America’s Toughest (on illegal immigrants) Sheriff proved the rumors true this morning and backed Rick Perry for President.
Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff and fan of pink, stood with Perry in New Hampshire Tuesday, providing the Texas governor with a much-needed boost in his anti-illegal immigrant portfolio.
Perry, you’ll remember, fell off the radar after he expressed compassion for the children of illegal immigrants and stood by his decision to sign a very popular law in Texas that allowed those children to attend college at in-state tuition prices.
Arpaio offers Perry some absolution.
“I’m endorsing Rick Perry because we need a tough-on-crime president who will champion and fund full-time border security operations from Brownsville to San Diego,” he said in a statement. “Governor Perry has a superior border security record and plan to make our border and our nation safer.”
There’s been so sign that Perry’s about to retake a prominent spot in the field — an Iowa Republican focus group recently called his campaign “toast” in that state — but if he has any chance of regaining momentum, support from a guy like Arpaio will play a part. So will the millions he’s raised so far for TV ads.
The endorsement from Arpaio also shows that Perry is still able to win over some Republicans — many candidates met with the Sheriff to win his endorsement, but Perry pulled it off. You can tell from Team Perry’s press release this morning that they’re pretty thrilled:
“I am honored to have Sheriff Arpaio’s support for my presidential campaign and our shared goals of fighting border crime with more personnel, border fencing and surveillance,” Perry said in a statement. “A secure border is vital to protecting America’s national security, public safety and jobs. As president, I will secure the border within a year putting thousands more federal boots on the ground, strategic fencing and aerial resources to fight border crime and make our states and nation safer.”