Sheriff Joe and Herman Cain find each other

Arizona's publicity seeking anti-immigrant lawman meets with the candidate in favor of electrifying the border

Topics: Joe Arpaio, Herman Cain, 2012 Elections, Immigration, Arizona, Republican Party, War Room,

Sheriff Joe and Herman Cain find each other Herman Cain and Joe Arpaio (Credit: Reuters/AP)

Herman Cain likes to make a lot of “jokes” on the campaign trail, about how he’d “defend” America’s border with Mexico. For a while, it was going to be alligators protecting us from Mexicans. This weekend, Cain decided a better joke was an electrified border fence, in order to electrocute all the illegals to death. (Funny!) Not a joke, presumably: Cain’s proposal to use military troops “with real guns and real bullets” to … shoot immigrants, to death.

Cain is talking a hard line on immigration because that sort of talk appeals to rabid conservatives. It is even more attractive an issue for a candidate like Cain because establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney (and Rick Perry) have spent a number of years trying to actually win Hispanic votes, forcing them to … moderate their language and policy proposals. Cain has no pressing need to moderate his message on any issue, because he does not expect to actually be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. (See also: Why Cain felt comfortable being the official candidate of totally undisguised bigotry against Muslims, as a means of attracting attention, earlier this year.)

You Might Also Like

Cain, working to appeal solely to the id of the GOP base, is now meeting with one of the movement’s folk heroes: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the semi-competent cartoon lawman who not long ago cynically trained the entirety of his office’s resources on constantly persecuting immigrants, will hold a press conference with Cain today, following a fundraiser.

Arpaio already praised Cain on CNN this morning. Remember the dumb joke about electrocuting immigrants? This is what that joke said, to Sheriff Joe:

Arpaio responded, “Oh, I’m sure he was joking, but it probably means that he’s taking it serious to do something at the border and stop the illegal immigrations.” He added that he did not oppose a fence, but that he would “like to see people go to jail, not give ‘em a ride back to Mexico.”

Arpaio is a creature who feeds on publicity. With Bachmann having collapsed, he will feed off of a surging Cain. Once Cain fades, Arpaio will latch on to Romney or Perry. In the meantime, expect a lot more tough talk from Cain, about just how much he’ll hurt those bad, bad immigrants.

Occupy Phoenix will be at Cain and Arpaio’s press conference, it looks like, which ought to make it a little more interesting.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>