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'Duck Dynasty' Star Willie Robertson Officially Endorses Donald Trump For President: 'He Is a Real Leader'

( [email protected] ) Jan 22, 2016 12:23 PM EST
"Duck Dynasty" star and outspoken Christian Willie Robertson has endorsed Donald Trump for president, providing the billionaire businessman with a potentially significant boost among Evangelical voters.
'Duck Dynasty' star appears alongside Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Oklahoma in September 2015. YouTube/ScreenGrab

"Duck Dynasty" star and outspoken Christian Willie Robertson has endorsed Donald Trump for president, providing the billionaire businessman with a potentially significant boost among Evangelical voters.

Robertson made the announcement Thursday evening at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards in Las Vegas, where he praised Trump for his leadership skills.

"Mr. Trump is a real leader," the reality star said in a press release ahead of the event. "He represents success and strength, two attributes our country needs. Like me, he is a successful businessman and family man and I endorse his candidacy for President of the United States."

In turn, Trump said he was "truly honored" to receive the endorsement.

"He is a great person, has had tremendous success and a really terrific family," Trump said. "He believes in my message and knows that I am the only one who will Make America Great Again!"

Speaking at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards, Trump, accompanied by sons Donald and Eric, discussed gun control after being introduced by Robertson, Fox News reports.

"When you look at Paris, when you look at California, when you look at these horrible things that are happening all over the place, people need protection," Trump said. "We have to get protection. The Second Amendment is very important to me, my two sons are members of the NRA."

Robertson also told Fox how much hunting impacted his family: "Pretty much everything! It is our livelihood; it is what we enjoy," he said. "It is our hobby and our job, so I think anytime you get to do a job that is also your hobby well I think that's what most of us want to pull off."

The Washington Times notes that Robertson had previously been a supporter of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who suspended his presidential campaign in November.

Although he didn't officially endorse Trump until recently, Robertson voiced his support for the GOP front-runner back in September during a campaign rally in Oklahoma.

"I do like me some Trump, I gotta admit," the A&E star and outspoken Christian said at the time. "Here's the deal. We're both successful businessmen. We both have pretty big shows on television. We both have wives that are 1,000 times better looking than us. So, I like Trump."

The endorsement comes as Trump attempts to earn the support of conservative voters in Iowa. Earlier this week, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee, endorsed Trump in Iowa.  

Meanwhile, Willie's father, the "Duck Commander" Phil Robertson, recently endorsed rival Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

"My qualifications for president of the United States are rather narrow: Is he or she Godly, does he or she love us, can he or she do the job, and finally would they kill a duck and put him in a pot and make him a good duck gumbo?" Robertson says in an ad from the campaign in which he is shown hunting alongside the Texas Senator. "I've looked at the candidates. Ted Cruz is my man."