BOWLING GREEN, OH - Sarah Palin joined her running mate's attacks against Barack Obama and the media Wednesday, suggesting the Los Angeles Times is withholding a videotape that shows Obama watching as a former Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman bashed Israel.
Palin departed from her stump speech to talk about Obama's "assortment of friends from Chicago." She described Rashid Khalidi, the former PLO spokesman, as "another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years." She said Obama was at a party for Khalidi in 2003, when he described Israel as the perpetrator of terrorism.
But she saved her hardest criticism for the newspaper that currently holds the tape, saying they was refusing to release it to aid Obama.
"It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking after his best interests like that," Palin said. "In this case, we have a newspaper willing to throw aside even the public's right to know in order to protect a candidate that its own editorial board has endorsed. And if there's a Pulitzer Prize category for excelling in cow-towing, then the L.A. Times, you're winning."
Palin's comments echoed criticism John McCain has voiced in recent days. The Los Angeles Times has said they are not producing the tape because it was given to the newspaper with the condition that it not be released. But the paper documented the substance on the tape in an April 2008 article.
The Alaska governor said the newspaper could restore its credibility by producing the tape.
After the jump, Joe the Plumber makes an appearance on the stump with Palin.
A surprise appearance from "Joe the Plumber" got the Bowling Green State University crowd the most excited.
"He's a fellow Alaskan, and he's a fellow military man who has served our country proudly," she said. "I'd like you to meet him. Please welcome Joe the Plumber!"
Joe Wurzelbacher was introduced as a special guest midway through Palin's speech, to a roaring ovation. A day after he campaigned on his own - and received criticism for agreeing with comments suggesting Obama's election would mean "death to Israel" - Wurzelbacher stood silently by Palin's side through the rest of her remarks, dressed in jeans and a checkered work shirt.
"All the pictures I've seen of him, I knew I'd like him, wearing his Carhartts and steel-toed boots," she said.
Wurzelbacher, who was never introduced by his real name, served as a prop to Palin's continued critique of Obama's tax plans. She suggested Obama would raise taxes on small businesses, stifling growth and making it more difficult for small outfits to hire new people and create jobs.
Palin said voters identify with Wurzelbacher, who asked Obama a question at his tax plan at a rally earlier this month. He officially endorsed McCain earlier this week.
"So Joe merely asked our opponent a simple, straightforward question, and he spoke for a lot of Americans," she said. "And the Obama campaign did not appreciate that. And since then, they've been investigating and attacking our friend Joe the Plumber."