Joe Arpaio to Endorse Rick Perry for President? Yeah...We're Scratching Our Heads, Too

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man who's made a career out of bootin' brown folks back across the border, is reportedly going to endorse Rick Perry as the Republican nominee for president -- which is more than a little surprising (if it's true, that is), when you consider some of Perry's recent comments about illegal immigration.

According to multiple national news outlets, Arpaio will campaign with Perry in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where he will give the Texas governor a political tip of the cap.

Neither the Sheriff's Office or Perry's campaign responded to New Times' request for confirmation of the reported endorsement, and none of the news outlets reporting the political nod are naming names -- ABC News cites "a source with knowledge of the endorsement" as the source of the information. CNN is equally vague, attributing its report to a source within the "governor's campaign," while NBC cites a "a source familiar with the matter."

Regardless, Perry isn't exactly the hawkish border bully we'd expect Arpaio to support -- given some of the sheriff's other options, that is.

In a recent debate between GOP presidential candidates, Perry made what many consider to be a political misstep for a candidate hoping to woo Conservatives: he showed a little compassion.

"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry said in defense of his policy of offering the children of undocumented immigrants in Texas in-state tuition fees to attend state universities.

Far-right-wing-nuts went berserk, and the comment likely contributed to Perry's fall from front-runner status in the GOP primary.

Arpaio, meanwhile, has spent the past few months basking in the attention he's received from GOP presidential candidates hoping to appear tough on immigration by cozying up to America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff."

The sheriff's ghost "tweeters" have been bragging on Twitter about how presidential candidates like Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and crappy-pizza tycoon former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain have been seeking his endorsement. Perry and Romney begged for Arpaio's support during phone conversations, while Bachmann and Cain came all the way to the Valley to pucker up to the 79-year-old sheriff's boo-tay.

The sheriff recently told New Times he isn't sure when he'll make a decision about which candidate he'll throw his weight behind, but one thing is certain: he's clearly enjoyed getting courted by many of the GOP's national playas.

We'll let you know if the sheriff actually endorses Perry -- check back for updates.

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James King
Contact: James King