— -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who endorsed Trump back in January, let loose on the protesters who have been interrupting the real estate mogul's rallies, calling their actions "petty punk-a-- little thuggery."
Trump has faced protesters at rallies for some time now, but tensions have risen since a rally in Chicago last week that Trump shut down out of safety concerns. He has also drawn criticism for appearing to encourage violence against protesters, which he has decried as "bad, bad people," but said the protesters are infringing on his First Amendment rights.
"Time is our most valuable resource," said Palin in Tampa, Florida today shortly after announcing her husband Todd had been hospitalized due to a snow machine accident. "It makes me appreciate the time that we have to spend and doing something so worthy and that’s to get Donald J. Trump elected president.
"And what we don't have time for is all that petty punk-a-- little thuggery stuff that's been going on with these quote, unquote protesters who are doing nothing but wasting your time and trying to take away your First Amendment rights -- your rights to assemble peacefully," Palin said, fueling the crowd's energy.
Recently, Trump's campaign rallies have dealt with a heightened number of interruptions from protesters, violence and arrests, including one incident where a man attempted to rush the stage at Trump's campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio. The man was charged in connection with the incident.
"And the media being on the thugs' side, what the heck are you guys thinking, media? It doesn't make sense," Palin continued, inciting the crowd to boo. "Well, you all get it. And I think the media and too many other candidates, they’re underestimating the wisdom of the people."
Palin's unscheduled appearance at today's rally came shortly after she cancelled her appearances at Trump's other Florida campaign events for the day. Her husband Todd is in intensive care after sustaining injuries in a snow machine accident yesterday.