AMES, Iowa — 2016 GOP frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump won the coveted endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin—the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee—here at Iowa State University on Tuesday.
Palin, who appeared on stage with Trump in the Hansen Agriculture Learning Center, backed Trump for president just 13 days ahead of the all-important Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. The Palin endorsement is about the best endorsement any conservative can get, and has been since the mainstream media tried to politically wipe her out in the 2008 presidential election. Palin has survived, and thrived, and remains a grassroots conservative hero.
“Thank you so much. It’s so great to be here in Iowa, we’re here just thawing out,” Palin, who was in top form on Tuesday, said as she took the stage. “Todd and I and a couple friends are here from Alaska lending our support for the next president of our great United States of America, Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump, you’re right—look back there in the press box, heads are spinning. Media heads are spinning. This is going to be so much fun.”
“Are you ready to Make America Great Again?” Palin shouted to the thousand-strong crowd gathered inside, which shouted back “YEAH!,” while snow poured from the sky outside in sub-freezing temperatures. Before the event, hundreds lined the sidewalk outside, waiting to get inside and see Trump and Palin. Palin said:
We all have a part in this, we all have a responsibility. Looking around at all of you, you hard-working Iowa families, farm families and teachers and Teamsters and cops and cooks. You rock-and-rollers and holy rollers. All of you who work so hard, you full-time moms, you with the hands that rock the cradle, you all make the world go round and now our cause is one. When asked why I would jump into a primary—stirring it up a little bit maybe—and choose one over some friends who are running, and I’ve endorsed a couple others in their races before they decided to run for president. I was told, warned left and right, ‘you are going to get so clobbered in the press.’ You are just going to get beat up, chewed up and spit out.’ I’m thinking, ‘And? Like you guys haven’t tried to do that every day since that night in ’08 when I was on stage nominated for VP and I got to say ‘yeah, I’ll go, send me. You betcha. I’ll serve.’ And, like you all, I’m still standing. So those of us who have kind of gone through the ringer, as Mr. Trump has, it makes me respect you even more that you’re here and you’re putting your efforts and your putting reputations, you’re putting relationships on the line to do the right thing for this country because you are ready to Make America Great Again.
Palin continued by explaining why she’s in the race to win it for Trump:
Well I am here because like you I know that it is now or never. I’m in it to win it because we believe in America and we love our freedom. And if you love your freedom, think of that—think of that and know that the United States military deserves a Commander-in-Chief who loves our country passionately and will never apologize for this country, a new Commander-in-Chief who will never leave our men behind, a new Commander-in-Chief—one who will never lie to the families of the fallen. I’m in it because just last week we’re watching our sailors suffer and be humiliated on a world stage at the hands of Iranian captors in violation of international law because a weak-kneed Capitulator-in-Chief has decided that America will lead from behind and he who would negotiate deals, kind of like with the skills of a community organizer maybe organizing a neighborhood tea, he would decide that America would apologize as part of the deal as the enemy sends the message to the rest of the world that they capture and we kowtow and then we apologize and then we bend over and say ‘thank you, enemy.’ We are ready for a change. We are ready and our troops deserve the best, a new Commander-in-Chief whose track record of success has proven he is the master at ‘The Art of the Deal.’ He is one who would know to negotiate. Only one candidate’s record of success proves that he is the master of ‘The Art of the Deal.’ He is beholden to no one but We The People. How refreshing? He is perfectly positioned to let you Make America Great Again. Are you ready for that, Iowa?
From there, Palin got even more aggressive.
“No more pussyfooting around,” she continued. “Our troops deserve the best. You deserve the best. He is from the private sector, not a politician. Can I get a Hallelujah?”
“Hallelujah!” the audience yelled back. Palin went on:
In the private sector, you actually have to balance budgets in order to prioritize—to keep the main thing, the main thing. And he knows the main thing about a president is to keep us safe economically and militarily. He knows the main thing and he knows how to lead the charge. So, troops, hang in there because help’s on the way because he—better than anyone—isn’t he known for being able to command fire? Are you ready for a Commander-in-Chief—are you ready for a Commander-in-Chief who will let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS’s ass?
The crowd went wild. Palin continued:
Ready for someone to secure our borders, to secure our jobs, and to secure our homes? Ready to Make America Great Again? Are you ready to stump for Trump? I’m here to support the next president of the United States, Donald Trump. Now, eight years ago, I warned that Obama’s promised fundamental transformation of America, that it was going to take more from you and leave America weaker on the world stage—and that it would soon be unrecognizable. Well, that is one promise that Obama kept. But he didn’t do it alone and this is important to remember, especially those of you like me—a member of the GOP—this is what we have to remember in this very contested, competitive, great primary race. Trump’s candidacy, it has exposed not just the tragic ramifications of a betrayal of a transformation of our country, but too he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it. OK? Well, Trump, what he’s been able to do, which is really ticking people off—which I’m glad about, he’s going rogue left and right man and that’s why he’s doing so well—he’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system. The way that the system really works, and please hear me on this. I want you guys to understand more and more how the system—the establishment—works and has gotten us into the troubles that we’re in in America.
Palin proceeded to demolish the “permanent political class” in the United States:
The permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class, and that’s why you see that the borders are kept open,” Palin said. “For them, for their cheap labor that they want to come in. That’s why they’ve been bloating budgets for crony capitalists to be able to suck off of them. It’s why we see these lousy trade deals that gut our industry for special interests elsewhere. We need someone new, who has the power and is in the position to bust up that establishment—to make things great again. It’s part of the problem. His candidacy, which is a movement, it’s a force—it’s a strategy—it proves that as long as the politicos, they get to keep their titles and their perks and their media ratings, they don’t really care who wins elections. Believe me on this, and the proof on this, look what’s happening today: Our own GOP machine, the establishment, they who would assemble the political landscape, they’re attacking their own frontrunner. Now, would the left ever—would the DNC ever—come after their frontrunner and her supporters? No. Because they don’t eat their own. They don’t self destruct. But for the GOP establishment to be coming after Donald Trump supporters even? With accusations that are so false? They are so busted, the way that this thing works. We, you, a diverse, dynamic, needed support base that they would attack. And now some of them are even whispering they’re ready to throw in for Hillary over Trump because they can’t afford to see the status quo go. Otherwise, they won’t be able to be slurping off the gravy train that’s been feeding them all these years. They don’t want that to end.
Palin then defended Trump’s conservatism:
Now they’re saying ‘Trump and his trumpeters, they aren’t conservative enough.’ Oh my goodness gracious. What the heck would the establishment know about conservatism? Tell me, is this conservative, GOP majorities: Handing Obama a blank check to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood and illegal immigration that competes for your jobs and turning safety nets into hammocks and all these new Democrat voters that are going to be coming over the border as we keep the borders open and bequeathing our children millions in new debt and refusing to fight back for our solvency and our sovereignty even though that’s why we elected them and sent them as a majority to D.C. No. If they’re not willing to do that, then how are they to tell us that we’re not conservative enough in order to be able to make these changes in America that we know need to be made? Now they’re concerned about this ideological purity? Give me a break. Who are they to say that and to tell somebody like, say, Phyllis Schlafly—she is the Republican, conservative movement icon and hero and a Trump supporter—tell her she’s not conservative enough? How about the rest of us right-winging, bitter clingers, proud clingers to our guns, our God and our religion and our Constitution? Tell us that we’re not red enough? Yeah, coming from the establishment. Right.
Palin bashed the establishment for having “lectured” conservatives, a veiled reference to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s response to President Obama’s latest State of the Union—in which Haley used the official response to bash Trump and conservatives. Palin said:
Enough is enough—these issues that Donald Trump talks about had to be debated. He brought them to the forefront and that’s why we are where we are today with good discussion, a good heated and very competitive primary is where we are. And now though, to be lectured, well ‘you guys are all sounding kind of angry’ is what we’re hearing from the establishment. Dog gone right we’re angry! Justifiably so! You know they stomp on our neck and tell us ‘just chill. Yeah, just relax.’ Well, look, we are mad. We’ve been had. They need to get used to it. This election is more than just your basic ABCs—Anybody But Clinton. It’s more than that this go-around. When we’re talking about a nation without borders, when we’re talking about bankruptcies in our federal government, debt that our children and our grandchildren they’ll never be able to pay off, when we’re talking about no more Reagan-esque power that comes from strength—power through strength—well then we’re talking about our very existence. We’re not going to chill. In fact, it’s time to drill, baby, drill down and hold these folks accountable.
Later, Palin took another veiled shot at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Trump’s chief competition for the GOP nomination right now.
“Our friends who are fighters in the House and the Senate—they need to stay there and help out,” Palin said. “They can help our new leader in the positions that they are in.”
Then she praised Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—another conservative 2016 GOP presidential candidate. Palin said:
Let me say something really positive about one of those individuals, Rand Paul. I’m going to tell you about that libertarian streak in him that is healthy—because he knows you only go to war if you’re determined to win the war—and you quit footing the bill for these nations that are oil-rich. We’re paying for some of their skirmishes that have been going on for centuries where they’re fighting each other and yelling ‘Allah Akbar’ and calling jihad on each others’ heads forever and ever. Like I said before, let ‘em duke it out and let Allah sort it out. We’ll fight for American interests and as Donald Trump has said other nations where we have been footing the bill but we haven’t prioritized our own domestic budgets well enough to be able to afford what we’re doing overseas. Things are going to change under President Trump.
Palin wrapped her speech by detailing how, despite Trump being a multi-billionaire, “He’s not an elitist.” She said:
He’s spent his life with the working man. He tells us Joe Six-Packs, he says ‘I’ve worked very, very hard and I’ve succeeded. Yugely, I’ve succeeded,’ he says. And he says, ‘and I want you to succeed too.’ That is refreshing because he, as he builds things, he builds big things that touch the sky, big infrastructure that puts other people to work. He has spent his life looking up and respecting the hard-hats and the steel-toed boots and the work ethic that you all have within you. He, being an optimist passionate about equal opportunity to work, this self-made success of his, you know that he doesn’t get his power—his high—off of OPM, other people’s money, like a lot of dopes in Washington do. They’re addicted to OPM, where they take other people’s money, and then their high is getting to redistribute it. Right? And then they get to be really popular people when they get to give out your hard-earned money. Well, he doesn’t do that. His power, his passion is the fabric of America. And it’s woven by work ethic and dreams and drive and faith in the almighty. What a combination? Are you ready to share in that again, Iowa? Because that’s what’s going to let you Make America Great Again.
She concluded by drawing a contrast between Trump’s and Obama’s elitism:
Friends, I want you to try to picture this: it’s a nice thing to picture, exactly one year from tomorrow, former President Barack Obama, he packs up the teleprompters and the selfie sticks and the greek columns and all that hopey-changey stuff and he heads on back to Chicago. Where I’m sure he can find some community there to organize. There, he can finally look up—President Obama will be able to look up—and there, over his head, he’ll be able to see that shining, towering Trump Tower. Yes, Barack, he built that and that says a lot. Iowa, you say a lot being here tonight supporting the right man who will allow you to Make America Great Again.
Finally, Palin said, “God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America and our next President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”