Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin inserted herself into the squabble between fellow Republicans John McCain and Donald Trump on Monday, urging them to abandon "politics of personal destruction" and work together.
"Sen. McCain dedicated his life to serving our country, and in my humble opinion the sacrifices made by all ethical service members are heroic -- putting it all on the line to defend freedom IS heroic," Palin said in an email to CNN. "And Donald Trump is a hero in another arena."
Trump has refused to apologize after saying the Arizona senator was "not a war hero" because he got captured while serving in the Vietnam war, despite criticism from other conservatives. Besides defending his remark, the former reality show star has also called for McCain to apologize for calling his supporters "crazies" last week.
Palin, who was McCain's running mate during the 2008 presidential campaign, argued in her email that the two Republicans would be better off joining forces, rather than cause a "division" that can be exploited by Democrats.
"I leave politics of personal destruction to those on the Left and lazy media lapdogs who's [sic] only take away from any debate is any salacious slip-up, as if they've never wanted to restate something they've publicly uttered," she wrote.
At the same time, she also rebuked McCain's remark.
"Everywhere I go, hard-working patriotic Americans -- not 'crazies' or 'wacko birds' -- ask me to pass on to Mr. Trump encouragement to keep educating the masses about true ramifications of illegal immigration, and in general the real state of our union," she said.
As Talking Points Memo reported, the former reality star had taken the lead with Republican voters before he knocked McCain's record, winning the support of 24 percent of respondents in one poll.