Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Speaker Paul Ryan’s primary challenger, businessman Paul Nehlen, who is running for Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
“Rep. Paul Ryan abandoned the district he was to represent as special interests dictated his legislative priorities,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page this morning. “Without ever having a real job outside of politics, it seems he disconnected himself from the people, thus easily disrespected the will of the people.”
“It’s time for a change. I’m supporting the independent conservative businessman, Paul Nehlen, to return the House Speakership to ‘We The People’. Here’s the worthy challenger, Paul Nehlen,” she concluded, adding the link to Nehlen’s website.
In an interview with CNN’s Jack Tapper this morning, Palin addressed the issue of Ryan’s refusal to support the GOP’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump, who Palin endorsed before the Iowa caucuses.
“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor,” she said in reference to the former Republican House Majority Leader who lost his Congressional seat in 2014 due to a stunning and unprecedented GOP grassroots uprising in support of his challenger Dave Brat, who ran on the same populist issues of immigration and trade that have propelled candidates like Donald Trump and now Paul Nehlen.
Palin said, “[Ryan’s] political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people, and as the leader of the GOP — the convention — certainly he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support was not a wise decision of his.”
“I think why Paul Ryan is doing this, Jake, is it kind of screws his chances for the 2020 presidential bid that he is gunning for. If the GOP were to win now, that wouldn’t bode well for his chances,” she added. “A lot of people with their ‘Never Trump’ or ‘Not Right Now Trump’ mantra going on, they have their different reasons. That one is Paul Ryan’s reason.”
Tapper then asked her if her reference to Cantor meant that she was endorsing Ryan’s primary challenger Paul Nehlen.
“Well, that’s a good question, seeing as I haven’t even got to call him and tell him that I’m supporting him. But, yes, I will do whatever I can for Paul Nehlen,” Palin said.
Below is Palin’s formal Facebook endorsement posted this morning:
Follow Rebecca Mansour on Twitter @RAMansour