Former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump on Tuesday before the latter’s rally in Iowa, at her own rally in Ames, two weeks before the Iowa caucus.
“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president,” Palin said in a statement released by the Trump campaign.
In a press release on Trump’s website, the campaign rubbed the endorsement in the face of his closest GOP competition, Senator Ted Cruz, going so far as to quote him in the endorsement announcement. Palin endorsed Cruz during a previous senate bid in Texas.
“Senator Ted Cruz notes: ‘I would not be in the United States Senate were it not for Gov. Sarah Palin… She can pick winners,’” Trump’s statement quoted the Texas senator as saying.
Despite the innumerable jokes made at her expense (she is a recurring character on Saturday Night Live), Palin remains inexplicably influential in the Republican party, particularly in evangelical circles.
“Are you ready to make America great again?!” Palin shouted after being introduced at the rally.
“If you love your freedom, thank a vet! Thank a vet and know that the United States military deserves a commander in chief who loves our country passionately and will never apologize for this country!” Palin expostulated.
The former governor praised Trump for being from the private sector instead of being a politician. Palin also asserted that Trump will “kick ISIS’ ass.”
She spoke highly of Rand Paul for being a Libertarian, while saying the other Republican candidates who are currently members of the House and Senate need to stay there to help “our new Commander in Chief” when he gets into office.
Like Trump, Palin is a former reality-tv star, and understands how to acquire and maintain media attention with orchestrated controversy. The former beauty queen pageant winner is expected to add to the larger-than-life circus atmosphere of Trump’s events and overall campaign.
Palin will be traveling with Trump to Norwalk, Iowa, for an event on Wednesday, before traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a rally later in the day, where the campaign claims that “thousands” are set to attend.
“I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement. She is a friend, and a high quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support,” Trump said.
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