Nationally known for his hard stance against illegal immigration and a recent pardon from President Trump, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has decided to run for the Arizona Senate seat at the tender age of 85. Is he expecting a Trump endorsement? What are his thoughts about Trump warming up to protected status for DACA recipients? How is he received by the Republican Party in Arizona? Former Sheriff of Maricopa County Arizona, Joe Arpaio joins Dan and Amy to discuss.
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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Well, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, of course rose to national...renown for his outspoken advocacy for border security, and the steps that he took as Maricopa County Sheriff to deal with illegal immigration at the local level, at his capacity. Now, he has announced he is running for United States Senate at the tender age of 85. Jacobson: Yeah. I mean, 85's the new 40, don't you know? (Proft: Of course!) But last night he was on CNN's Chris Cuomo, and I knew it was just going to be Chris Cuomo attacking him and making false accusations, saying suicide rates were high in your prison...suicide rates...are part of life in prison, okay? But he also attacked him on other issues. Cuomo (from tape): Is there any regret that you hold in your heart for the conditions that people were kept in, the nature of immigration enforcement, the birtherism, the claims about President Obama...things that are black marks on your record. Do you have any regret? Do you have any change on any of those? Arpaio (from tape): Well, you know, Frank Sinatra says in "My Way", "Regrets? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention." I would repeat that to you. But no, I had no regrets. I did the right thing, my people did the right thing, we were very successful throughout my 24-year tenure, the longest-serving Sheriff in the history of Maricopa County. No. Jacobson: And then talked about the birther issue, but we'll get into that...because he's joining us now! We're very honored. Proft: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Maricopa County Sheriff, Republican candidate for US Senate in Arizona. Sheriff Joe, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Arpaio: Well...thank you. Proft: Why the decision to run for Senate, particularly in an increasingly crowded field of conservatives and office-holders? Arpaio: Well, I gave it a lot of thought. I do have a lot more to give back to the people of Arizona, our country, and also to continue my support for the President, for his agenda, policies...so why not give it a shot? I'm then...what, 60 years, I've been serving our country? 58 years in law enforcement around the world, and including Regional Director of Mexico, Central America, Turkey, and the reason I mentioned these countries, these are important countries today for us. So, why not utilize my international experience and my law-enforcement experience, and my experience serving the people of Arizona, especially Maricopa County for almost 30 years. So, I'm throwing my hat in there...it's not to get publicity, I sure get publicity everyday. Sure, it's mostly negative, but I'm doing it to continue serving our country and our state. Jacobson: And you're one of the first people to come out and support President Trump, or at the time candidate Trump. Is he going to be endorsing you? Arpaio: I have no idea. I've never talked to him about this latest decision I've made. But I do support him. When he was here a month after he announced, July 2015, I introduced him and said he would be our next president. I guess I was right in that regard. No, I supported him from day one, and I'll keep supporting him as long as he's the president. Proft: And I mean, you know, not to make age an issue, but you're still in good health and fighting shape? You've still got the tenacity to...to do this job? Arpaio: Yeah, I work 14 hours a day. I should have been Sheriff the next four years, I lost that election, that's an interesting scenario, about how they all went after me, including the government, George Soros, I could go on and on. But yeah, I'm okay, I've worked hard. Proft: Okay. And, how you match up against...well, I guess if Congresswoman McSally is getting into the race, she would perhaps be seen as the front-runner? Or maybe the establishment Republicans choice in Arizona? Arpaio: I don't know why she would be seen as a front-runner. I think I should, I mean I've never lost a Republican election, you know when we talk about primaries. I didn't realize that six times in a county, with over $4 million, is enough for a...sorry, I just had my phone ring there (Jacobson: That's alright.). So I would hope that I would be the front-runner, but it doesn't matter, if I'm not I'll work hard and try to win the Republican primary. That's my main mission right now, and then I'm looking forward, I'm really looking forward to the challenge of running against the Democrat, the Democrat party and the chairman who went after me on a civil rights, who hates my guts and said they'll do everything they can to get rid of me, good, I'm looking forward to it. Jacobson: Good! That's an endorsement. So, immigration's a big deal to you, and I know you worked hand in hand with ICE to hand over convicted criminals, once they'd served their time you'd hand them over. What do you think about "Dreamers" and DACA? Do you think there should be an easy pathway to citizenship for them? Arpaio: That's a tough one. I'm against amnesty, but I came up with an idea that I think isn't too far out. (Jacobson: Alright, what is it?) I'm prone to "far out" ideas. One is when you come across these people, send them back, deport them, let them spend some time in their country, learn their country, be ambassadors for the United States over there. We have religious missions that go over there, the Peace Corps, let these young people go there, and then let them come back across our border into our country legally, kind of speed up that process, and I think that would kind of be good for everybody. But, you know, I don't think that's gonna happen. Proft: But, so it seems like the President is moving in the direction of some sort of permanent status for DACA recipients, in exchange for, you know, at least doing a better job of securing the border with a wall where a wall was needed. That's not a deal that you would support if you were a US Senator? Arpaio: Well you know, I would support what the policies and agenda of the President is...if I disagree with him we'll go in a back room and discuss it, and I'm sure not gonna come out and blast him like everyone else seems to be doing that don't like him, but we'll see, we'll see. Always watch out for the President, sometimes people really don't know what he's going to do. I mean, he's a negotiator and (?), both sides of the fence, so that's what he's doing now, and let's see what the final results are. Jacobson: So, you're ready for the fight, right? Because...well it's not like you haven't been through this a thousand times before with...because politics is nasty. Arpaio: Yeah, especially with this guy. You think I didn't know. My wife of 60 years, we just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary (Jacobson: Oh, congratulations!), which started in Chicago, in Chicago, and I thought it must be that water in Chicago that keeps me going. So yeah, I made a decision, it's a tough one but I still...something gnaws at me, at my heart...tells me I have to give it a shot. Proft: How are you treated in Republican party circles in Arizona? Arpaio: Well that's a good question. I've never lost a Republican primary, and just last year, all the heat I was taking, and I mean they're talking about me being a convicted criminal. Yeah...it was a MISDEMEANOR, contempt of court, which you know, you don't think these judges stick together? So, they all make a big deal, say I'm a felon, it's not a felony, it's a misdemeanor, just a barking dog job. So yeah, they're gonna keep going after me, but I'm very strong in a (?) state. Now Maricopa County is over 4 million people, and that's where I represe...where I work as the Sheriff. No, I feel very strongly about the primary. There's some Republicans that don't like me, I know that, some establishment people. I'm sure the two Senators from here, they don't like me, they went public opposing the pardon the President gave me over this misdemeanor. And so, I have some Republican enemies, but that's okay. Everybody has the right to make their decision. Proft: He is former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Now a candidate for...a Republican candidate for the US Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake in Arizona. Sheriff Arpaio, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Arpaio: Hey thank you, and good luck in Chicago.