Former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin announced that she will be endorsing GOP candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
VIDEO: Sarah Palin speaks about endorsing Donald Trump for president: https://t.co/3nL4Rr2gjk
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2016
Palin was a “surprise” guest at an event in Iowa Tuesday, where she became the first high-profile supporter to back a Republican running for the presidency in the 2016 race.
“Are you ready for the leader to make America great again?” Mrs. Palin announced with a proud Mr. Trump by her side. “Are you ready to stump for Trump? I’m here to support the next president of the United States — Donald Trump.”
She continued in true Palin fashion to commend Trump for his “rogue” demeanor while running for the presidency.
“He’s going rogue left and right,” she said. “That’s why he’s doing so well.” and continued to rally supporters by declaring that Trump would “kick ISIS’ a**” and not “apologize” for America.
Last August Palin hinted to today’s announcement, acknowledging the Trump campaign for its success during an interview with the GOP front-runner.
“I’ve said it since the day he made the sacrifice to hit the campaign trail: Voters crave the anti-status-quo politician,” Palin stated in the interview this past August. “Everything about Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s avant-garde. He is crushing it in the polls.”
With Palin now in his corner, Trump has an opportunity to gain ground on Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, who leads most of the Iowa polls.
Palin is no stranger to drawing big headlines during a run at the presidency. Most importantly, she now allows Trump to tap into her devoted following of conservative and Tea Party groups who she built a rapport with following her run as John McCain’s vice presidential nominee in 2008.
So though it is not clear what kind of impact Palin’s endorsement will have on Trump’s campaign in the long run, her ties to Iowa may be the boost he needs to overcome Ted Cruz in the Hawkeye State’s polls.
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler has since declared Palin’s move as one that goes against the same principles she and fellow conservatives stand for.
“If she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly, she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion,” Tyler stated on CNN’s New Day Tuesday.
And despite the news of Palin’s endorsement and a bitter response from Palin’s daughter, Bristol, regarding Mr. Tyler’s comments, Ted Cruz made it a point of emphasis to acknowledge Palin and the support he has received from her in the past, including her endorsement during his campaign for senator in 2012.
I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn't be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 19, 2016
Despite currently having the lead over Trump, Ted Cruz has since been criticized by Iowa governor Terry Branstad, for not supporting a government mandate that requires transportation fuel to contain renewables like ethanol, a huge business in Iowa.
“Ted Cruz is ahead right now. What we’re trying to do is educate the people in the state of Iowa. He is the biggest opponent of renewable fuels,” Iowa’s governor declared. “I think it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him.”
And now, along with the stamp of disapproval from Iowa’s governor, Cruz is faced with the realization that the man trailing him in most Iowa polls is mounting one last surge with a Tea Party sweetheart by his side.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)