Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump with a ‘hallelujah’ aimed at evangelical voters

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) thanks the crowd after receiving Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's endorsement at a rally at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) thanks the crowd after receiving Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's endorsement at a rally at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

AMES, Iowa, (Reuters) — Sarah Palin, the politician-turned-reality TV star, has endorsed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, the reality TV star-turned-politician, declaring that “the status quo has got to go.”

Palin, a former Alaska governor who was Republican Sen. John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 election won by Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden, appeared with Trump on Tuesday (Jan. 19) at a rally in Ames, Iowa, two weeks before the state’s Feb. 1 caucus, the country’s first nominating process ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

Trump has led national opinion polls among Republicans for months but is in a tight contest with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the support of Iowa Republicans, who lean conservative and whose evangelical Christians constitute a major voting bloc.

Palin, who often discusses her Christian faith, is popular among that group and endorsed Cruz when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012.


RELATED STORY: 5 faith facts about Donald Trump: A Presbyterian who collects Bibles


Her folksy, plain-speaking style has won her a loyal following among some conservatives, but she remains a polarizing figure, even among Republicans.

It is unclear whether she can attract additional support to Trump, whose own blunt rhetoric has helped lift him to the top of the crowded Republican field.

“He is from the private sector, not a politician,” Palin said in an animated speech after joining the business mogul and former host of TV’s “The Apprentice” onstage. “Can I get a hallelujah?”

She described Trump as an anti-establishment candidate who would “kick ISIS’ ass,” referring to the Islamic State militant group.

Palin said there was nothing wrong with Trump being a multibillionaire and that it did not make him an elitist, citing all the time he had spent with construction workers as a real-estate developer.

As Trump stood alongside, Palin said: “The status quo has got to go,” adding that the political establishment had been “wearing political correctness kind of like a suicide vest.”


RELATED STORY: ‘I will protect Christians,’ Donald Trump tells students at Liberty University


In a statement before the event, Trump said he was “greatly honored” by the endorsement. “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for.”

Cruz responded to Palin’s switch of allegiance with magnanimity.

“Regardless of what she does in 2016,” he tweeted, “I will always be a big fan.”

She devoted a large portion of her speech to deflecting criticism from Cruz and others that Trump, who did not oppose legal abortion at least for a time, was not a true conservative.

Despite the Democratic victory, Palin‘s 2008 vice presidential run made her a national celebrity.

Suggesting there were no fiercer fighters for conservative values than a small-town “hockey mom,” the former beauty-pageant winner professed a love of hunting with guns and thought it more important that the United States increase drilling for oil than fret about climate change.

Since resigning her governorship in 2009, Palin has worked as a conservative political commentator and as the producer and star of lightly staged television shows about her large family enjoying Alaska’s rugged landscapes.

But even some former admirers have wondered if her moment had passed, particularly after a speech a year ago before conservative Iowa voters that at times was hard to transcribe and even harder to follow.


RELATED STORY: ‘Believe whatever you want,’ Rubio tells atheist


Joe Brettell, a Republican strategist in Texas, said he thought Palin would not help Trump much “beyond a jolt in the news cycle.”

The crowd in Ames listened to Palin warmly but was divided afterward as to how valuable she would be. June Heidn, 62, said Palin was “inspiring” and might help Trump appeal to female voters.

Mike Caruso, 40, said it did not help him as he weighs giving Trump his vote.

“I think he’s pretty solid without her,” he said.

  • William Bockstael

    And while she was screeching and asking for hallelujahs her son was charged with assault, interfering with a domestic violence report and misconduct involving weapons

    Priceless

  • Todd

    She was wearing a full-metal jacket. Apparently the tin cap got lost in all the excitement. But seriously folks….

    If Trump can win Iowa and New Hampshire the Republican primaries will be pretty much over. If Palin can bring along the few votes Trump might need in a tight race, than strategically he did the right thing. In the 2012 Iowa caucuses Santorum won by 34 votes.

    The result of the Palin endorsement is that SNL will have a great show Saturday and — if Trump wins — Palin can be appointed to the Flint water board.

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  • George Nixon Shuler

    Trump is a loudmouth blowhard, but if elected President I believe he would be temperate. Cruz, though, not so much. Cruz is a christofascistic evil man and if this one act keeps that evil man out of the White House, Sarah Palin has my thanks.

  • Jack

    Trump and Palin are two clowns, and as for the presidency, I would support almost anybody with a pulse over Trump, and that includes Cruz, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Bush, Carson, or anybody else currently competing against Trump. Whomever can stop Trump early, starting in Iowa, has my support. Right now it’s Cruz. And I hope Kasich can cut Trump’s lead in NH.

    With all due respect, George, it seems you’re driven on this by a part of your anatomy other than your brain and rational faculties. Can you picture Trump talking to foreign leaders? Would you like America to become a knuckle-dragging, Neanderthal nation that becomes a xenophobic fortress that fears its own shadow? Would you like to ignite a trade war that could plunge the world into a depression? Would you like to be led by a leader that can be sweet-talked and played like a fiddle by people like Putin who will manipulate this oaf by stimulating his boundless narcissism?

  • Be. In oakland

    Remember, every child deserves a mother and a father. Without a penis and a vagina in a marriage, kids beat up their girl friends and hold AR-15’s to their heads. Without a thingy and a hoo-ha present in a marriage, their children have two out of wedlock bastards and then lecture everyone else on how they ought to be living like good Christians. And of course, as she said at CPac, both of those things are Obama’s fault.

  • Be. In oakland

    Not shocking at all, Karla. Plenty of power, money, and dominion to mined in them thar antigay hill.s

  • Dave Francis

    VOTING FOR TRUMP WILL END THE THEFT OF JOBS BY STOPPING THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION.
    ITS Obvious to me and millions of Americans, that if Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders offered healthcare to every illegal alien families, it would bankrupt the country. Why Americans of every political affiliation should vote for Donald Trump he is untouchable by the wealthy buyer of votes. For once in my lifetime we have an ‘Outsider” as he is called, who can straighten out our wilting country. No matter which political group they are neither has any influence over Donald Trump. When voting begins on the floor or the House, many politicians are heavily committed to which special interest paid for their seat in Congress or who pulled strings to get somebody hired into any agency in government. Cronyism is alive and well in Washington, and networking with somebody on the inside is the name of game.
    BUT Donald Trump is completely different, as the lobbyists who cram Washington hallways have no say on…

  • Jack

    Seriously, I would like to send Obama, Trump, and Palin to a desert island or some other place that is far away from civilization. If this is the best the leading nation in the free world can do, we are in big trouble for the coming years. It just shows the rank stupidity and lack of critical thinking by voters in both parties. And no, I’m not trying to be bipartisan. These people are all terrible for the country.

  • Jack

    As much as I can’t stand the lobbyists and the special interests and the political correctness and all else that plagues our current politics, I am certain that Donald Trump is no answer.

    No one person is the answer, and all of Trump’s competitors have their own flaws, plain and simple.

    But out of all of them, Trump’s flaws are the most serious when it comes to the good of the country.

    He has the maturity level of a child and an accompanying narcissistic preoccupation with self that knows no bounds.

    He is easily flattered, even by foreign leaders like Putin who hate us.

    I don’t care what he says about any issue because ultimately it is meaningless, just as the opinions of Charles Manson or those of a mental patient who thinks he’s Julius Caesar are meaningless.

    What stands head and shoulders above his opinions is his character and personality, which are shot through with dysfunctionality.

  • Jack

    Ben, let’s leave penises and vaginas and gay marriage aside for the moment and just contemplate for a second what a Trump presidency would mean for all of us who share this thing in common called humanity.

    To put it mildly, it wouldn’t be good for any of us, no matter what our opinions are on any issues.

    It is hard to believe that he actually has a chance to win, but the bottom line is something needs to stop him.

    So while I don’t mind anybody yuck-yucking about the clown show known as Palin and family, I hope that her endorsement doesn’t win Iowa for Trump….and if it does, I only hope that Kasich or someone else can stop Trump in NH or at least slow him down.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, I agree with you about trump and palin both. However, I would rather see trump as president rather than just about any other member of the RepubliKan Klown Kar, except for kasich or Christie. I don’t like people who run on their religion, I don’t like dominionists, I don’t like people who spent their time opposing our current president but who did nothing else but that,vand I really don’t like Cruz. I don’t think he’s a very nice persons– at all.

  • Jack

    Illegal immigration is a threat to national sovereignty and security, which is bad enough, but the idea that it’s a threat to jobs is probably wrong, because if it were, the unemployment and underemployment rates would be far higher.

    It doesn’t help, certainly, but again, the far greater threats are to our sovereignty and security.

  • Jack

    Too many evangelical Christians are making exactly the same mistake in endorsing Trump that left-wing mainline Christians have made by supporting Marxist dictators and socialist guerrillas.

    It is the authoritarian temptation. In both cases, the Gospel is being sold down the river.

    These so-called Christians who would sell out freedom for fanaticism will one day stand before God and answer for their betrayal of the Gospel.

  • Jack

    I’m not thrilled about any of these people who are running, Ben. To vote for anybody in this race on either side requires us to hold our nose. Agreed.

    I want to be wrong on this. But apart from any of Trump’s views on any issues, does anyone seriously believe that his personality, temperament, and character are suited for the presidency? Does anyone believe for a single moment that he would not unleash the full power of the executive branch of government, once in office, against his boldest critics?

    I don’t know anyone running who poses a greater threat to do just that than Donald Trump.

  • Jack

    The temptation of both left-leaning and right-leaning Christians is to find some worldly “muscle” to support their respective political causes….for left-leaning Christians, it’s Marxists and for right-leaning Christians it’s with those who flirt with Fascism.

    The mistake both sides make is to put victory for their pet political causes over the ultimate cause and message of the Gospel.

    For the left-wing Christians, it’s social justice and for right-wing Christians, it is sexual morality and national security.

    What both miss is that there is something at stake that is far greater than any of these issues or causes.

    We all should vote and we all should take our stand on the issues of the day, but we should never, ever make deals with the devil, with totalitarians or authoritarians who promise to advance our causes by appealing to our hatreds and our emotions and our old nature.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, when Ted Cruz claims that God wants him to be president, that in my mind makes him vastly inferior to Tworump.

    At least everyone knows where he really stands on his religion. He may believe he is the messiah, but that’s because he believes he’s god.

  • Ben in oakland

    So do you support ending citizens united and Valero v. Buckley and hobby lobby!

  • Jack

    I’m talking about something a lot bigger than the standard American politician’s view that God wants him or her to be president. That’s a ho-hummer……Candidates have been saying that since the 1800s. It is nothing and it signifies nothing.

    The Trump candidacy is something utterly different because the man behind the candidacy has the kind of personality that will weaponize the executive branch to go after his enemies. He has the personality that will make that temptation impossible to resist. There’s no one I can think of in the past half century, including Obama or Nixon, who would come close to the potential for serious abuse of executive power.

    Put bluntly, lay aside the hot-button issues of God and sex for a moment and focus on the potential wrecking ball that Trump represents for fundamental liberties that we take for granted.

  • Ben in oakland

    Jack, as far as I’m concerned, the “hot button” issues of God and sex cannot be laid aside. Dominionists like cruiz, Falwell, graham, huckster, and Santorum have been using both of those issues in their never-ending grift for power money and dominion. Freedom and liberty are the last things on their minds, at least for people who are not white,conservative, presumably heterosexual, Christian men.

    Each and every one of these republikan klowns, with the possible exceptions of Christie and Kasich, is a threat to American freedom and liberty.

  • Richard Rush

    The evangelical Christians supporting Trump seem to be unwittingly revealing something about themselves: The overriding driving force in their lives is their hate, not their religious beliefs.

  • Jack

    I hope and still believe you’re wrong on this, Richard, but I don’t blame you for raising the question. Evangelical support for Trump opens people up to such suspicions. I happen to think it’s misplaced pragmatism, ie the belief that he’ll make the trains run on time. (See Mussolini)

    This is one issue that is worth losing friends over. Evangelicals and especially evangelical leaders who are against Trump need to start playing serious hardball in response to Jerry Falwell, Jr. and others who are giving Trump credibility.

    Electing Trump would be a wild gamble on an unstable personality with the means to engage in massive abuses of executive power against domestic foes. What conservatives accused Obama of doing, & what liberals accused Nixon of doing, will become child’s play in comparison. Trump has spent years going after foes publicly & relentlessly. Imagine that same relentlessness but with real power behind it.

  • Jack

    Ben, I didn’t say forever lay them aside. You should pursue the issues you care about. That’s what democracy is about.

    What I did suggest is to step back from them for a moment and think, not about any one issue, but about your right to advocate on any issue you please, without having government come after you. This is a basic liberty we all take for granted. Without it, people’s positions on any issue are meaningless, because their rights to advocate are endangered.

    I care about many issues, and obviously hope to get my way on them, but the one issue I care about more than any of them is my right to advocate for them, and other people’s right to advocate against them.

    That’s what worries me most about Trump. He has an authoritarian personality that wants to shut people down and worse, engage in eternal vendettas against them that go far beyond the politics-as-usual nonsense. Such a personality threatens liberty.

  • Ben in Oakland

    TwoRump has an authoritarian loving personality. So what? So does Cruz. So does Scalia. So does the Huckster. So does Fiorina.

    TwoRump is a merely a fraud and a buffoon. Cruz, on the other hand, seems to be as mean as his daddy. Scalia is argle-bargle on steroids– might makes right, money makes power, and original intent means what ever I originnally intended it to mean. Huckster swpeaks to god and knows exactly what god wants and where the people who think as he does live.

    I’ll take TwoRump, if I have to choose among them.

  • Diogenes

    WOW! What visceral responses, tell us how you really feel folks. As a conservative Christian, I feel doubtful about most of the candidates. While I admire Sarah Palin for her conservatism, and will not blame her for the acts and choices made by the autonomous members of her family; politically she’s out of her depth. Any of Trump’s claims to Christian faith have to be viewed skeptically at best. As for Cruz, I’m not wholly sold. There’s much more shaking out to be done in this race.

  • Jack

    And I, on the other hand, will take almost anything that moves over Trump, including my Lab….I would even consider voting for the shrill criminal (Hillary) or lovable old Commie fossil (Bernie) because I honestly think Trump is self-evidently insane and I think Congress will prevent Hillary or Bernie from doing serious damage. But first, I’d need a few stiff drinks…..which wouldn’t be easy since I rarely drink.

  • Ben in oakland

    Shrill criminal? commie Fossil?

    Do we have BB or docanthony posting under Jack’s name?

    You demean yourself, Jack. Not them.

  • Fran

    None of these politicians can qualify as a Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), which title rightfully belongs to Jesus, King of God’s kingdom (Daniel 2:44). Only that kingdom, through Jesus’ upcoming millennial rule, will bring true peace and security to people of all nations on earth (Isaiah 11:1-10; Micah 4:3,4). I will stick with him instead of any human rulers.

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