This week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin vowed to roll out her “Mama Grizzlies” endorsements, and she endorsed conservative Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto on Wednesday for the FL-19 U.S. House seat. Palin called Benacquisto a “proven conservative” with an “unwavering commitment to the principles of our Founders and to the sanctity of life.”
The congressional primary will be held on April 22nd. The general election for the seat being vacated by Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) will be on June 24th.
Palin called Benacquisto the only conservative in the race and, as a bonus, touted her as a candidate who can help Republicans neutralize Democrats’ attempts to malign Republicans with the false “war on women” rhetoric. Palin has made a point of emphasizing that Democrats did not dare use the “war on women” rhetoric when the women-led Tea Party movement and her Mama Grizzlies candidates helped the GOP take back the House and capture governorships (see: South Carolina, New Mexico) in the historic 2010 midterm elections.
“Lizbeth Benacquisto is the only proven conservative in the race. She served her constituents well and has never forgotten who put her in office – the people,” Palin wrote. “Lizbeth will take these values to Washington to fight for us all.”
Palin also said that Benacquisto has “a record that demonstrates a willingness to take on special interests and rein in the scope of government.” She called her a “fierce advocate for her constituents” who has “introduced and pushed through legislation to protect our senior citizens.”
Benacquisto revealed in 2010 that she was raped at 19 years of age, and Palin cited this as an example of her “personal triumph over hardship and staunch defense of life.” When her opponent tried to exploit that incident in 2010, Benacquisto accused him of “crossing a line you’ll never understand.”
The former governor said:
In particular, Lizbeth’s personal triumph over hardship and staunch defense of life is inspiring. In 2010, her opponent, to his detriment, tried to use her past against her; watch her inspiring response here: http://youtu.be/tODVWh6i_MM. We need this fighter and advocate for women and innocent life in Washington!
I admire and respect the good folks supporting other candidates in this race, but we’ll have to disagree on this one. Lizbeth is running against a wealthy self-funded candidate with lots of splashy campaign ads claiming to be a conservative. Since when do conservatives stand for crony capitalism and government bailouts? Please do your homework, voters. Look beyond the fancy anonymous campaign ads. Look at a candidate’s record, not just their rhetoric. Lizbeth is a genuine conservative with a track record to prove it.
Palin seemed to be referring to a recent report in the Naples Daily News about candidate Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL), who has tried to frame himself as a conservative despite having a record that suggests otherwise. He made a campaign contribution to liberal Michigan Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in 2009 after she wrote a provision into Obamacare that would allow the federal government to pick up health benefits of former employees of a company that Clawson owned. Furthermore, his company hired lobbyists and paid them nearly a million dollars while Obamacare was being fleshed out for “issues pertaining to manufacturing and filing for bankruptcy.”
“We have been lucky to visit southwest Florida on several occasions and know it is one of the warmest places in the country. The warmth comes not only from the sun, but also from the citizens,” Palin said. “We met many dedicated patriots in Naples, Florida, on our recent book tour. They deserve better representation than what they have had recently.”
Palin, who urged supporters to learn more about Benacquisto and support her campaign at www.lizbethforcongress.com, endorsed Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) in Iowa for U.S. Senate earlier in the day. As Breitbart News has reported, Palin has endorsed Ben Sasse, Chris McDaniel, and T.W. Shannon for Senate this cycle in Nebraska, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, respectively. Shannon told Breitbart News that Palin’s endorsement brings “more than money can buy,” and his poll numbers prove it. Shannon was trailing his opponent by 35 points and now is within single digits in a poll taken four days after Palin’s endorsement.