Rogue Fact: In memoir, Palin still distorting NY Times article to defend "palling around with terrorists" claim

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In her memoir, Sarah Palin claims that she stated during a speech that then-Sen. Barack Obama had been "palling around with terrorists" in response to "the breaking news about the friendship between the unrepentant domestic terrorist [Bill Ayers] and the Democrat candidate for president [Obama]." In fact, the New York Times article to which Palin referred found that "the two men do not appear to have been close."

Palin claimed "palling around" comment followed report on "friendship" between Obama and Ayers

From Pages 306-307 of Palin's memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life:

In relation to the breaking news about the friendship between the unrepentant domestic terrorist [Ayers] and the Democrat candidate for president of the United States, headquarters issued an approved sound bite about Obama "palling around with terrorists," and I was happy to be the one to deliver it. As more information was made public concerning Obama's associations and the fact that he had kicked off his political career in Ayers's living room, the sound bite was written into a rally speech. The left went nuts, accusing me of lowdown rhetoric unworthy of presidential politics. And although it was headquarters that had issued the sound bite, the folks there did little more than duck.

NY Times article Palin cited: Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close"

In October 2008 speech, Palin cited that day's Times in claiming Obama is "palling around with terrorists." From the pool report's transcript of Palin's October 4, 2008, speech in Colorado, posted by the Times:

There is a lot of interest, I guess, in what I read and what I've read lately. Well, I was reading my copy of today's New York Times and I was interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago.

I get to bring this up not to pick a fight, but it was there in the New York Times, so we are gonna talk about it. Turns out one of Barack's earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times, and they are hardly ever wrong, was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that quote launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and US Capitol. Wow. These are the same guys who think patriotism is paying higher taxes.

This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America. We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for for all of us. Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?

The Times reported that "the two men do not appear to have been close." "A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' " [The New York Times, 10/3/08]

CNN Fact Check: Palin statement "false." In an October 5, 2008, fact check, CNN's Political Ticker blog found Palin's statement "false," writing: "There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now 'palling around,' or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years. Also, there is nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activity or that other Obama associates are."

Sarah Palin
Going Rogue: An American Life
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