DONALD Trump has gained another huge boost on his mission to become the Republican Presidential candidate after receiving backing from Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska governor hailed the billionaire property tycoon as the “master of the art of the deal” as she was welcomed to the stage by Trump at a campaign rally.
She said: “I’m proud to endorse Donald J Trump for president.”
Trump is narrowly ahead in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate ahead of rival Ted Cruz.
The property mogul reveal he was “greatly honoured” by the endorsement from the former vice presidential candidate.
He added: “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”
Mrs Palin’s approval comes at a pivotal moment as the countdown begins to the presidential primary, on February 1.
She told crowds at the rally in Ames, Iowa: “He’s the master of the art of the deal.
“Are you ready for a commander-in-chief who will let our warriors do their job and go ‘kick Isis ass?’
“He’s beholden to no one except we the people.
“No more pussyfooting around.
“He’s from the private sector, not a politician. Can I get a hallelujah?”
Her backing for Trump comes as a blow for Ted Cruz who was hoping to receive her support in the contest.
However he praised Palin in a reference to his election in 2012.
He said: “Without her support, I wouldn’t be in the Senate.”
He also tweeted: “Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.”
Spokesman for Cruz, Rick Taylor, revealed the candidate would be “deeply disappointed” when she backed Mr Trump.
It is believed that in such a tightly fought candidacy campaign, Palin could give Trump the edge on Cruz in Iowa.