Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump for president.
The former governor of Alaska appeared with Trump to formally announce the endorsement at an event in Ames, Iowa Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, Palin released a statement through the Trump campaign saying, “I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president.”
“This is a person I’ve known for a long time, who I’ve respected for so long,” Trump said when he introduced Palin at the event.
“Media heads are spinning,” Palin said, gesturing to the news cameras lined up in the back of the room when she took the stage. “This is going to be so much fun.”
“Only one candidate’s record of success proves that he is the master of the art of the deal,” Palin said, lauding Trump. “He is beholden to nobody but we the people, how refreshing. He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again.”
“No more pussyfootin’ around,” she yelled at the crowd. “Our troops deserve the best, you deserve the best.”
The event, which was held in a barn at Iowa State University, drew a largely college crowd, many of whom were not Trump supporters. Some seemed confused by Palin’s speech, during which she appeared to be reading off notes or a prepared text as she flipped pages. Others chuckled during parts of the speech where Palin seemed to ramble.
One man shouted “You’re a joke” at the pair before being swiftly removed from the venue. Before Palin took the stage, Trump had been interrupted by a group of about 3 dozen protesters.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been sparring with Trump in recent days and is in a close race with him in the Iowa polls, tweeted this ahead of Palin’s announcement:
The Hillary Clinton campaign also responded to the announcement on twitter, tweeting the following during Palin’s announcement in Iowa:
Following Palin’s initial announcement, Trump released a statement complimenting the former vice presidential candidate. “I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement. She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support,” Trump said.
According to Trump’s campaign, Palin will travel with the GOP frontrunner to two events on Wednesday in Iowa and Oklahoma.
Additional reporting by Zeke J. Miller