

    More pathetic lies from a desperate campaign........

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Sarah

    This lady will go in the trash can of history

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Angela, Cleveland, OH

    My, how low will she go? Are they serving free kool-aid at the events she spews forth her hatred at? I do not agree with her tactics or her agenda. Oh, I live in a city and therefor I am not a "real American".

    It seems that anyone who is not "just like her", who has been around the world, met many people of different faiths, view, religions etc. is suspect. Suspect because they understand and will listen to viewpoints far removed from their own. That does not mean they will act on them, but they will consider alternative views. The narrowmindedness takes my breath away.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Greg FL.

    Her boss gave the very same guy 500k, so what is wrong with this picture?

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Omg

    Internationally Obama is more respected than Palin is. I think that could come in handy if he became president . We need our respect back!

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |

    Lies by Palin!?

    Enough already Obamabots if there is nothing for Obama to hide on the tape then why won't he call the LA Times and tell them to release to just end it?

    The person who has been untruthful with the American people since day 1 is Barack Obama!!!!!!!

    Get a clue!

    McCain-Palin 08

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Didn't she throw Joe under the bus the other day for Tito? Talk about someone with allegiance problems!

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Nicole

    Speaking as a single mothers everywhere, Joe the Plumber is way-behind in his child support. Is the ROC paying him for posing with Palin and if not, why isn't he working? This is a slap in the face to all single mothers.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Scott in Atlanta

    John Mccain, how much money did you give to Khalidi's Palestienian organization in the 1990s?

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Cameron Johnson

    Let me translate and summarize this article for those who haven't had a chance to look it over:

    Crowd: "TERRORIST!!!!"

    Lie. Shout. Repeat.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Diane Panama City Fl

    Caribou Barbie is so stupid she doesn't even know that McCain has supported this organization through his sponsorship of grants given by Congress to Khalidi's organization. Go read the story on Politico.com. She's are so anxious to smear Senator Obama that she doesn't even know the serious risk she runs by bringing this up. Go For It, Palin. Let everyone see what a real ignoramous Diva you are (not my words but those from within McCains camp!!!) This is truly Palin unscripted – a fascist female dog! She and Elizabeth Dole are two of a kind – Republican Sleaze Bags all the way!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Micheal

    This guy has even denied speaking on behalf of the PLO... Palin is an insult to women everywhere

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |

    VOTE OBAMA ON NOV 4TH PLEASE DON'T LET THE POLLS FOOL YOU INTO NOT VOTING!!! McCain and Palin are in desperations and are trying to do anything and I do mean anything to win!!

    Two unethical people running for Pres an VP, I don't understand why American can support the republican ticket.

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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