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. Sgt. Joe

    And his qualifications are....???? Wow...small time sheriff to POTUS; only in America. This country has gone mad.

    September 8, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Pete

    He not even running yet and he already got my vote....Go for it Joe!

    September 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Bob

    You've got to be kidding! Even the Republican Tea Party couldn't make this boat float.

    September 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Xugos

    Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? This guy is a lunatic, anyone in the right mind would not vote for him.

    September 8, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Scott

    Please Sherriff Joe,

    Run for President, but first resign your office as Sherriff of Maricopa County. That way we may be able to get someone competent in Maricopa County. What this article has failed to mention is that the "Great" sherriff is currently under two different federal investigations, the first relating to abuse of power in attempting to use his office to arrest and embarress political enemies and the second for Civil Rights violations. He has cost Maricopa County millions of dollars in lawsuits. P.S. Check his record on immigration. His big "success" has been the arrests of janitors, landscapers, and maids. There are very few arrests in there of the actual human smugglers. Additionally, he has consistently failed to outstanding felony warrents. The only crimes he inforces are the ones that get him publicity

    September 8, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Joshua Ludd

    He would be perfect on a ticket with Sarah Palin... as neither of them can seem to do their actual job.

    September 8, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. me

    Yeah, Joe Arpaio and Joe The Plummer should make a good team.

    September 8, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Thomas H.

    Boss Hogg for President??!! Has America lost what few marbles it has left?? With him at the helm, his first act would be to suspend the Bill of Rights, which would be quickly followed by the imposition of martial law. Within three months, we'd be at war with virtually every other nation on the planet.

    September 8, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. jrfjsr

    Please meglamaniac joe run and get out of my state. Maybe the country will see you for the fool you are and you can then retire back under the rock you came from.

    September 8, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. Clwyd

    What a sad comment this makes to the ideas of America and the people who hold the Constitution in such respect. Sorry, but if this guys idea of a joke works we need to rip up the Constitution and start all over again. 234 years would have been wasted!

    September 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Earl

    Obama has been such a pathetic leader. Anyone could do a better job than him.

    September 8, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. John B

    You go Joe, I would vote for you in a split second!

    September 8, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. mac b (california)

    Let's give the guy a chance to speak before everyone throws bricks in his boat.

    September 8, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Victoria Kelly

    If I were American, I cast the first vote....Keep it up Joe!

    September 8, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. PacificView

    and Sharon Angle for VP! What a joke!

    September 8, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Joe For What ???

    Yes he can run for president in Bizarro world ! He would fit right in !

    September 8, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. La Piovra

    I suspect that, long before that time comes, he'll be disqualified as a convicted felon.

    September 8, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Jimbo (The real one)

    How about a Sheriff Joe and Palin ticket in 2012...? I'm sure that pastor of the Koran burning church in Florida would vote for them...!

    September 8, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Oh please. This huckster is as qualified for President as Sarah Palin – which is to say not at all qualified.

    September 8, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. G-Money

    Wow, all the lunatics come out of the woodwork during the primaries.

    September 8, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Danman

    The state that historically picks the next president picked McCain and Clinton in last election.

    September 8, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Jackalope

    "Joe the Sheriff". I love it. Will Sister Sarah be your running mate? These teabagger types just get more and more full of themselves, don't they?

    September 8, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  23. Yonas

    he will run for president becasue he can raise money and add items on his resmue but he wont stand any chance against any one, he wont even win in arizona.

    September 8, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Don

    What a joke!
    I hope he and Sarah Run together!
    Then we can have two more idiots in office..

    September 8, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Keith

    What a joke that would be! Sarah as his running mate??

    September 8, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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