Rep. Steve King , an Iowa Republican and Ted Cruz supporter, says Donald Trump bought his endorsements. Trump recently received high profile endorsements from Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr.
King reiterated his statement about the endorsements to the Daily Caller on Saturday during a Cruz rally at the Gateway Hotel and stressed that he “knows things.”
“He has, from a regular person’s perspective, unlimited resources and he’s willing to use whatever access he has in order to get the endorsements that he wants,” King explained.
“Among those are the assets that we would naturally think of, including the attraction that might be for, oh who knows, a reality TV show, a job in the Trump machine,” he said.
King added: “There’s fame and fortune, and there’s also the fear factor of retribution, which Donald Trump has not been shy about delivering against people. So all of that affects a person’s judgment under those circumstances.”
The conservative Iowa congressman would not get specific, but would only say, “I know things, but I’m saying what is appropriate, so that people will know enough, and I’m wanting to keep this on as high a plane as I can, but I don’t think my conscience can allow me from not saying anything.”
I don’t know enough about Joe Arpaio to have an opinion in his case. But in the case of Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell, Jr., the thought that hey have been bought has been on the front of most everone’s minds since they endorsed Trump. Palin endorsed Cruz when he ran for Senate. Falwell’s embrace of an unrepentant adulterer would be inexplicable were palms not greased somewhere in the process. Again, King hasn’t named Palin and Falwell as being bought and I have no knowledge that they were bought, but if King is correct and Trump is buying endorsements, one would certainly look askance at their actions.
This is not a harmless accusation. Two of Rand Paul’s aides were indicted for paying an Iowa State senator to endorse Ron Paul in 2012. To me, this gives credence to King’s oblique reference. Unlike lying about a person’s voting record, accusing them of committing a handful of federal felonies is a serious matter.