Back in March, the City Pages that Michele Bachmann schedule[d] date with Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
This is a match made in some sort of violently perverted heaven: Michele Bachmann, Minnesota's own Matron of Mean, is advertising an upcoming appearance with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Arizona lawman who has earned national fame as a cruel and corrupt little fascist.
That's right! For the low, low price of $250, you can attend a VIP reception with both these proud Americans at the luxurious Scottsdale Plaza Resort outside Phoenix.
The gentlewoman from Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District can't get enough of Sheriff Joe, returning to Arizona for a visit yesterday, MSNBC reports in Bachmann courts 'America's toughest sheriff':
If you're running for president, how do you convince supporters you are tough enough on immigration? Get the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America whose uncompromising stand on illegal immigration is a point of pride.
On Wednesday Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was the latest Republican presidential candidate hoping for Arpaio's backing.
She met in Phoenix with the Republican sheriff, whose endorsement is frequently sought by candidates in all types of races across the country.
Arpaio said he hasn't yet decided which candidate he will back in the GOP primary race. . .
The network reports that Bachmann didn't answer questions about whether she supports SB1070. However, last year Immigrants List cited her support for the bill, Andy Birkey reported in Group inducts Bachmann into the Immigration Hall of Shame:
5. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — The potential presidential candidate has a history of inflammatory statements which go along with her outlandish voting record. She’s spread the widely-debunked rumor that Phoenix is “the kidnap[ping] capital of the United States,” using that myth to justify her support for an armed presence on the border. She’s advocates Arizona SB 1070, and told Bill O’Reilly that all local law enforcement should be required to ask for proof of immigration status. Bachmann chairs the House Tea Party Caucus.
Following Wednesday's visit, Bachmann was interviewed by KFYI's studio by Mike Broomhead (full Youtube here). Bachmann shared the details:
Bachmann:...I can't wait to come back and do a tour the border and maybe go back and see the tents that Sheriff Joe has set up. I'll be back.
Broomhead: Did he give you pink boxers?
Bachmann: Of course, I wouldn't have left his office. I got his book and I got the pink boxers and he wrote on the pink boxers to my husband, so I'm very glad....
Broomhead: ...He gets this racist moniker all the time. . . It's the easiest thing to throw at him. . . .
Bachmann: That's changing the story though. Because it's not about racism. I love--usually people think it's anti-Hispanic. I'v had a wonderful response from Hispanics. I love Hispanic Americans...
Is Bachmann targeting President Obama, who has deported record numbers of immigrants, with her comments about the need for a president who will enforce the law, or her Tea Party rival Rick Perry, who supported in-state tuition for undocumented students whose parents entered the country withotu authorization?
And despite her claims that some of her best friends are Latinos, the Houston Chronicle reports in Struggling Bachmann hunts for votes, cash in Calif:
The conservative Bachmann, who counts evangelical Republicans, home-school advocates and members of the tea party movement among her supporters, stops over on the same weekend the state party considers rewriting its platform in what supporters call an attempt to broaden the party's appeal, especially with Hispanics and independents.
Moderates want to push the party toward the center on immigration, guns and gay rights. The proposed changes — opposed by the party's conservative wing — retreat from opposition to same-sex adoption, domestic partner benefits and child custody, avoid any mention of overturning Roe v. Wade and drop demands to end virtually all federal and state benefits for illegal immigrants and establish English as the official language of government.
Bachmann was lifted earlier this summer by a victory in the closely watched Ames, Iowa, straw poll — an early gauge of candidate strength — but she's trying to reverse a slide since the Texas governor entered the campaign and replaced her as a leading contender for the nomination. . . .
. . .
The party is also planning to outline a new effort to recruit Latino voters, an acknowledgment of the state's changing face. Hispanics accounted for about 80 percent of the increase in registered voters in the state over the last decade and the weak showing of GOP candidates in recent statewide races has been attributed, at least in part, to a lack of Hispanic support.
Bachmann has taken a tough line against illegal immigration — she supports building a wall on the border with Mexico and has suggested more troops should patrol the nation's southern boundary. In a debate earlier this week, she distanced herself from Perry after he said Texas offered incentives for illegal immigrants to contribute to their communities, including in-state tuition rates for higher education. Bachmann said taxpayers shouldn't pay for benefits for those who have broken U.S. laws.
In California, the GOP has been withering.
It's telling that Bachmann took the pilgrimage to Phoenix to visit BFF Sheriff Joe in an attempt to shore up her support in the xenophobic Tea Party Republican base, perhaps banking on the notion that painting Perry as moderate might hurt his chances.
The Arizona Republic reports that the Bachmann visit was a surprise to local Republicans:
Bachmann, in Phoenix for a fundraiser, is the most recent to seek Arpaio's approval.
Her visit came as a surprise to many in local Republican and conservative circles.
"NOT good form when a presidential candidate comes to Arizona and fails to notify the state party or Governor," Shane Wikfors of the conservative blog Sonoran Alliance said Tuesday night on Twitter. In a follow-up Twitter message, Wikfors expressed dissatisfaction with the Bachmann campaign "for blowing off conservative supporters in AZ tonight!"
Bachmann called Arpaio "one of her heroes."
Photo: Bachmann and Sheriff Joe.