This is high praise indeed from Palin, who recently released her first SarahPAC web video, which praised the "mama grizzlies" who are fighting the "fundamental change" in this country.
Palin calls Ayotte the "Granite State 'mama grizzly' who has broken barriers, fought off and locked up criminals, and battled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of New Hampshire parents - and won!"
Palin adds: "This pro-life, pro-family, anti-tax constitutional commonsense conservative is the Democrats' biggest fear in November."
Ayotte said of the Palin endorsement in a statement today:
Governor Palin is a conservative icon who has brought enormous energy to our Party. As governor, she took on the entrenched special interests to deliver results. Governor Palin is a reformer in every sense of the word, and she has always stood firm for the conservative principles of low taxes, less spending and personal responsibility. I'm running for Senate to put our fiscal house in order and to get our country moving in the right direction again, and I'm honored to have her support.
Ayotte is running against businessmen Jim Bender and William Binnie and former state Board of Education chairman Ovide Lamontagne for the Republican nomination in the September 14 primary. She has also received an endorsement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who fundraised for her last year.
If she wins, Ayotte will face presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Paul Hodes in the general election. The TPM Poll Average shows Ayotte leading Hodes 49.9%-35.7%.
On Palin's endorsement, the Hodes campaign said in a statement:
New Hampshire voters have already rejected Palin's extreme, out-of-touch agenda," said Bergman. "Kelly Ayotte and Sarah Palin are both radical right wing politicians more interested in grabbing headlines than getting results for the people they serve. Today's endorsement shows that Kelly Ayotte is just a mouthpiece for the radical right wing of the Republican Party who are out of touch with New Hampshire voters. Ayotte and Palin are both for putting Big Oil profits above the safety of New Hampshire's coast. Each broke her promise to the people of her state and resigned to advance her political ambitions. Most importantly, they both adamantly oppose a woman's right to choose. They're both more interested in catering to the far-right special interests than standing up for New Hampshire.
The statement adds: "So do we hope Sarah Palin comes to campaign for Kelly Ayotte? You betcha."