On Tuesday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin angered a number of grassroots conservatives when she endorsed media mogul Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential bid during a speech in Ames, Iowa, even though she gave what one conservative blogger called “a variety of red meat for conservative supporters.” Speaking before thousands of supporters, she went after establishment Republicans and “failed” candidates.
“Who are they to tell us that we’re not conservative enough in order to make these changes in America that we know need to be made?” she asked. “Now they’re concerned about this ideological purity? Give me a break! Who are they to say that?”
But her message didn’t sit too well with many, who voiced their criticism on her Facebook page. Many said they were disappointed with her choice, and castigated her for not supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
“Sarah, you supported Ted Cruz in the past,” one person said. “It is sad to me that you have turned against the conservative values you used to stand for by endorsing Trump. You did nothing for Trump’s cause, Instead you lost credibility with many of us that used to admire and respect you.”
“I am terribly disappointed in Palin and will no longer trust her, just like my trust in Ann Coulter waned because she endorsed Romney,” another person added. Replying to his own message, the Facebook user simply said, “Bye.”
“You endorsed Trump!?!?” one person asked. “How very disappointing and sad!!! I have lost all respect for you!!!” Many others agreed, and some suggested the endorsement was possibly an indication she might have a position in a future Trump administration.
“Very disappointed in Sarah,” another critic said. “It is all about a job.” In September 2015, The Hill reported that Palin said she could see herself serving as Energy Secretary for Trump.
“I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby,” she said during an appearance on CNN. “Oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their — their resources,” she added. While many criticized Palin, many others thanked her for supporting Trump.
“So glad you endorsed Trump!” one person said. “I am one of the many that get it. I will always support you because I trust you……I don’t trust many.”
“God bless you and thank you Sarah,” another Trump supporter said, evoking Trump’s campaign slogan. “Let’s all go forward and ‘Make America great again!'”
“I think you are doing what you think is best for the country,” one Facebook user added. “Right or wrong, I’m proud of you for taking a stand when I’m sure you anticipated the hate that was going to be directed at you. Sadly, much of it coming from friends.”
It’s too early to say what impact Palin’s endorsement will make in the primaries. It’s quite possible the conservative base will be further divided between Trump and Cruz, making it easier for an establishment “favorite” like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush to garner enough support to win.
One thing is certain: Palin’s endorsement will almost ensure an even more heated battle between those who support the two front-runners. Video of her 21-minute speech can be seen above.