Salt Lake City
Former Alaskan Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has announced her endorsement of longtime Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. The endorsement comes as Hatch faces a difficult GOP primary race.
For the first time since 1976, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch will be forced into a primary against former State Senator Dan Liljenquist. Hatch was a few votes short of avoiding a primary election. Following two rounds of voting, Hatch garnered 59.2 percent of the vote, while Liljenquist received 40.8 percent.
One month after the contest, Sarah Palin made the decision to endorse Hatch in the senate race. On her website SarahPAC.com, Palin published a blog post titled “'Mr. Balanced Budget for Utah.’”
“Orrin Hatch is part of the one percent. No, not that one percent you’ve heard about. He’s part of the one percent of national politicians who I think should be re-elected,” wrote the former Alaskan Governor. “Orrin Hatch is a life-long conservative whose dedication and devotion to the conservative cause and to his beloved and beautiful state of Utah is well documented.”
Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.
Towards the end of her endorsement remarks, Palin urged others to join the likes of Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and other Tea Party leaders in supporting Hatch for his re-election bid and enter his seventh term.
As Digital Journal noted in April when Hatch, who was elected into office in 1977, said he despised libertarians, Hatch has been criticized by many conservatives for his record. The former Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has voted to raise the debt ceiling 16 times, he voted in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and supported bills that some claim were infringements on civil liberties.
However, Palin says Hatch has “sponsored or co-sponsored” a balanced budget amendment 17 times and voted in favor of the amendment another nine times.
“Long before the issue of debt was on the forefront of Americans’ minds, Orrin Hatch knew our government would face insolvency if we did not get our budget under control,” stated Palin. “We know he will use his seniority and influence to dissuade politicians from continuing to raise the debt ceiling without any plan to balance the budget and end these dangerously unsustainable deficits.”
The winner of the Utah GOP primary will face off against the Democratic candidate former State Senator Scott Howell, who defeated Pete Ashdown.
Among other representatives she supports (some are not facing an election year) are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin.