Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told supporters Friday that “Democrat partisans” had pressured organizers of an anti-Iran rally in New York next week to withdraw an invitation for her to appear.
“This should be an issue that unites all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period,” Palin said at a rally here. “Unfortunately, some Democrat partisans put politics first and now no elected official can appear. This should not be a matter of partisan politics.”
Palin had been set to attend the rally protesting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad organized by major Jewish organizations and sponsored by the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also had been scheduled to appear at the rally, but canceled after learning Palin would be there, too.
The former first lady, who suspended her own presidential bid in June, has sought to avoid any appearance with Palin, who has emerged as the new female star of the 2008 campaign.
On Thursday, organizers announced that they had withdrawn their invitation for Palin to attend, saying they did not want the event to be overtly political. GOP hopeful John McCain criticized the move in a statement to reporters Thursday, suggesting Obama backers pressed for Palin to be disinvited.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor batted away the suggestion, saying they had planned to send Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., to attend the rally on the campaign's behalf and did nothing to discourage Palin's attendance.
“Israel needs real leadership to stop Iran, not phony political controversies,” Vietor said.
Palin told the rally she and McCain were steadfast in their intention to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“John McCain and I are committed to drawing attention to the dangers posed by Iran's nuclear program,” she said, “and we will not waver in our commitment. I will continue to call for sustained action to prevent Iranian president Ahmadinejad from getting these weapons to launch a second Holocaust.”