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Sarah Palin Endorses Carly Fiorina for California Senate

4 years ago
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Republican Carly Fiorina scored a coup Thursday when Sarah Palin endorsed her for the GOP Senate nomination in California. In doing so, Palin bypassed state assemblyman Chuck DeVore, a favorite of conservatives such as Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

In a statement circulated by Fiorina, Palin praised the former Hewlett-Packard CEO as a "commonsense conservative" with the potential to beat the longtime Democratic incumbent, Barbara Boxer. Palin said she is "a huge proponent" of contested primaries, but supports Fiorina "as she fights through a tough primary against a liberal member of the GOP who seems to bear almost no difference to Boxer, one of the most leftwing members of the Senate."

That was a reference to former congressman Tom Campbell. Not mentioned at all: DeVore.

Palin's move set off an argument among her supporters on her Facebook page. Judy Hobrecht kicked things off by calling Fiorina "a freaking progressive, just like (John) McCain!!! I've had my money on DeVore for MONTHS! C'mon, Sarah! STOP with the inside beltway and return to endoring [sic] true conservatives!!! Are you going to deny now that you were a maverick also?"

The DeVore campaign pointed out the Facebook dissenters and circulated a blog post from last fall in which Fiorina declined to say whether she thought Palin displayed leadership qualities. Instead she said she'd never met her. On Thursday, Fiorina said that like herself, Palin is "a political outsider and a strong fiscal conservative."

The Palin endorsement was the second conservative credential Fiorina collected in as many days. On Wednesday, she won the backing of the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. DeVore spokesman Josh Trevino said there is no conservative groundswell for Fiorina, but rather a "doubling down" of the McCain 2008 team behind her. The two women saw their political fortunes rise in that campaign, Palin as McCain's running mate and Fiorina as an economic adviser.

The latest poll of the race shows the moderate Campbell leading Fiorina. It also shows Boxer in the 40s with weak single-digit leads over her potential GOP rivals. Boxer sponsored an amendment this week that could help her. It bans taxpayer bailouts of banks, and it passed 96-1.

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