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. Alistair

    He won't even last in the primary.

    September 8, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. bbrooker

    Please, go ahead and waste your time and money and the time and money of any dolts who may support you. You may as well take your money and toss it into the gutter. Completely laughable.

    September 8, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    PLEASE.........PLEASE RUN FOR PRESIDENT! What a wonderful gift to the Democrats! : )

    September 8, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Arpaio is tarnishing his image by throwing in with the current republicans, who let illegal immigration run wild during the 8 years of their rein with George W. Bush.

    September 8, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. audrey

    I'm not a Republican but am a big fan of "Sheriff Joe". He knows how to get things done efficiently and how to stand his ground while administering a good kick in the pants. I admire his work in the penal system and do not understand why more prisons don't follow his lead. Think of all the taxpayer savings that could be realized by making jail a really-not-so-nice place to be.

    Perhaps that's what Washington needs – a good kick in the pants. Wake UP and smell the coffee already.

    September 8, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Zach

    All I can say is: Run, Joe, run! He might be able to pull the wool of the eyes of Maricopa County but under national scrutiny the ol' guy will fall apart.

    September 8, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. American girl

    LOL please! this moron? who will run with him, Sara Palin?

    September 8, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. CTSadler

    Perfect. I'm outta here.

    September 8, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. Pragmatic

    What a republican line-up ... McCain, Palin, Rand Paul, Sharon (the real obtuse) Angle, the wrestling CEO, the CEO who almost ruined HP, Rubio (under IRS investigation) and now Sheriff Joe ... only one missing from this silly season in Joe the Plumber and the lady who wants to pay doctors in poultry!

    ... and the GOP expects us to take them seriously?

    September 8, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. daveindenver

    You know, I support Sheriff Joe, but I don't think he is presidential timber. He may be a step above Obama, Biden, Polosi and Reid but I think we deserve better. At some point, there has got to be someone who steps up that understands our constitution and can actually lead from a balanced point of view. I just hope we survive long enough for this person to emerge.

    September 8, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Buck Stephens in Tucson

    And how about Palin for his veep.

    The bulldog and the time bomb. What a dynamic duo!!!!!

    Look out, Ahmadinejad. Here they come!!!!!!

    September 8, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. works for me

    Hey... if the moron Palin can consider it than so can AARPaio.
    Hell so could...

    September 8, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    This guy is a self-deluded sociopath. He is also national disgrace.

    Is this truly the state of affairs in 2012 in America.

    September 8, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. KD

    Id just about vote for him !!! obama is ging to have china bail us out fomr all his spending soon !! second language anyone????

    September 8, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Shirley in California

    This is getting laughable. Let's start a new game show entitled "So You Think You Want To Be President". Another loser. Too old, too fat and too unpopular (where would the minority vote come from)?Seriously – why do ALL republicans look the same? I think you know what I mean.

    September 8, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    Never say never. They finally found someone even scarier than Palin.

    September 8, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Fabian

    If this guy gets elected then be prepared to throw out the constitution.

    September 8, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. WMesser58

    Go JOE!!!!

    You have my vote and support.

    September 8, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. StillBelieve

    That's so funny even to talk about it. I am looking forward to witness the American public opinion about this guy.

    September 8, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. ronald malaney

    you got my families vote

    September 8, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Rick in AZ

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Boss Hogg run for President?? I don't think so. He'll be lucky to stay out of jail after the DOJ gets through with him. Sherrif Joe is the most corrupt,vindictive, vengeful foul politician in AZ.

    September 8, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. NC Ex-Pub

    "Bull Connor" Arpaio for President. His campaign slogan, "I am Dreaming of a White America."

    What a danged joke.

    September 8, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. NC

    Good Grief, this is what our Country has come to since that dumb as a sack of rocks woman ran for Vice President in 2008.

    September 8, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. IronShaft

    Good lord! What's he going to do if he's elected President mandate Pink boxers for all members of congress?

    September 8, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Terry

    I'd probably vote for him but I think it would take a bit more than that to get him elected.

    September 8, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
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