WEST DES MOINES — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined two prominent Nebraska female politicians Sunday in urging Iowans to support Joni Ernst, a “pistol-packin’ Harley rider” who will shake up the Washington establishment in a positive way that restores America’s freedoms and conservative values.
Palin, the 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee, raved over Ernst’s conservative credentials as a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-freedom candidate who is an officer in the Iowa National Guard, a registered gun owner/carrier, a state senator, and a farm gal who grew up castrating pigs.
“We are here today to endorse a lady who is already shaking it up back in Washington, D.C.,” said Palin, who joined U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., former Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr and Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at ShePAC’s “Heels On, Gloves Off!” rally that drew about 300 Iowans to a West Des Moines venue.
“She is the right one,” Palin said of Ernst, one of five Republicans vying for the GOP nomination to face Democrat Bruce Braley in the race to replace retiring Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. “They just better not underestimate this gal from flyover country. She is a patriot, she is a fighter.”
Palin told the gathering that “heck yeah” they found a candidate they can trust to go to the nation’s capital and work to repeal and replace Obamacare, reduce the national debt, restore America’s place as a strong world power, protect freedoms and promote conservative values, unlike others who have been “co-opted” after voters sent them to Washington to change the nation’s course.
“The status quo has got to go,” Palin told supportive listeners.
The former governor said Ernst got people’s attention with her “Squeal” campaign ad in which the southwest Iowa legislator tells viewers she “grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” and plans to take skills to the Senate to “cut through the pork” that will make the Washington establishment squeal.
“You know that ad that she put out, right? That right there, it got people’s attention because it’s like, whoa, no one’s going to push her around. She’s not going to be co-opted,” Palin said.
“You just know that — with that ad that she was just bold enough to put out — she’s not one who’s going to be told to sit down and shut up and sit in the back corner and let the good old boys do what they’ve been doing all these years,” Palin added. “That is refreshing. That is what is needed.”
In response to Palin’s Iowa visit, Braley’s campaign put out a fundraising email declaring that “where Palin goes, the special-interest money flows” and calling her “radical views” wrong for Iowa’s middle class.
Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Christina Freundlich said the pairing of Palin and Ernst was appropriate because Ernst has missed numerous Iowa Senate votes while campaigning for a new job while Palin “is infamous for abandoning her constituents and leaving the Alaska governor’s office when her job got in the way of her personal ambitions.”
“Both Sarah Palin and Joni Ernst put their personal ambitions before their constituents, so it’s no surprise they’ll share the same stage today,” Freundlich said in a statement.
Ernst thanked Palin, Fischer and Orr for aiding her quest to become the first woman in Iowa to be elected to the U.S. Senate and said Iowa Democrats are worried about her momentum and her plans to “take it to Bruce Braley” in the fall campaign.
“Time is short,” Palin said in delivering her support to Ernst. We don’t need a whole lot of touchy-feely, compassionate, ‘kumbaya’ singing around the campfire when it comes to these campaigns. We need the fighters. We need you all to fight for the right folks that we need in D.C.”