Donald Trump says Sarah Palin could play a role within his administration if he’s elected president — but doubts she’d want to be his running mate.
“I don’t think it’s something that she would want to do,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, a day after the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee endorsed the GOP frontrunner in Iowa. “She’s been through that.”
“I haven’t discussed anything with her about what she’d do,” Trump said, “but she’s somebody I really like and I respect, and certainly she could play a position if she wanted to.”
The real estate mogul and former “Celebrity Apprentice” host said Palin approached him about her endorsement — which irked Trump’s rivals, particularly Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom Palin endorsed when he was running for Senate in 2012.
“Every candidate wanted Sarah. Everybody. They all respect her a lot,” Trump said Wednesday. “She never said, ‘Gee, I’d like to do this, I’d like to do that.’ She never made a deal, like so many people want to try to make deals. She just said, ‘I really like what’s going on. It’s an amazing thing. I’ve never seen anything like it in politics.’”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow)January 20, 2016
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Cruz dismissed the endorsement, but not her.
“Regardless of what Sarah intends to do in 2016, I will remain a big, big fan of Sarah Palin,” Cruz said.
After a day of Trump trumpeting a major, surprise endorsement, the conservative firebrand took the stage with him at Iowa State University on Tuesday with a stump speech not unlike his.
“No more pussy-footing around,” Palin said. “What he has been able to do, which is really ticking people off, which I’m glad about — he’s going rogue left and right.”
Palin endorses Trump at a rally in Ames, Iowa, on Tuesday. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)
Palin, who rocketed to political stardom when she was tapped to run alongside Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential race, has not held public office in more than six years and was dropped as a contributor by Fox News in June.
But the 51-year-old has a huge following on Facebook and Twitter and remains an influential figure among tea party conservatives.
Trump, she said, would be a commander in chief who would “let our warriors do their job and go kick ISIS’s ass!”
After the event, Trump said, “We’re going to give ’em hell.”
Palin is expected to join Trump at two campaign events Wednesday, including a rally in Tulsa, Okla.
Back in Trump’s hometown of New York City, Palin’s endorsement was front-page news — though perhaps not in the way his campaign had hoped.
It was in Alaska too, appearing above coverage of the arrest of Palin’s son, Track, who was charged with assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime and possessing a weapon while intoxicated in an incident involving his girlfriend.
In Iowa, where Trump is trying to woo evangelicals ahead of next month’s caucuses, Palin’s stump for Trump made headlines, but it remains to be seen if her stamp of approval will translate into votes.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a detriment, but I don’t think it’s going to be a huge asset,” Stephen Freese, a 56-year-old construction worker from Burlington, Iowa, who attended the rally, told the Associated Press.
Bruce Dodge, a 66-year-old retiree who lives in Ankeny, Iowa, agreed.
“I don’t think she’s really credible anymore,” he said.