Stump for Trump

Sarah Palin, conservative darling, endorses Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University on January 19, 2016 in Ames, IA. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

At a campaign rally at Iowa State University yesterday, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump received a high-profile endorsement, as 2008 vice-presidential nominee and Tea Party darling Sarah Palin announced she is ready to “stump for Trump.” The endorsement comes at a fortuitous time for Trump, 13 days before the state’s caucuses, as he is doubling down on his campaign the where he is neck-and-neck in the polls with Senator Ted Cruz. In an enthusiastic speech, the former Alaska governor praised Trump for shaking up the GOP establishment, saying “He’s been going rogue left and right. That’s why he’s doing so well. He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system.”

Whether her support will help Trump’s long-term prospects remains to be seen, but several experts believe it will definitely help in Iowa, where Palin has many relationships and her endorsement might be key in courting the evangelical voters who form a strong base for Ted Cruz. When asked about Palin before the rumored endorsement happened, Cruz told reporters in New Hampshire, “Sarah Palin is fantastic. Without her friendship and support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate today. So regardless of what Sarah decides to do in 2016, I will always remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin.” Palin wasn’t impervious to controversy, which followed her high-profile return to the public eye. As she stood on stage making her endorsement speech, The Associated Press broke new of her son’s arrest on domestic violence charges. Track Palin, 26, the former Alaska governor’s oldest son is accused of punching his girlfriend in the face and threatening to shoot himself with an AR-15 rifle while in a drunken stupor on Sunday.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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