Correction appended, Jan. 19
Standing in front of a horse saddle, a fake desert background and a statue of John Wayne, Donald Trump accepted the endorsement of Wayne’s daughter before reporters in Iowa Tuesday morning.
After Wayne’s daughter Aissa introduced Trump, he quipped, “John Wayne would be very proud of you right now, I think. Maybe he would say, ‘What are you doing?’”
“This is very important to me because of John and his whole legacy,” Trump said. “I met him one time and it made such an impression. When you talk about bigger than life, there aren’t too many people bigger than life… It’s an honor to be here, it’s a tremendous honor to have your support and endorsement.”
“When you think about it John Wayne represented strength, he represented power, he represented what the people are looking [for] today because we have exactly the opposite of John Wayne right now in this country,” Trump continued. “And he represented real strength and an inner strength that you don’t see very often, and that’s why this endorsement it meant so much to me.”
Trump is fresh off a very warm welcome from Liberty University on Monday, the largest Christian university in the world. He will receive another endorsement at a later event in Iowa today, but he was coy about who it will be coming from, except to say that it will be a “tremendous event” and people will be “very impressed.” One reporter asked him if the endorsement will come from Sarah Palin, as some have speculated. Trump declined to answer except to say that he is a “fan” of Palin.
Correction: The original version of this story misidentified which member of the Wayne family was endorsing Trump. It was his daughter, Aissa Wayne.