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Ted Cruz In 2013 On Sarah Palin: “She Can Pick Winners”

Cruz listed off Palin's successful endorsements in a glowing introduction speech.

Last updated on January 19, 2016, at 4:28 p.m. ET

Posted on January 19, 2016, at 4:28 p.m. ET

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During a speech introducing Sarah Palin at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz listed off a series of successful Republican candidates that Palin had endorsed, including himself.

"You know what, she can pick winners," Cruz said of the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. "Sarah Palin jumped in early and supported Rand Paul, she supported Marco Rubio, she supported Tim Scott, she supported Pat Toomey, she supported Nikki Haley, and this past election cycle there were three Republicans who won new seats, Deb Fischer, Jeff Flake and myself. She supported all three of us."

Palin on Tuesday endorsed Republican presidential front-runner — and Cruz's main challenger in Iowa — Donald Trump, according to a report from the New York Times.

There had been widespread speculation that Palin would Trump at a rally in Ames, Iowa on Tuesday. Asked about her rumored endorsement, Cruz's campaign spokesman Rick Tyler warned Tuesday that Palin backing Trump would damage her image as a champion of conservative causes.

"I think it'd be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion for 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 on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion," Tyler said on CNN's New Day.

Bristol Palin used the "she can pick winners" quote from the speech in a blog post published Tuesday afternoon, titled "Is THIS Why People Don't like Cruz?"

Cruz went on to say in his 2013 speech, "Let me tell you something, I would not be in the U.S Senate today, if it were not for for Governor Sarah Palin. She is fearless, she is principled, she is courageous, and she is a mama grizzly. I give you Sarah Palin."

He joked "well as all of you know, I am not remotely cool enough to be Sarah Palin," at the beginning of the introduction.

This afternoon Cruz expressed his fondness of Palin on twitter.

I love @SarahPalinUSA Without her support, I wouldn't be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan.

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