(CNN) - Sarah Palin announced Wednesday she's throwing her support behind Joni Ernst for an open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa, picking up on the GOP candidate's new campaign theme of cutting "through the pork" in Washington.
The former Alaska governor, 2008 vice presidential nominee, and conservative firebrand said in a post to her Facebook page that if Deb Fischer, a Republican senator from Nebraska who Palin backed in 2012, "can see through the bull in Washington, then Iowa's Joni Ernst can help her cut through the pork."
Take a quick trip Inside Politics and see the stories setting the stage in Washington today:
Obama vs. Romney ... and Putin - A tough question for President Obama on Romney, Russia and Putin. Obama is a master of the long–winded sidestep - guarded, professorial and often dismissive answers to questions from reporters.
Washington (CNN) – Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, a leading candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, was put on the defensive Tuesday by a video clip showing him warning that a Republican Senate takeover could leave the GOP's Chuck Grassley - "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school" - in charge of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.
If the GOP captures the Senate majority, "you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee," Braley says in the video.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz will headline a second fundraiser in New Hampshire when he visits the final week of April, as the Texas Republican continues to flirt with a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Cruz will be the featured guest at a $500-a-plate fundraiser for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, a conservative organization that, among other things, is working to try and defeat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in November.
(CNN) – A majority of Americans don't believe the explanations by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about two controversies that continue to dog them as they seriously consider White House runs, according to a new national poll.
And another new survey indicates Clinton topping Christie by double digits in one of the most important states in the race for the White House.
(CNN) – A new survey asked Iowa voters about potential presidential candidates who’ve already run for the White House, and the results show some good news for Republicans Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan.
But for Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa GOP caucuses in 2012 by a razor-thin margin, and Rick Perry, the results indicate Hawkeye State Republicans aren't quite as excited about the prospects of another presidential bid by the former Pennsylvania senator and the Texas governor. FULL POST
(CNN) – In a move that is generating even more 2016 presidential buzz, the chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party is leaving his position to work for Rand PAC, a group that supports Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
A.J. Spiker, who’s been chairman since February 2012, sent a letter to Iowa GOP committee members Friday, saying that he was stepping down and that elections for a new chairman would take place on March 29, according to a statement released Saturday by the state party.