Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has said he wouldn’t be in Congress without former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
And now, Palin is lending that endorsement support to Cruz’s competitor for the GOP presidential nomination: Donald Trump.
And Trump dug in the knife by quoting Cruz in his response to Palin’s endorsement. “She can pick winners,” goes the Cruz quote in the Trump statement.
“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president,” Palin, who will appear at an Iowa rally with Trump tonight, said in a statement provided by Trump’s campaign.
Trump had been boasting that a “big announcement” was coming tonight in Ames, Iowa.
“I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement,” Trump said in his own statement. “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”
The day began with Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol publishing a column at Patheos titled, “Is THIS Why People Don’t Like Cruz?”
Bristol unleashed on the Cruz camp for statements his spokesman, Rick Tyler, made on CNN.
“I think it [would] be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion for the conservative cause, and 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 said.
“I like Cruz. In fact, I met him last year, and I believe anyone’s better than Hilary Clinton. But here’s the thing, Sen. Cruz. My mom has consistently supported you and encouraged you. You’ve been a great advocate for conservative causes, and she’s stood by you when others haven’t,” Bristol wrote.
“After hearing what Cruz is now saying about my mom, in a negative knee-jerk reaction, makes me hope my mom does endorse Trump. Cruz’s flip-flop, turning against my mom who’s done nothing but support and help him when others sure didn’t, shows he’s a typical politician. How rude to that he’s setting up a false narrative about her!” she continued.
“The audacity to suggest that because she chooses one over the other will somehow ‘damage’ her just shows arrogance. You’ve also said, ‘She can pick winners!’ I hope you’re right, and that she endorses Donald Trump today for President.”
Sarah Palin tweeted a link to Bristol’s column.
Cruz tweeted: “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.”
A former contender for the nomination was the first of the 2016 pack to react on CNN.
“If Sarah endorses Donald Trump, it would be good for Trump. I like Sarah Palin. I traveled the country with her. I appreciate her and her family very much. John Wayne and Sarah Palin can’t save Donald Trump from being crazy,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
He was referring to Trump’s endorsement earlier in the day from Aissa Wayne, daughter of John Wayne, in front of a life-sized statue of The Duke at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum.
“I’m not so sure it gets him a lot of new voters,” Graham opined of the Palin endorsement. “Probably hurts Cruz more than it helps Trump.”