Former President Donald Trump on Sunday endorsed Sarah Palin in her bid for Congress and said he was returning the favor after she endorsed him “early” in his presidential campaign.
Palin, the former Alaska governor who was Senator John McCain’s 2008 running mate, R-Ariz., announced Friday that she is seeking Alaska’s only seat in Congress.
The post has been vacant since the death last month of GOP Rep. Don Young, who held the seat for nearly 50 years.
In a statement released by his political action committee, Save America, Trump praised Palin for supporting him as president in 2016.
“Sarah shocked many when she endorsed me very early in 2016 and we won big,” Trump said. “Now it’s my turn! Sarah was a champion of Alaskan values, Alaskan energy, Alaskan jobs and great Alaskan people.”
Trump also had kind words for Young, whom he called “legendary.”
Palin’s running mate 14 years ago, McCain, was a bitter enemy, especially after he voted to oppose Trump’s long-standing effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law in 2017.
In his statement on Sunday, Trump did not address the senator directly. McCain, who survived enemy torture during the Vietnam War, died on August 25, 2018.
Trump, who called Palin an “America First fighter,” said she “lifted McCain’s presidential campaign out of the dustbin.”
She “put up with some very angry, stupid and jealous people within the campaign itself,” the former president said.
“They wanted to destroy her,” he said, “but she wouldn’t let that happen. Sarah Palin is tough and smart and will never back down.”
Palin, 58, unleashed personal attacks on Obama and admitted she didn’t read much during that 2008 campaign. Some believe in Palin’s gut, anti-elite, nationalism-based policies opened the door for people like Trump and others, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneR-Ga.
McCain said 10 years after his unsuccessful presidential campaign that he regrets voting for Palin as a running mate.
Palin is running in a special election that will hold Young’s seat for several months before a new election is held.
Bridget Bowman contributed.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/trump-backs-sarah-palins-bid-congress-rcna22775 Trump supports Sarah Palin’s candidacy for Congress