Saturday, December 16, 2017
Politics

Palin joins Trump in call to 'make America great again'

TULSA, Okla. — Conservative firebrand Sarah Palin joined Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Oklahoma on Wednesday as part of her endorsement pledge in the increasingly intense race for the GOP nomination.

"Are you all ready to work to make America great again?" Palin asked a crowd of thousands packed into an arena at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., echoing Trump's campaign mantra.

Palin, who was absent from Trump's Wednesday morning event in Norwalk, Iowa, despite an expected appearance, rejoined the Trump campaign in Tulsa, warming up the crowd ahead of the candidate's speech. But Palin also struck a personal tone, alluding to problems her son and other returning military vets endure when returning to civilian life and suggesting that President Barack Obama's lack of support for veterans was related.

"It's kind of the elephant in the room," she began, addressing her family's struggle.

Palin's oldest son, Track, was arrested earlier this week in a domestic violence case in which his girlfriend told police she was afraid he would shoot himself with a rifle. Track Palin was charged with assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime and possessing a weapon while intoxicated in connection with the incident at Palin's home. Track Palin enlisted in the Army on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and spent a year deployed in Iraq.

"My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened," said Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. "They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country. And that starts from the top."

The experience, she added, "makes me realize more than ever it is now or never, for the sake of America's finest, that we have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them."

The White House declined to comment on Palin's remarks. A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign did not respond to questions about why Palin was a no-show at the Iowa event.

Palin, the former governor of Alaska, announced her support for Trump on Tuesday, hours after Track Palin's arrest became public. She erupted onto the stage in Ames, Iowa, clad in a sparkly jacket, singing Trump's praises and declaring that, with his election, there would be "no more pussy-footing around."

"Yesterday was amazing in every way," Trump told supporters Wednesday.

He bragged later that "Everybody wanted her endorsement," but she'd chosen him. "She said what you're doing, Donald, is amazing. It's a movement."

The endorsement, which gives Trump a boost of conservative, anti-establishment credibility, comes as the billionaire businessman is locked in a dead heat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa, where the caucuses will be held Feb. 1. Palin endorsed Cruz in his 2012 Senate race and said as recently as last month that he and Trump were both in her top tier of candidates, making the endorsement a symbolic blow to Cruz.

"I think it throws a pie into Sen. Cruz's face," said Trump supporter Tim Oelschlager, 56, who was at Wednesday's event in Norwalk. "It's kind of like somebody barbecuing in your back yard, setting up a tent in your back yard."

Earlier Tuesday, Cruz's Iowa efforts took another blow when the state's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad said Iowans should reject Cruz.

"Yesterday was a double," Trump crowed. "You had that statement and you had Sarah Palin. That was a good day for Trump."

Trump also sharpened his attacks on Cruz on Wednesday, repeating questions about Cruz's Canadian birth and bank loans he failed to disclose.

"Goldman Sachs owns him, remember that folks," Trump charged. "I think when you go to caucus, you should think about that problem."

Comments
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

WASHINGTON — As the spooling drama of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s White House departure spun into its 36th hour, Washington began asking itself: "Does it actually matter whether Omarosa quit or was fired?"Dumbest story ever," tweeted John Harwood, the...
Published: 12/15/17
Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

A hard-fought Republican primary ended with the nomination of Lawrence McClure in October during a whirlwind special election cycle to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who is stepping down for health reasons. The GOP winner faces face three less wel...
Updated: 9 hours ago
House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not leaving Congress soon

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not leaving Congress soon

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he’s not leaving Congress anytime soon, trying to squelch rumors that he will walk away in triumph after the Republicans’ treasured tax bill is approved. Politico and the Huffington Post published re...
Published: 12/14/17
Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote

Pence to delay Mideast trip as tax deal nears vote

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is delaying his weekend departure for the Middle East as Congress nears completion of a tax overhaul, his office announced Thursday. White House officials said Pence now plans to leave for Egypt on Tuesday so he...
Published: 12/14/17
Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

Senator: Comey’s remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited

WASHINGTON — A draft statement former FBI director James Comey prepared in anticipation of concluding the Hillary Clinton email case without criminal charges was heavily edited to change the "tone and substance" of the remarks, a Republican senator s...
Published: 12/14/17