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Sarah Palin Stumps For John McCain

Sarah Palin and John McCain appeared together on the campaign trail for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, with Palin traveling to Arizona to help McCain defend himself against a challenge from the right in the state's Republican Senate primary.

"Arizona, would you send the maverick back to the United States Senate?" said Palin, who was greeted with massive applause -- seemingly more than the man who she had come to support.

Palin, who was joined at the Tuscon event by her husband Todd, said she "couldn't wait to get some of the McCain/Palin team back together again."

She said she had "deep respect and admiration" for the man plucked her from relative obscurity and put her on the 2008 Republican ticket, instantly transforming the former Alaska governor into a national figure.

"John McCain is leading the party of ideas," she said.

Palin said that McCain, who has been criticized by some Republicans as insufficiently conservative, fit with the Tea Party movement because he had been "leading the fight against reckless spending for decades." In a reference to McCain's age, she quipped that "some may claim that John was there at that first Tea Party."

Palin said McCain's "maverick" status hasn't won him friends from the "Washington DC elite machine."

Largely reading from prepared comments, Palin criticized President Obama for using a Teleprompter. She said she and McCain believe American soldiers are "are a force for good in this world, and that's nothing to apologize for."

She noted that she had been in a beauty contest when she was younger and said that McCain "could win the talent and debate portion of any pageant, but nobody's going to dub him miss congeniality." She praised him for standing up for his beliefs, stating, "only dead fish go with the flow."

Palin also addressed claims that she and other Republicans had been inciting violence against Democrats, a charge McCain defended her against earlier this week.

"We know violence isn't the answer," Palin said. "When we take up our arms, we're talking about our vote." Palin implored her audience not to believe "this BS coming from the lamestream media."

McCain is attempting to fight off a primary challenge from former congressman and conservative talk-radio host JD Hayworth, who has attacked McCain for his position on immigration, climate change and campaign financing and deemed him a "Republican in Name Only."

Seemingly in response to the challenge, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee has moved right on issues like immigration, the bailout bill, closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Hayworth has suggested that Palin is only campaigning for McCain to thank him for tapping her as his running mate.

"We look forward to having Gov. Palin's support following the primary," he said, according to the Associated Press. "But we welcome her and we understand why she's in the state stumping for McCain."

Palin introduced McCain when she finished her comments, and the two shared a brief hug before McCain spoke.

The Arizona senator said his former running mate "energized America and she still does today and I am proud of Sarah Palin." He called Sarah and Todd Palin "wonderful and great Americans."


McCain went on to deliver a speech attacking "Obamacare," which he called unconstitutional, and vowing to repeal the health care bill recently signed into law. He attacked the president for what he characterized as reckless spending and called for "peaceful revolution" to change the course of the country.

"My favorite bumper sticker lately is please don't tell President Obama what comes after a trillion," said McCain.

Cindy McCain, who introduced Palin, seemed to recognize that her husband may not have been the biggest draw at the event.

"You have come today most of all to see my husband," she said with a smile, "but I know you've also come to see Sarah as well." 

Palin will also appear at a McCain fundraiser and an event for the candidate in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa.

In her book "Going Rogue," Palin criticized some members of the McCain campaign for constraining her on the campaign trail, though she did not criticize McCain directly.

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