Sarah Palin attended a rally on Thursday night to support the Senate bid of pro-life candidate Joe Miller over pro-abortion Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is waging a write-in campaign.
Meanwhile, conservative activists in the state have undertaken a last-minute barrage of write-in campaigns designed to hurt Murkowski’s efforts.
“Let’s send Joe Miller to the United States Senate to shake it up,” Palin said at the Miller event in Anchorage, the largest city in the state where she served as governor.
“I read his resume, I read his accomplishments, I read his passion for America, and I think, ‘Are we even fit to tie his combat boots?'” Palin said to cheers from the large crowd.
Palin’s endorsement, and the abortion issue as well as Miller’s support for the parental notification initiative that passed, was critical for Miller defeating Murkowski in the primary.
She did not mention Murkowski by name by talked about the “out of touch liberal” and “establishment candidate” who is waging a write-in campaign after becoming frustrated with losing the Miller in the Republican primary.
Other top pro-life conservatives mentioned as potential presidential or vice-presidential candidates appeared at the event to support Miller, including South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Miller’s campaign, during the rally, unveiled a new campaign ad that juxtaposes clips of Obama repeating his “Yes, we can,” refrain from the 2008 campaign and Murkowski using the same phrase in her own bid for re-election.
Palin’s appearance on Miller’s behalf came one day after the Alaska Supreme Court issued a ruling saying election officials must hand out a list of write-in candidates if voters request it so they can properly spell Murkowski’s name. It also followed a highly-criticized poll
showing Miller in third place, despite others having him leading by a small margin or tied with Murkowski.
The latest development in the campaign sees more than 100 people register as write-in candidates at the last minute in order to populate the list of candidates and make it more difficult for Murkowski to get her name in front of voters on the list.
Alaska Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai confirmed the high number of write-in candidates but could not say whether anyone with a similar name to Murkowski’s added themselves to the list.
Dan Fagan, who hosts a popular conservative radio talk show in Anchorage, led the call for the candidates to join the list after a caller one of his listener said he had done so. [related]
“My thought is, if the state is going to illegally help Lisa, we should at least dilute their ability to do so,” he said, according to Politico. “That way, the list will be so long, it won’t help her that much anyway.”
Miller is strongly pro-life and has received the endorsement of pro-life groups, which confirm Murkowski is pro-abortion and has voted for taxpayer-financed abortions.