Donald Trump received a big boost to his presidential ambition after Sarah Palin, top Republican leader and former vice presidential candidate, endorsed the candidature of the real estate tycoon just 13 days before the caucuses in the key US state of Iowa.
“I am proud to endorse Donald J Trump for President of the United States of America,” Palin, a Tea Party icon, told a cheering crowd of Trump supporters at a rally in Iowa yesterday.
“Media heads are spinning! This is going to be so much fun!... Are you ready to make America great again?” Palin asked cheering crowd making her surprise announcement.
Her support is the highest-profile backing for Trump so far.
It came the same day that Iowa’s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, said he hoped that Texas Senator Ted Cruz would be defeated in Iowa. The February 1 caucuses are a must-win for the Texas senator, who is running neck-and-neck with Trump in state polls.
Trump said he is proud to receive Palin’s endorsement.“Sarah Palin’s support is a testament to my message to ‘Make America Great Again’,” he said.
Palin served as the Governor of Alaska before being selected as Senator John McCain’s Vice Presidential nominee in 2008.
As the first ever female Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican party, Palin is a highly influential, decorated public figure having been named as one of the Smithsonian Institute’s 100 Most Influential Americans of all time.
CNN said although Palin’s national clout has diminished since her last time on the presidential campaign trail, she remains a popular political icon on the right and her support marks a significant seal of approval as Trump seeks to woo conservative voters.
In his speech, Trump said he would “love” to have Palin serve in as a Cabinet member in his administration.
“She really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person. She’s really a special person and I think people know that,” he said.