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. D&D

    does she at least remember that she has been found guilty of abuse of power?
    I mean, try to imagine if Joe Biden was found guilty of abuse of power, Sarah would have made her rally main subject!

    Pathetic Palin, I hope you took a one-way ticket for going to vote in Alaska...

    October 29, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Kaz Hawrylak

    Wow. I really wish that someone would put an end to this crap. Look into it, Clinton tried the same thing against Obama in the primary. It didn't work. Honestly, learn from Hillary's mistakes here GOP, before it's too late, oh, wait, it ALREADY IS. Obama '08.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    Palin is so stupid. Palin needs to check with McCain bacause he has more ties and recent ties.

    I voted for Barack Obama on October 20th.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. LS, Austin, Texas

    Palin, when she speaks, she uses Reverse Psychology on people who are attending the rallies.

    This type of tactic she is using tells me a lot about her and how she really feels about the people she is addressing, trying sooo hard to convince them of her backward lies.

    Either that or she is a pathological liar – one of the two for sure.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Obama Supporter

    There you go again......

    I hope that backfires again... we are sick of this!

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Check your facts

    "It was the first time the celebrated small business owner has appeared with Palin on the stump."

    CNN needs to check its own facts before publishing articles...since when has "Joe the plumber" become a "small business owner" or has CNN decided to make him one just because he one day "dreams" of becoming one?

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Nancy C.

    Doesn't the McCain campaign understand that this repeat smear tactic is counterproductive? They have already tried this, and it did't work. Isn't insanity defined by doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result each time?

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. snb

    When is she going to realize that people are not going to always believe the way that she believes? Isreal has done horrible things to the Palestinians. If a Canadian comes knocking on my door telling me he's taking over my house because 2,000 years ago it was his choosen land I am going to fight to. If the only thing the McCain/Palin camp has left is negativity they should go ahead and throw in their hats and she should get a coach seat back to Alaska. Maybe she bought some comfy pillows when she was at Saks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Jesse, MA.

    Ok, there are so many things wrong here it's hard to know where to start. First, his name is Sam not Joe, second he does not own a business, third, Sarah Palin has no idea what was said there, and is trying to pull Jewish votes from Barack by questioning his allegiance to Israel. Next is the fact that CNN is reporting this crap as news. It's disgraceful that this article isn't a repudiation of Sarah Palin's tactics.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Mary

    A drowning man (and woman) will catch at a straw.
    The two lectured at the same university. Did he have the capacity to fire the guy or was he supposed to leave his job? This woman is getting more and more rediculous and divisive.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. SC

    Don't worry! McCain will lose and you won't have a role to play in the American politics. Just simply try to be a HOCKEY MOM & a PIT BULL in Alaska. If you can't handle Katie Couric, there is no way you can dream of competing with Obama in '12.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08/'12

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Lauren independent voter California

    Go away palin, there you go again trying to scare us into voting for the repubs. Palin can you please explain your ties to a successionist group? and why you abused your power as an elected official?

    I am very afraid of palin and joe the plumber, who happens to be mccain"s latest gimmick.

    mccain's campaign is in shambles. If he would run the country the way he ran his campaign he would be a worst president than bush. He and sara have been fighting as well as she and his advisors. They are truly disfunctional, and they expect us to put them in charge of the country? they could not even run their campaign.

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. GC from Virginia

    CNN, please report the facts on Khalidi:


    He's really not a controversial figure at all. And John McCain has substantial connections with him and his work.

    Do the Republicans vet anybody?

    October 29, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Mi Ho

    If you are a proud American, Please announce to the world
    how proud you are of President Bush. How proud you are of how you
    voted for Bush the last two times. How proud you are to vote for McCain because you know what is smartest for this country. How YOUR advice of who to vote for or against is smarter than my advice. If you voted for BUSH before please tell us all how to vote this time because you know what it best for the country!!

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Jeff

    I'm Jewish and I work closely with a Palestinian man. He is easily the kindest and most caring man on our team, always making sure everyone else is informed and in the loop and prepared to suceed. We both agree that the militant attitudes of many Palestinians and even Israelis are not the solution. We disagree about whether Palestine should have its own state – the diasgreement largely centers around what the motive of such a state would be. We amicably agree and disagree about a number of things – from work to religion to foreign policy. The one thing we can easily agree on is that we see through this transparent attempt to polarize America, and we'll both be voting for Obama and Biden come election day.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Blanca

    What about her connections with the Alaskan Independence Party, a secessionist group??? Why don't people bring this up to her?

    And McCain's connections with Gordon Libby and other financial terrorists?

    Speak up Democrats!!!!

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Debra in Georgia

    Gov. Palin, give us a break!! What about YOUR ties to the AIP?? Your husband was a member of this party that wants Alaska to secede from the US!! While you may not have actually been a member, you supported them...spoke at their convention, telling them to keep up the good work!! Oh, and what else...oh, yes! You said, "And Alaska – we're set up, unlike other states in the union, where it's collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs." How quickly you seem to forget!!

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. edd

    Just another smear tactic, and one that, of course, twists facts. This only illustrates the desperation of McCain's campaign.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Eric

    "It was the first time the celebrated small business owner has appeared with Palin on the stump."

    Except Joe the Plumper is neither a plumber, nor does he own a small business.

    Seriously... the guy doesn't even pay his property taxes.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Kelly from Florida

    I am so sick of this bimbo. I want her back in Alaska pronto.

    Its sad she can only repeat what McCain dumb advisors told her to say.

    obama 08

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Karen G from Raleigh, NC

    So all of a sudden, Joe "the plumber" is being presented as an actual business owner? Last I heard, he was THINKING about buying a small plumbing business off of his $40,000 annual salary while plumbing illegally with no license. And now, we find that he's a "fellow Alaskan," it's no wonder he's campaigning for McCain and Palin. He probably has plenty of free time on his hands these days, I would imagine that he got fired for not having a license.

    Does this strike anyone else as being odd?

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Steven

    WHAT?! It isn't like Khaladi is a terrorist or anything. He just exercises his right to critisize our policies towards Israel. Isn't that what America is all about? Come on, just becuase he sees things differently and is ethnically a Palestinian doesn't make him a bad guy. This is border line racism! Disgusting!

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Same old dirty tricks and shameless distortion of the facts. Shame on the GOP. McCain, the Maverick, has gone over to the dark side, the extremist right wing of the GOP. The GOP will remain a minority party, out of touch with the American people, if it embraces Palin as the future standard bearer.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. josephine

    when will sarah the shopper quit with this negative campaigning and stick to the issues at hand?

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. craig

    Everything she says comes back to smack the replicons right back in their smug faces. There is a reason she hates what she calls "the elite"- intelligent, academic, free thinkers that can help evolve this country in the right direction. She is obviously not one and can only pander to one-dimensional stereotypes like "Joe". This country has run on the same horrible principal these past 8 years- keep em' dumb, so the rich can become richer and corporations can cash in on stupidity.

    October 29, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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