Since Donald Trump’s campaign announced this week that he will have a “major announcement and a very special guest in attendance” during a Tuesday rally in Iowa, the speculation has focused on whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could be making an endorsement.
That theory gained steam after users on the Free Republic message board pointed out that a private plane departed Anchorage, Alaska for Des Moines, Iowa on Monday.
According to the tracking website FlightAware, a Canadair Challenger twin-jet left the Anchorage airport at 11:54 a.m. local time, landing at Des Moines International Airport at 7:55 p.m. CST.
There is more evidence the plane could be used by Trump’s campaign: the same plane left Des Moines Monday at 8:36 p.m. and landed at Tulsa International Airport at 9:24 p.m. Trump is scheduled to hold three events in Iowa on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Oral Roberts University.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) January 19, 2016
The endorsement rally is set to take place at the Hansen Agricultural Student Learning Center at Iowa State University in Ames. At a campaign event on Monday, Trump said: “We’re getting a big endorsement on Tuesday. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has spoken positively about both Trump and [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]. In December, she said: “I’m not going to pick one right now, but what a nice problem to have if it came down to Cruz and Trump. That’s a good problem for voters to have…they are both strong and very decisive and someone who would take the initiative. That is what we need today, and both of those candidates would fit that bill.”
Appearing on CNN on Tuesday, a top Cruz aide said he “would be deeply disappointed” if Palin was the one endorsing Trump.
“I think it would be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion of the conservative cause and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life,” Cruz communications director Rick Tyler said.
The forthcoming endorsement comes as Trump and Cruz have abandoned their friendly alliance and polls show both duking it out for first place in Iowa.