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Back and Forth

Trail Mix: Endorsements, comebacks and "real conservatives"

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Sen. Marco Rubio got a big endorsement in Iowa, but is still behind Trump and Cruz.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio got a big endorsement in Iowa, but is still behind Trump and Cruz.

No true conservative

Leading conservative opinion magazine National Review has a long history of calling out elements it wants expelled from the conservative movement. It fought vehemently against the radically right-wing John Birch Society in the 1960s. Now, in its latest issue, "Against Trump," it's doing the same against DONALD TRUMP.

Everyone from the magazine's editorial staff to talk show host Glenn Beck and Ronald Reagan's former attorney general penned pieces condemning Trump as a vulgar, egotistical statist unworthy of conservative support. On Twitter, Trump countered, "National Review is a failing publication that has lost it's [sic] way. It's [sic] circulation is way down w its influence being at an all time low. Sad!" (DANIEL WALTERS)

Familiar faces

Like a reunion show featuring old cast members, two prominent Republicans made cameo appearances in the ongoing drama (or comedy, depending on your perspective) that is the race for the GOP nomination for president. Earlier this week, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a one-time front-runner in 2012 who ended his 2016 campaign for the White House in September, endorsed a fellow Texan, SEN. TED CRUZ, for president. In an interview with Politico, Perry said that Cruz was principled and more conservative than rival DONALD TRUMP, a conclusion the former governor reached after phone calls and spending a day with the firebrand senator. Days earlier, Trump landed the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Tea Party darling who became a favorite of grassroots conservatives as the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008. (JAKE THOMAS)

Paper planes

SEN. MARCO RUBIO earned the endorsement of Iowa's largest newspaper, the Des Moines Register, with less than a week until the Iowa caucus. That might not do much to help him win the caucus on Monday, however; some predict it may even help feed the anti-establishment message from DONALD TRUMP and SEN. TED CRUZ. The latest Fox News poll has Trump as the favorite, with an 11-point lead over Cruz. Trump seems confident about his chances, telling supporters at an Iowa campaign rally last week, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."

On the Democratic side, HILLARY CLINTON and SEN. BERNIE SANDERS are in a tight race for the Iowa caucus, with younger voters polling largely in favor of Sanders. Clinton earned the Des Moines Register endorsement, just like in 2008 when she finished third in the caucus, behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. (WILSON CRISCIONE)