Political Animal


February 19, 2012 8:03 AM Romney Adviser ‘Self-Deports’ From Campaign

By Adele Stan

Mitt Romney, the once-“inevitable” nominee for the Republican presidential nod, can’t seem to catch a break. With Rick Santorum nipping at his heels in Romney’s native state of Michigan, where the state party will conduct its presidential primary on February 28, Romney was at least looking forward to winning the other contest that will take place that day in Arizona, where Romney still enjoys an 8-point lead, according to Rasmussen Reports. Then the politics of sexual orientation and immigration intersected in a rather embarrassing way for Romney, who has drawn a hard line against undocumented immigrants, and opposes marriage for same-sex couples.

Paul Babeu, the tough-talking, anti-immigration Arizona sheriff who served as a co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, yesterday made a hasty exit from that lofty post after allegations that he threatened to use his office to deport a man who claims to have been Babeu’s lover. Although Babeu denied the claim, first published by the Phoenix New Times on Thursday, that he threatened an undocumented Mexican immigrant with deportation if the man revealed what he says was a multi-year romantic relationship with Babeu, the sheriff, in a Saturday news conference, took the occasion to come out. And then, one might say, he self-deported from the Romney campaign. Babeu, did however, vow to continue in his quest for a congressional seat from Arizona’s 4th District, continuing his primary battle with freshman Rep. Paul Gosar.

From Politico’s David Cantanese:

Arizona GOP congressional candidate Paul Babeu acknowledged Saturday he is gay but forcefully denied charges he threatened an ex-lover with deportation after their relationship soured.

“All of the allegations are false except one, I am gay,” Babeu said.

The nationally renown Pinal County Sheriff called a news conference to address the explosive story by The Phoenix New Times that he pressured a man only identified as “Jose” into signing an agreement to conceal their relationship or face deportation. The piece, posted late Friday, also includes text messages Babeu exchanged with the man and pictures he posted on online gay websites.

Babeu repeatedly sidestepped questions about his personal life but acknowledged a relationship with the man in question.

“What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.


  • walt on February 19, 2012 8:28 AM:

    Babeu's right to privacy is implicit in the Constitution. A woman's? Not so much.

    Right-wing gays get all libertarian when exposed, but they still worship at the altar of authoritarianism. It's okay to demonize other gays, ethnicities, and races, but they draw the line at themselves and their sacred privacy. Besides that, they love the military!

    Paul Babeu's improbable rise in Arizona politics was predicated on hiding the most interesting aspect of his person. It wasn't that this aspect was wrong but that Babeu's vehicle for self-advancement would sooner run into a concrete abutment than nominate someone like him.

  • sick -n-effin-tired on February 19, 2012 8:28 AM:

    “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.....

    Another irony proof Republican

    ...unless you have a vagina or want to have a gay relationship and want to get married or ... well the list is just too long.

  • hells littlest angel on February 19, 2012 8:29 AM:

    “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.

    He spoke at CPAC last week. I guess he didn't listen to any of the other speakers. I wonder if he's a member GOPAshamed?

  • CurtMinIN on February 19, 2012 8:39 AM:

    “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.

    I see that other commenters have already noted how ridiculous it was for Sheriff Babeu to claim his personal and private life is his own to run as he sees fit.

    Not in America you loser!

    When you stop harassing brown people and stop being a gung-ho drug warrior then maybe we'll worry about your desire to keep your private crimes out of the public eye. Until then I hope the notoriety makes you miserable. You deserve it.

  • Eeyore on February 19, 2012 9:07 AM:

    I spewed my coffee onto my monitor when I saw that "My person life is my biz" nonsense.

    SINCE WHEN????????

    His party wants to undo my same-sex marriage. His party insists a woman must be raped by an ultrasound probe before having an abortion. His party wants to deny women the use of contraceptives. His party wants to drug-test all welfare/unemployment recipients.

    But when it comes to HIS whoring around with an illegal immigrant boyfriend, that's off limits!


  • Just Dropping By on February 19, 2012 9:08 AM:

    Hmmm, what's Spanish for schadenfreude?

  • Ken on February 19, 2012 9:12 AM:

    I'm waiting to see the spin. I just don't see any way to turn this into "good man hounded out of his position by the liberal media," but I'm sure that won't keep someone from trying.

  • berttheclock on February 19, 2012 9:17 AM:

    @JDB, alegria de mal ajero?

  • sgetti on February 19, 2012 9:19 AM:

    Now that the sheriff pulled out of the Romney team, he can insert himself into the Santorum party.

  • Rose on February 19, 2012 9:57 AM:

    @berttheclock, what does "ajero" mean? I get the "joys of" part, but not ajero.

  • ltc on February 19, 2012 10:00 AM:

    You know why conservatives are so against gay marriage? Destroy traditional marrige?? Nooooo!? They are afraid their gay partners will make them divorce their straight spouses.

  • Paddy on February 19, 2012 10:16 AM:

    Excellent headline, I rarely lol but that did it to me.

  • SYSPROG on February 19, 2012 10:24 AM:

    Ken? The 'spin' will be...'where is that famous liberal sympathy???' Out here in the West, we call it the Limbaugh defense (when he was caught as the drug taking hypocrite that he is).

  • Daryl McCullough on February 19, 2012 10:55 AM:

    A gay man who works for a Republican is like a...surely there's a good analogy:

    A chicken who works for Colonel Sanders?
    A fox who works for a fur company?
    A deer who works for a taxidermist?

    Nah, none of those is exactly right...

  • chopin on February 19, 2012 11:09 AM:

    How about a turd who works for Exlax?

  • LOrion on February 19, 2012 12:18 PM:

    I will just second all the comments concerning MALE Republicans thinking it any of their business to control, and even view (via ultrasound) the sexlives of women, to comment about one other small detail.
    Romney's biggest billionaire bankroller is a pedophile protecting homophobe. See Glen Greenwalds Salon piece and this one by JM on KOS. 'Billionaire bigot bankrolls Mitt Romney'. http://tinyurl.com/6v6sgbq

  • exlibra on February 19, 2012 12:52 PM:

    One has to wonder where the GOP would have been, if hypocrisy had not been invented.

    This particular specimen had never been known as anti-gay, so you'd think he'd be in the clear. But his entire heroic persona was built on the "secure borders" premise, and on hounding illegals. And then we find out that he'd been protecting his bedroom buddy? Really? I wish him luck in pursuing his primary challenge; his potential constituents may well believe that "Washington needs a new sheriff in town" but I don't think they'll want this particular sheriff in that role.

  • Anonymous on February 19, 2012 6:38 PM:

    “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.

    This is what conservatives like Babeu and the talk-jock in Houston don't get: the GOP has been making the private lives of gay people a publicly shameful thing for a very long time.

    And as long as being publicly gay is considered shameful (by your peers. Non-winger society has moved on) gay people have much less of a private life. Because a closet isn't private, it's secretive. And that is substantively different.

    As Babeu will shortly discover, when all the other wingers start avoiding teh ghey.

  • Bookworm on February 20, 2012 3:26 AM:

    “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said. Let's make that the new mantra of the Republican Party, shall we?

    Arizonan here. The cognitive dissonance wafting up from Pinal County is intense... bringing a distinct off-color (so to speak) tone to the entire valley. Babeu's gay, but he's anti-immigration. He would gladly deport any Mexican, but on the other hand he was boffing one. (BTW, there is no indication that the boyfriend is here illegally.) Who do we hate more, Mexicans or gays? What to do, what to do?