When the notorious anti-Latino and anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio took the witness stand at this week’s civil rights trial in Phoenix, he chose to play a game of duck and doge, pinning responsibility for his offensive remarks and actions on his deputies and even the ghostwriter of his autobiography.
Unfortunately for him and for the Republican Party that he represents, Arpaio’s real record is well-known among immigrant and Latino voters. Due to significant coverage in national and local Spanish language media over several years, Latinos are well aware of Arpaio’s abuses and exploits. The civil rights case being heard this week is no exception: major media sources across the nation are reporting on Arpaio’s behavior nightly. It doesn’t look good for him, or the GOP, whose major candidates—including Romney–often kiss the ring of Arpaio and seek his endorsement.
Arpaio, well-known for engaging in abusive and humiliating practices like forcing his inmates to wear pink underwear, recalled his experience of meeting then-Governor Romney in 2008: “The first time I met the governor at a private meeting, first thing he said was ‘How’s the pink underwear doing?'” Arpaio emphatically embraced Mitt Romney during the candidate’s 2008 run, and nearly every GOP candidate courted Arpaio for his endorsement in the 2012 Republican primary.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director atAmerica’s Voice, “Even Joe Arpaio knows his record is toxic. As we saw yesterday, Arpaio believes he’s neither responsible for the words in the book he authored, nor the law enforcement officials under his command. He wasn’t strong and defiant yesterday, he was weak and deceptive. But the community that has been living under siege from Arpaio and his goons know better. And now the nation is seeing him for who he is and what he’s done.”
Source: America’s Voice