September 8th, 2010
06:14 PM ET
8 years ago

'America's Toughest Sheriff' considers presidential bid

 Sheriff Arpaio is considering a 2012 bid.

Sheriff Arpaio is considering a 2012 bid.

Washington (CNN) – "America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio passed on running for governor earlier this year, but the Arizona lawman who has become a national figure for his tough stand on illegal immigration is not closing the door on a presidential run in 2012.

Arpaio, the controversial sheriff of Maricopa County, heads to the early presidential proving ground of New Hampshire Sunday to headline the Nashua Republican City Committee lunch.

"I am honored by this invitation to speak to the largest local Republican Party organization in the great state of New Hampshire," Arpaio said in a statement. "As a native New Englander, I'm looking forward to visiting this state that historically chooses who our next President will be."

Chad Willems, Arpaio's political adviser, said that the sheriff is "not going back to test the waters," but did acknowledge that "People just don't go to New Hampshire if they are not interested in these things."

Willems went on to highlight Arpaio's ability to raise money, the fact that he is often sought out by the national media and "is well known throughout the country."

"He enjoys being sheriff, but he has been asked by and urged by so many people, thousands of people call and write or email him each week saying, 'Run for president, run for president,' " Willems said.

Arpaio earned his nickname for his strict policies towards prisoners and recently has been engaged in a battle with the Obama administration over the issue of illegal immigration.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Arpaio, who was born across the border in Springfield, Massachusetts. He also was a Drug Enforcement Administration official in New England in the 1970s.

Arpaio joins a long list of Republicans such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, among others, who are expected to seriously consider a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Filed under: 2012 • Extra • Immigration
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Toots

    Better him than some of the other idiots that will be taken seriously.

    September 8, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    The Sheriff is a tough, no nonsense man who lives by principal and actually earns the money that the people pay him to do a tough job. He might not want to be president, but would be better than the current one.

    September 8, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. news3000

    please, God what are you doing to "America." What this racist-idiot is going to run on? Ilegal immigration. Tancredo !!!!!!. Please, God has mercy on us. We do not want more of this ....

    September 8, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Maybe he can run with david duke as his vice-president . . .

    Did you know that the Republics oppose spending 50 billion for infrastructure spending as too costly, yet they want 800 billion to extend tax cuts to the weathiest 120 thousand Americans or $ 3 million per rich person on average.

    Who is for America? Not the g.o.p – grand oily plutocracy

    September 8, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Run Joe! We'd enjoy watching you in the National Debate and ongoing struggle against the left wing lunacy destroying our Country today!

    September 8, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. walleye46

    Electing this guy is like putting Hitler on the ballot.

    September 8, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. George of the jungle

    I guess making inmates wear pink qualifies him. Would he run on the tea party ticket. ???? Sounds like something they would back.

    September 8, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Matthew

    As a native to Maricopa County, I dare say that Sherrif Jow would make the absolute worst President our country has ever seen! He's terrible at everything he does!

    September 8, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Fan of Common Sense

    He will certainly get my vote.

    September 8, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. brian in denver

    "Sheriff Joe for President" has a nice ring to it. He'll have to beat Sarah in the primaries, but what's another beating to this guy? Can't wait for the 2012 election season! Who knows who'll throw his or her hat in the ring between now & then?

    September 8, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Brian James

    Oh, yes please! As long as he doesn't campaign about having a monopoly on family values, he'd make an excellent candidate.

    September 8, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. JoeC

    You guys have to be kidding with this story, right? Is it April Fool's Day already? Arpaio should be arrested and jailed, not allowed to further sully the very concept of democracy.

    September 8, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    In what CENTURY???????????

    Does AZ really believe that they are the 'melting pot' of the America and the rest country LOVES them????

    Give me a DOG-GONE BREAK!!!

    (There's that DOG word again!! Has anyone ever thought about how many ways the word "DOG" is used?? Actually, the RepubliCAN'Ts don't use it – Which is the reason why they had a hard time understanding what President Obama meant!!!)

    September 8, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Alex Marquez

    What a poor president this guy would make, tough on prisoners and tough on immigrants who's only crime is seeking the American dream through sweat, tears and manual labor.

    September 8, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Joe might want to run for a third world country. He would be like Idi Imen with his civil rights violations in AZ. He does have that patented right wingnut ego going for him.

    September 8, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. Naqib

    I like Joe... but he's to old for the job....
    Time to retire Sir

    September 8, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Sniffit


    and I say that incapital letters with the caveat that it's just too bad that we can't change the font size to 96pt

    September 8, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. Abby

    He needs to stay in Arizona and Jan.

    September 8, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Ramon F Herrera

    President of his cell compound, where he will be wearing pink.

    September 8, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. rs

    As a resident of AZ. I can say we'll save you all such consideration by hopefully having him in jail by then. The legal noose is tightening...

    September 8, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Donnatella

    I actually like this man as a sheriff, but president, I don't think so, he is a little to extreme for that.

    September 8, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    He would be a perfect fit for the GOP. The epitome of the Republican Police State. Who needs schools or educated people anyway, when all the Republicans want to do is build more and more jails or put people in prison without cause.

    September 8, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Jayden,FL

    This has to be a blooming joke right??? haha

    September 8, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. King

    What has america become. A pile of lunatic wing nut that cant tell there butt from a hole in the wall. where do we get these people from. Hey sheriff youve got to be about all the peple not just for your right wing nut friends, and i dont think youve got that personality.

    September 8, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Margaret/boise, Idaho

    He is not the toughest sheriff, he is the most hateful!

    September 8, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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