As Mitt Romney laid early plans for a 2008 presidential run he was spending a lot of time in Arizona. To raise money. And to pin rival John McCain down in his home state more than he would have liked.
Romney sought a key endorsement: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He got it. Arizona. Iowa. Whatever the Romney campaign needed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was there. While Arpaio and McCain have hardly been close over the years going against your state’s U.S. Senator isn’t a political move without consequence.
Romney lost the primary to McCain in 2008, then became buddies with him. Nothing wrong with that. But there was a few years later when Romney treated Arpaio during his 2012 efforts like a leper, so as not to upset McCain.
The 2012 GOP standard bearer showed little spine and a real lack of integrity (as did his campaign staff) towards someone that stuck their neck out for him previously.
Contrast this with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey whose 2014 primary campaign got a critical spark from Arpaio at one of his lowest tides. The two maintain by all appearances a very friendly and respectful relationship. Arpaio is also assisting Ducey’s biggest initiative to date: Proposition 123.
Contrast Romney with Donald Trump too, who doesn’t just target the Sheriff’s endorsement, he shouts it from the rooftops. Like last night during his victory speech. Alongside Palin, Christie, etc. there booms proudly The Donald about The Sheriff. He’s even mentioned the octogenarian’s support during debates too.
Whether Trump wins or loses the ultimate prize one gets the sense he’ll always be grateful to Arpaio, no matter what new friends become him.
So next time Romney waxes and whines about Trump’s integrity ask him who went Bob Marley, and shot the sheriff first.