Video: Asked who the "standout" candidate in the GOP field is, Palin names Trump

Skip to 6:00. I’m really surprised. Not that she’s favorable to Trump — they’ve been populist allies for awhile now — but that she’d make a clear choice when prompted. After all, her other ally, Ted Cruz, is not only also in the race but trying to make his move right now. She and Cruz are easily the two most popular politicians of the tea-party era among grassroots conservatives, I think; Palin campaigned for Cruz during the 2012 Senate primary and they campaigned together in September against the Iran deal (along with Trump) in Washington. At worst you’d expect her to say that she likes both candidates, that they’re dynamic speakers, strong on immigration, intent on bringing down the Washington cartel, and so forth. Nope. She doesn’t hesitate when asked who the “standout” in the field is (which is distinct from an endorsement, I guess?) and actually goes so far as to say that what she likes about Trump is that “He doesn’t have to be bought or sold, obviously, especially when it comes to contributions. He is his own man.” That’s a Trump attack in the making against Cruz, who does depend on donations from rich conservative benefactors to make him competitive with the other top-tier candidates. Until now, I’ve assumed that populist heroes like Palin and the right’s talk-radio stars were willing to defend the populist Trump unless and until a Cruz surge in the polls forced them to choose between the two, at which point they’d choose Cruz on principle. If you want a populist conservative in charge, better to elect the populist who’s actually conservative than the one who isn’t, right? Now I don’t know. If we end up with a showdown between Trump and Cruz for the nomination, are Rush, Sean, etc going to remain neutral between the two? Will they actually quasi-endorse Trump by calling him, not Cruz, the “standout” in the race? For most righties, that choice is a no-brainer, I think. (I hope?)

Elsewhere here, at 2:35, Palin says that Katie Couric’s famous question about what she likes to read was “fair” and that she gave a “crappy” answer.

Jazz Shaw May 24, 2022 7:58 AM ET