Vice President Pence was scolded by several members of the media on Wednesday after he called former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court, a “tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law.”
Critics of the vice president’s remarks, made at a rally on Tuesday, included Fox News political commentator Brit Hume, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, and Vox’s Matthew Yglesias.
“This is a guy who would torture, kill, allow rapes, allow sexual assaults to continue, would intentionally harass Americans of Hispanic heritage,” Scarborough Wednesday on his “Morning Joe” program, expanding on his initial criticism.
“Chapter and verse, one of the most contemptible examples of a public servant abusing their office, and doing everything to undermine basic American values,” he continued. “What would lead Mike Pence to say that?”
President Trump pardoned Arpaio in August 2017. The former lawman is a staunch supporter of the president and pitched his candidacy on the campaign trail in 2016.
Arpaio, 85, was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to halt his practice of racially profiling Hispanics at traffic stops for immigration checks.
Arpaio is running for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) Senate seat.
He filed an appeal four months ago to have his conviction cleared from the record.