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Jan 19, 2016 11:14 PM

Steinhauser: After Palin backs Trump, Cruz tells NH1 News voters will decide who's the 'real conservative'

NH1 News Political Director

ROCHESTER – Ted Cruz says he remains a “big, big, fan of Sarah Palin” even though she endorsed Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination.

But talking with NH1 News minutes after Palin endorsed Trump at a rally in Iowa, Cruz also said that the voters rather than endorsements will determine “who’s the real conservative.”

While the Republican presidential front runner was in the Hawkeye State with Palin, the senator from Texas was in New Hampshire, crisscrossing the first-in-the-nation primary state during a five day campaign bus tour that’s hitting all ten of the state’s counties. Cruz, who’s Trump’s main rival right now for the Republican nomination, has been in a war of words with Trump the past two weeks.

Cruz continues to question Trump’s credentials, telling reporters during a campaign stop at the White Buffalo Trading Post in Center Barnstead that “if you’re looking for someone who’s a deal maker, who will capitulate even more to the Democrats , who will give in the Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, then perhaps Donald Trump is your man.”

Palin endorsed Cruz in 2012, helping him win an upset victory in the Texas Senate primary before going to win the general election.

Following a rally at an office in Rochester that his campaign uses for grassroots outreach, the Lone Star State senator was asked by NH1 News what it says to him that Palin would endorse Trump over Cruz.

“I love Sarah Palin. She’s a good friend of mine. I wouldn’t be in the U.S. Senate if it weren’t for Sarah Palin. And so whatever she has decided to do in 2016, I’ll remain a big big fan of Sarah Palin. At the end of the day it’s going to be the voters who determines who’s the real conservative,” Cruz responded.

A few minutes earlier, during the rally, Cruz was thanking two of his biggest Granite State supporters, former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien and former Sen. Bob Smith, when he said “thank you for your incredible leadership in the state of Texas.”

As the crowd laughed, Cruz joked that “I kind of think I’ve been on the road a while.”

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