By: Regina Wright ~Staff Writer~
Thirteen days before the Iowa Caucus, Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee, endorsed Donald Trump at a rally at Iowa State University.
“Are you ready for the leader to make America great again?” Palin asked at Trump’s rally. Palin, a Tea Party sensation and a crowd-winner for grass-root conservatives, is the highest-profile endorsement for a Republican nominee so far. Palin’s endorsement came the same day as Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstad, said he hoped Senator Ted Cruz would be defeated in Iowa. Several times during Palin’s speech she compared President Barack Obama and Trump, most notably when she criticized Obama on his recent negotiations with Iran.
“Just last week, we’re watching our sailors suffer and be humiliated on a world stage at the hands of Iranian captors in violation of international law, because a weakkneed, capitulator-in-chief has decided America will lead from behind,” Palin said.
“We are ready for a change,” Palin said, referring to Trump’s business success and experience with negotiations, “a new commander- in-chief whose track record of success has proven he is the master at the art of the deal. He is one who would know to negotiate.” Later, echoing many of the promises Trump has said he will fulfill if he becomes president, Palin attempted to ignite the crowd.
“Are you ready for a commander- in-chief who will let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS ass?” Palin asked. “Ready for someone who will secure our borders, to secure our jobs and to secure our homes? Ready to make America great again, are you ready to stump for Trump?”
Palin’s endorsement could significantly boost the voters who go to the booth on Feb. 1. She spent years building a network of supporters in Iowa, and she also serves as a buffer against Cruz, who has been attracting Iowa’s evangelical voters.
“Palin’s brand among evangelicals is as gold as the faucets in Trump Tower,” Ralph Reed, chairmen of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said. “Endorsements alone don’t guarantee victory, but Palin’s embrace of Trump may turn the fight over the evangelical vote into a war for the soul of the party.” Trump currently leads Cruz by 2.6 points in the Iowa Polls.