February 20th, 2012
07:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Arizona sheriff says politics behind charges

(CNN) - Paul Babeu, the Arizona sheriff accused of threatening to deport a former lover, strongly denied any wrongdoing Monday, suggesting instead he was a victim of a political plot to destroy his reputation as he seeks the Republican nomination for Arizona's 4th Congressional District.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer," Babeu said the allegations, which prompted him to step down as co-chair of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign Saturday, were "embarrassing" but ultimately unfounded.

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"I've never defined myself by other than my service and duty and what we should all be judged on in life," Babeu said. "We've all had relationships as clear as day. Now this is national news, that I've had one where he wanted to harm me. And now this is rolled out, and the timing of this is more than coincidence."

Babeu maintained the accusation he threatened his former boyfriend with deportation was false, saying he only requested the man stop using his political campaign's website and Twitter account to post private information.

"He had a business with websites. He just stole my website and put slanderous information on my websites and how can anybody expect to do business?" Babeu said.

Babeu's former boyfriend, whose attorney requested he be identified as "Jose" as he "continues to live in fear," held a separate interview with CNN. He claimed Babeu threatened him with deportation if he leaked information about their romantic relationship.

Babeu said he didn't have the authority to deport anyone, and that "Jose" was living in the United States legally.

"One, he's legal. He has said that. I've said that. And then, in addition, this whole thing about deportation, we all know I don't have deportation authority," Babeu said.

In dealing with "Jose's" allegations, Babeu said he was remaining honest.

"I'm a single man, never been married. I don't have a fake girlfriend. I was honest. I came out publicly and told the truth completely," Babeu said.
Babeu said he didn't wish his former boyfriend any ill will.

"I wish him and everybody happiness and peace. I'm living my life. I'm pursuing my dreams, and I'm not motivated by negativity," Babeu said.

Babeu resigned from his post on Romney's campaign Saturday after the allegations against him emerged. The decision to step down his alone, Babeu said.

"The Romney campaign, and I don't think anybody, would have a problem with my personal life and who I am," Babeu said. "It doesn't take away from my patriotism or my service and if you asked the candidates, I don't think they would disagree with that. Here, I've called them and said, 'Look, at this time I've got a lot to deal, with and I'd like to step away from the campaign,' and they said, 'Sheriff, we understand if that's your choice. We appreciate your value and your service. Please don't take this as anything, you know, from our end.' "

When asked if he supported gays' right to marry, Babeu used the name of another candidate in explaining his position.

"This is where I go Ron Paul on people," Babeu said. "In terms of the libertarian. I believe in less government at the federal level. They should get out of people's lives."

Also see:

Santorum clarifies 'theology' remark

Santorum rips Obama on social agenda

Gay sheriff resigns Romney role after allegations


Filed under: 2012 • Arizona
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. NB

    If only Sheriff Babeu hadn't taken a chance at infedelity ("Jose" caught him attempted to cheat on him), then perhaps "Jose" wouldn't have attempted to commandeer his websites thus provoking a negative response. I am not saying "Jose" was right (far from it) to act out in the way he did, but perhaps Sheriff Paul Babeu could have avoided the whole situation by remaining faithful to his partner? Or, at least, breaking things off with "Jose" if he wanted to see other people. Gosh, maturity sure is hard to find these days.

    February 20, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. sanda s

    Tell him Gov. Brewer, it's the fault of the media!
    If he's going to be a republican, he need to learn to say, it's the media.

    February 20, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Hey Paul , when your sheriff everything is Political, Good luck !

    "I'm a single man, never been married. I don't have a fake girlfriend. I was honest. I came out publicly and told the truth completely," Babeu said.
    Babeu said he didn't wish his former boyfriend any ill will.

    "I wish him and everybody happiness and peace. I'm living my life. I'm pursuing my dreams, and I'm not motivated by negativity," Babeu said.

    February 20, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Sheriff...stop whining. You played in politics, got called out, and now you are whining. If you didn't want to play in the game then you shouldn't have jumped in, in the first place. Stop whining.

    February 20, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Larry L

    You're a Republican man – from Arizona! Don't you know the drill? Tell the folks that you found Jesus and he forgave you. Tell them you prayed-away-the-gay and you're now ready to do "manly things" – like going to a NASCAR event or having a supressor installed on your AK-47. You might also reflect openly about how the liberal media is the likely reason you got "gayed". Listening to the classical music on MPR and hearing all of those sappy environmentalists talk about nature will make a queen out of anybody. Got it now? Jesus and the liberal media – that always works.

    February 20, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Jim

    Isn't there that psychopathic sheriff in Arizona that controls everything and has his contacts smear campaign and get rid of anyone that gets in the way? Wonder if that slicked back haired fatty has anything to do with it?

    February 20, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. GeminiTwo

    It is political and it is vicious. As a right leaning Unenrolled voter (Independant), his orientation is irrelevant. The sheriff serves honorably, both in service to his country and to Arizona. I hope he wins his Congressional seat. Congress would be lucky to have him.

    February 20, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. ric

    Why is he resigning?

    February 20, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Anthony... proud tax payer

    "When asked if he supported gays' right to marry, Babeu used the name of another candidate in explaining his position."

    Why not just answer the question. Whats with the slick answer. Its a simple, either YES or NO.
    Yeah, he's a politician in the making alright.

    February 20, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |