Sarah Palin offered a surprise endorsement of Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch Tuesday night, throwing her support behind the six-term incumbent rather than his primary opponent, who is backed by Tea Party groups.
"I want him to win," the former Republican vice presidential nominee told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. "He's part of that 1 percent you hear about -- not the 1 percent that's mocked and criticized in the press lately, but the 1 percent of national politicians whom I believe should be reelected, sent to Congress because of his commitment to see a balanced budget in the United States of America."
Calling him "Mr. Balanced Budget," Palin said Hatch "wants to apply that common-sense economic principle of balanced budget, fiscal responsibility, and I want to see him reelected."
Palin's endorsement comes one month after Hatch failed to secure the Republican Party's nomination and was forced into a June primary match-up against former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.
Watch Palin's Fox News appearance below. Hatch endorsement comes at the 7:30 mark.
As Twitchy pointed out, a number of Twitter users expressed disappointment in Palin's choice.
"Sarah Palin's endorsement of long-in-tooth RINO Orrin Hatch severely damages her credibility w #teaparty constitutional conservatives #tcot," one user wrote.