Arpaio will be important for Republicans in helping them keep their tough-on-illegals profile as they flirt with bringing foreign workers into the country. He bills himself as a rule-of-law guy on all fronts. He is the ultimate hard-liner, under indictment from the Justice Department for abuse of power and discrimination against Latinos in his attempt to crack down on illegal immigration. He has no patience for the Obama administration.
The profile makes a perfect backdrop for politicians courting conservative voters. Arpaio met all of the Republican primary candidates for president.
“It always came down to illegal immigration, or more so my endorsement, which confuses me because I’ve got everybody zeroing down on me from the Justice Department, and I’m taking heat from everywhere. And yet people still ask for my endorsement,” he said.
Arpaio is a firm Romney supporter, having worked on his previous presidential campaign. He is open to new ideas. He didn’t flinch when told about the comments of former Gov. Jeb Bush, who said on Tuesday that Republicans were unnecessarily alienating Hispanics with their tough talk on undocumented immigrants.
“Maybe he should say that we should change the laws, if you can get it done,” Arpaio suggested. But right now, he said, “we have laws we need to be upholding.”
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