On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence, a man who probably censors the “touching me, touching you” part of “Sweet Caroline,” visited Arizona to talk about Donald Trump’s tax plan and raise money. But Pence made sure to take a moment and give a shoutout to a very special, extremely racist ex-convict who bragged about running a “concentration camp”: the one and only former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Yes, our vice president deemed a man who refused to obey a court order to stop racially profiling people “a great friend of this president, tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law, who spent a lifetime in law enforcement.” Since Trump pardoned Arpaio, Pence was just touting the company line. Since Pence was appearing at an event for a pro-Trump group that has no problem with racism, it was an appropriate place to praise Arpaio. And Arpaio is running for Senate, so I’m sure he appreciated the love.
Pence also visited Arizona to reinvigorate Republicans shaken by last week’s special election. While Republican candidate Debbie Lesko won the race for the state’s 8th district, her margin of victory in the district was much smaller than Trump’s in 2016—which is, of course, not a great sign for Republicans.
So while the shoutout was disgusting, I suppose it’s business as usual for an administration founded in racism trying desperately to rally support.