Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Monday endorsed Republican Dan Bongino in his race against U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) in a move that one political observer said would have no bearing on the election’s outcome.
“Though political pundits often dismiss conservative candidates running in deep blue states, I don't believe in ignoring good candidates simply because they're fighting uphill battles against the odds,” Palin, a former half-term governor of Alaska, said in her endorsement letter. “In fact, I find such candidates incredibly brave and especially worthy of encouragement. In many cases, they are often the most articulate and courageous new conservative voices out there.”
Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, said although Palin’s endorsement might help Bongino with some fundraising, it is unlikely to sway Maryland voters.
“That’s why we have Governor Murphy,” Eberly said, referring to Palin’s endorsement of political novice Brian Murphy over former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the Republican primary two years ago. Ehrlich won the primary handily but lost the general election to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
“Sarah Palin endorsing a Republican in Maryland has no impact on the general election,” Eberly said.
Bongino said in an emailed statement he was “honored and grateful” to receive Palin’s support.
Bongino said he appreciates the support because as a political outsider he needs it.
“We’re fighting an entrenched one party in this state right now,” Bongino said in a telephone interview.
“I have no record in politics, thank God,” Bongino said. “She was a natural ally for us.”
Bongino also was endorsed Monday by the Senate Conservatives Fund, a super political action committee formed by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina.
“Maryland is a deep blue state and it will be very difficult to win. But this one is worth the fight,” the committee said in its emailed statement, calling Bongino one who could break the mold.
Bongino, a police officer before he joined the Secret Service, called the remarks by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant as “illogical.”
“Rape is rape,” Bongino said when asked about the controversial remarks by Akin. “It’s a black-or-white issue. There’s no gray here. There’s no question they were very insensitive remarks.”