GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich can now tout a Palin endorsement, though not from the "Mama Grizzly" herself.
Todd Palin, husband of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, announced Monday that he is supporting the former House speaker's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich later told a crowd in New Hampshire of the news, saying that he "really appreciated" it.
Gingrich also tweeted that he was "honored" by Palin's endorsement.
Palin clarified to ABC News that while he believed Gingrich was well-suited for the White House, his wife was still undecided on "who is best able to go up against Barack Obama."
Sarah Palin had earlier said she wouldn't make an official endorsement until after the Iowa caucuses, which took place last week. A report from Real Clear Politics last year suggested that she was leaning toward backing Gingrich. She has spoken highly of what she characterized as Gingrich's ability to potentially "clobber" Obama in a head-to-head debate.
But she's also sung the praises of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who took a surprise second-place finish in Iowa, losing to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by a mere eight votes. In an interview late last year, Sarah Palin accurately predicted Santorum's rise, saying that conservatives would be drawn to his "ideological consistency" on the issues.
She continued to commend Santorum last week in her analysis of the Iowa caucus results, but also warned the GOP not to discount Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
In a statement released by the Gingrich campaign, Palin explained his endorsement.
"Newt Gingrich is a true leader, which he has proven not only since the beginning of his campaign, but throughout his career," Palin wrote. "Just like Sarah, Newt has faced many successes and challenges. Despite his consultants leaving him last summer, Newt is still standing because of his ideas and his success in the debates - not by spending millions of dollars in campaign ads."
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