Barr picks up Arpaio endorsement, blasts GOP immigration blueprint

Republican congressional hopeful Bob Barr picked up the endorsement of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Thursday and criticized a key part of the House GOP blueprint for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

“Nicknamed “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Arpaio is a polarizing figure because of his aggressive efforts to crack down on illegal immigration in Arizona’s Maricopa County. Arpaio stood by Barr’s side at a news conference in Marietta Thursday, just hours before the sheriff was to speak at a campaign fundraiser for the former congressman and former federal prosecutor.

“He was a great U.S. attorney, a great congressman,” Arpaio said. “That is why I am here to help him.”

A former Libertarian presidential candidate, Barr is competing in a crowded Republican primary to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey in Georgia’s 11th congressional district. Barr called Arpaio an “international spokesman for good, solid, tough law enforcement.”