“America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., is knee-deep in the fray in Iowa, speaking once again on Tuesday on behalf of his chosen Republican candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
With the minutes counting down until the Iowa caucuses, the first primary contest in the nation, Arpaio repeated his support for Perry’s record on border security, the Clarinda Herald Journal reported.
Perry, who is a border state executive, surged in fundraising and polls following his entrance into the Republican presidential race, but came under fire from conservatives for a series of debate flubs and missteps, particularly when he called those who oppose government tuition aid for illegal immigrants “heartless.” He has since apologized for that statement. (RELATED: Rick Perry concedes ‘heartless’ was a poor word choice)
Arpaio, who is a national figure in the fight for tougher border security and a target of President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, lends credibility to Perry’s campaign in the eyes of border security advocates. (RELATED: AZ sheriff: DOJ attack on Arpaio an attempt to distract from Fast and Furious)
The only flub of Perry’s visit to the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum, the Herald Journal reported, “was when a twist of the tongue caught [Republican] state Rep. Rich Anderson calling Perry the governor of California,” eliciting a few “lighthearted laughs.”