This makes me think it is Palin who’s going to endorse Trump today and that Team Cruz knows it. Otherwise Rick Tyler would have answered this question differently, in spokesman-ese. You know how it goes: “Oh, listen, I’m not going to speculate about who’s endorsing who. Ted Cruz admires Governor Palin, she and Ted Cruz have been allies since he joined the Senate, but endorsements aren’t going to win this race. Iowans are going to decide based on who has the better record standing up to the Washington cartel and that’s obviously Senator Cruz.” He doesn’t say that. What he’s doing here is a sort of “prebuttal” — surely, surely, an icon of populist conservatism like Sarah Palin isn’t about to throw in with the biggest RINO in the race, a guy who was busy praising Barack Obama in the media on the very day that the tea party was born. If her endorsement’s still in play for Cruz, why would Tyler antagonize her by saying backing Trump would be a blow to her credibility instead of saying something flattering instead? He must know something.
Leon Wolf’s own “prebuttal” is less diplomatic than Tyler’s:
It is one thing for people like Rush, or Hannity, or Palin or whoever, to jump on board with a likely ideological weathervane like Mitt Romney after the die had already been cast for his nomination, especially in a 2012 field without viable challengers. But the 2016 field was loaded with genuine conservative stars, and the speed with which they were abandoned by almost every major conservative personality who earns their money directly from either ratings or book sales was dizzying and depressing. Limbaugh, in particular, has been a depressing listen for the last year for me and a whole host of other people who have been listening to him for over two decades – my only hope is that he has some as-yet-unplayed ace up his sleeve…
By all accounts, there is literally no excuse for Sarah Palin not to endorse Ted Cruz, if she believes even half the things she’s been saying over the years about mavericks and people who have taken on entrenched Republican interests. Donald Trump has done none of this. In fact, he specifically attacked Ted Cruz over the weekend on the basis that the Establishment does not like him…
And after it is all said and done, Palin will always have a cachet in terms of people who are willing to buy her books and watch her on TV, because they like her so much that the quality and content of her words don’t actually matter. But for those who expected or thought that Sarah Palin was about something larger than herself, today will be the bitter culmination of a long, slow, sad descent.
There’s no excuse for Palin not to endorse Cruz if she believes half the things she’s said over the years: That’s pretty much the size of it. For the first time in the Obama era, the tea party’s got a guy running who agrees with them on virtually everything, especially the propensity of Beltway Republicans to sell out. And he’s brilliant! And he’s preternaturally good at articulating their concerns! And he’s running a superb campaign, better than anyone expected! Here’s the grassroots right’s chance to deliver Iowa to him and make a “true conservative” the GOP nominee for the first time since Reagan. And now Palin, after eight years of preaching “constitutional conservative” solutions to the mess in Washington, is going to turn around and endorse … Donald Trump? Neutrality is bad enough. But this?
We’ll see. If it happens, I wonder how Cruz plays it. He could address it directly, echoing Tyler’s disappointment or even attacking Palin herself as a conservative sellout, but there are bound to be Palin fans in Cruz’s base. He doesn’t want to antagonize them. Maybe he’s stuck ignoring it. Or maybe he’ll take a “last man standing” approach, referring obliquely to how other unnamed conservative tea-party heroes may have abandoned the movement (a knock on Rubio as well as Palin) but he remains a lone proud champion of the cause among the political class. Either that or he’ll duck it entirely and leave it to his surrogates to call Palin a has-been in the media. Coming soon from an anonymous Cruz advisor to a Politico article near you: “Hey, it’s not the first time she’s endorsed a Democrat.”
Update: This is really happening.
Is THIS Why People Don’t like Cruz? https://t.co/Qv3iih071S
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 19, 2016
That link takes you to a post by Bristol Palin, who noticed Rick Tyler’s comments this morning and didn’t care for them.
After hearing what Cruz is now saying about my mom, in a negative knee-jerk reaction, makes me hope my mom does endorse Trump. Cruz’s flip-flop, turning against my mom who’s done nothing but support and help him when others sure didn’t, shows he’s a typical politician. How rude to that he’s setting up a false narrative about her!
America doesn’t need that. We need someone who has a vision for economic prosperity, who won’t let us get kicked around in the world, and who will fight for our future…
The audacity to suggest that because she chooses one over the other will somehow “damage” her just shows arrogance.
You’ve also said, “She can pick winners!” I hope you’re right, and that she endorses Donald Trump today for President.
So there you go. In vintage Trump-ian fashion, Palin’s going to act like Cruz and Tyler started a fight with her when, to all appearances, she was already on her way to endorsing Trump over Cruz.
This is really happening.
Update: Here’s Cruz trying to de-escalate before Palin gets a chance on national TV to really lay into him on Trump’s behalf.
I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn't be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 19, 2016