Palin among top conservatives turning out for Cruz in Texas
July 27th, 2012
09:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Palin among top conservatives turning out for Cruz in Texas

(CNN) – The conservative elite descended upon Texas this weekend, as some of the tea party's biggest stars stood with Senate hopeful Ted Cruz in his bid against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the state's heated runoff.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum are all stumping for Cruz just days before Tuesday's election.

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Palin and DeMint attended a get-out-the-vote rally in The Woodlands outside of Houston on Friday night, while Santorum is set to join Cruz at a rally near Dallas Saturday morning.

Friday night, Palin fired up the crowd, reiterating anti-Washington rhetoric often heard during the midterm elections two years ago.

"2010 was just a step in that long march towards the real reform that we need," Palin said. "Texas will you keep fighting? Will you keep marching for the real reform that we need in Washington?"

She described Cruz as a candidate who would stand against "big government cheerleaders" and wasted no time in attacking President Barack Obama, hitting what she labeled his "death-panel filled, Orwellian nonsense called 'Obamacare'."

And while he was in Texas this month, the president told a San Antonio crowd he could see the Lone Star State soon turn into a "battleground."

Palin, however, objected.

"There will be an Alaskan sized blizzard on the Brazos (River) before Texas turns blue for Barack," Palin said, drawing big applause.

DeMint also laced his speech with anti-establishment undertones, urging the crowd to turn out for Cruz next week in a sign of protest against lawmakers in Washington.

"Tuesday night, when they find out what happened here in Texas, Republican leaders in Austin and Washington are not going to sleep very well because they know it's out of their hands and in your hands," the South Carolina senator said.

Echoing refrains from his fellow conservatives on stage, Cruz said his campaign was a "testament to the power of grassroots" and lambasted the nation's capital for the increasing debt.

"This ain't rocket science. If any one of us ran our families or our businesses the way our federal government is run, we'd be in jail, we'd be bankrupt and sleeping under a bridge," Cruz said.

Friday's rally underscored the storyline seen in Texas and in other Senate Republican primaries this year, with a tea party-backed candidate (Cruz) competing against a more establishment-friendly Republican (Dewhurst).

While Cruz took 34% of the vote in the Texas primary on May 29 compared to Dewhurst at 45%, the lieutenant governor failed to cross the 50% threshold needed to capture the GOP nomination and the race was forced into a runoff.

Palin has had a successful endorsement record in GOP primaries this year. The 2008 vice presidential nominee backed state treasurer Richard Mourdock in his takedown of longtime incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary. She also endorsed Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer, who ultimately topped a crowded field of Republicans in the May contest, and Palin threw her voice behind incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah as he beat back his toughest primary challenge in decades.

DeMint, a leader in the conservative movement, has also been active in Senate races this year. His super PAC, Senate Conservatives Action, announced on Monday a half-million dollar ad buy in support of Cruz in Texas.

Also this week, the national conservative group, Club for Growth, announced an additional $574,000 in spending for Cruz, bringing its total to $2.5 million spent in the Texas race.

Santorum, meanwhile, first endorsed Cruz in May during the primary race. After ending his presidential bid in April, the former Pennsylvania senator has been rallying for conservative causes with his new group, Patriot Voices.

"Sen. DeMint, Gov. Palin, and Sen. Santorum recognize that this race is now ground zero for the Tea Party movement in America, and that's why they're supporting Ted Cruz," said James Bernsen, a spokesman for the candidate.

Dewhurst's team, however, has made Cruz's high-profile backers a big attack line in the campaign, arguing they represent the interests of Washington, not Texas.

"Ted Cruz has relied on out of state support for his entire campaign, so it's no surprise they're rallying for him in the final days of the campaign," said Matt Hirsch, a spokesman for Dewhurst. "In contrast, David Dewhurst is campaigning with Texans and talking about issues that matter to voters here in the Lone Star State. While Ted Cruz would go to Washington and serve at the pleasure of the special interests supporting his campaign, David Dewhurst will go to Washington to serve the people of Texas."

The race, held to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, has become one of the most expensive congressional contests of the year. As of July 11, Cruz had raised just over $9 million, with about $1 million coming from his own pocket. Dewhurst, however, has lent his campaign much more money, about $17 million of the $24.5 million his team has received.

Early voting in the state began Monday.

Filed under: 2012 • Jim DeMint • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin • Senate • Texas
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Kris Craig

    Instead of fighting for someone who "stands up for conservative principles," it would be nice if these people would instead devote their energy toward fighting for someone who stands up for American principles.

    July 27, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Larry

    Funny, I looked up the phrase "elite conservatives", and the only reference was "oxymoron".

    July 27, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    ha ha ha ha ha If she's for him, he must be a really big crook. LOL

    July 27, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    If the Republican primary election is on Tuesday, will they be checking for Voter IDs?

    July 27, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    Endorsements from Palin, DeMint, and Santorum; the three best reasons I can imagine to not vote for someone.

    July 27, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. cali girl

    wait a minute, WHO is this?

    July 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ted Cruz represented and won a case for a Chinese company that outsourced American jobs. It's funny how these so-called "teabaggers" say one thing and support another. That's no excuse unless you're Palin because she's not expected to know any better and she won't talk about Cruz, she'll complain about Obama for her own self serving agenda.

    July 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Right now, I guess Sarah's feeling pretty good that she was considered the "better candidate" and that her foreign policy is now "top notch" compared to Willard.

    Please God let the president continue to lead us from these unqualified individuals.

    July 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |

    I'm guessing that having Failin Palin show up for Cruz means Dewhurst is a sho-in for the Senate seat??

    July 27, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. SafeJourney

    "Game Change" lol just watch the movie

    July 27, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. California Gary

    If Cruz is smart.......he will disavow any knowledge of who that woman is. Having her attach herself to your campaign must feel like you just got bit by a tick. Try touching a hot lighter to her backside.......maybe she'll back out and leave you alone.

    July 27, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Curt

    Ok CNN, most people don't care about Sarah Palin. Its not news. If you would stop giving her coverage, she would fade away and concentrate on reality TV shows like she did, her daughter did and now her husband. Thanks to John McCain we've had to put up with her for years now and he still won't admit he was wrong. What a fool he might have been President if he had chosen someone else.

    July 27, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Woman In California

    Right now, I guess Sarah's feeling pretty good that she was considered the "better candidate" and that her foreign policy is now "top notch" compared to Willard.

    Too funny. That's all we need ... our $arah flinging herself back into the media ring as the "better" candidate.

    What WERE the GOPers thinking when they all started scrambling to line up behind Candidate Romney?

    July 27, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. drake mallard

    I wish people would stop calling her Governor. She only served a half term at best before she quit. Seems like she gave up that right. As I recall, she said she quit because she could not do her job with all the law suits that were being filed against her. she bankrupted the town and didn't have a thing to show for it and was mired in scandal.
    Sarah´╗┐ Palin is a an American embarrassment. she is a joke, a laughing stock. It's entertaining. Sarah Palin is mean spirited and completely phony, a quitter.

    July 27, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. tony

    I wonder how these good solid patriotic friends of American workers find the time off and money to constantly travel around to all these political events?

    July 27, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. jerseylou

    You again.....I wonder if she will change her mind and ask for his Birth Certificate.

    July 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. ART

    Theres is not enough lipstick that can be put on any pig that would make them smarter

    July 27, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's called "bringing all the clowns in", they'll never learn because their brains are blocked with hate.

    July 27, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. 23 from Texas

    I voted for Ted Cruz, Palin was not the deciding factor, but she definitely helped. For me it was Mark Levin (the smartest person I know). Ted Cruz wins by 8-10 points!

    July 27, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. jack johnson

    So this is how she will spend her time. She was not invited to speek at the repub. convention GO SARAH

    July 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. American People

    This tells you all you need to know about the GOP.

    July 27, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |