Arizona Senator John McCain is backing
Paul Babeu, who is facing charges that he threatened to have his
ex-lover, a Mexican national, deported.
The 43-year-old Babeu, the sheriff of
Pinal County, Arizona and a GOP candidate for Congress, denied the
charges during a press conference on Saturday, but acknowledged he's
Babeu, a vocal opponent of illegal
immigration, was featured in a 2010 McCain campaign ad advocating for
greater border security.
“Well, of course, Sheriff Babeu is a
friend of mine,” McCain is quoted as saying by ABC News. “I do
not know the details except what has been published in the media and
I am sure there will be a thorough and complete investigation if
there is any allegations of wrongdoing. All I can say is that he
also deserves the benefit, as every citizen does, of innocence until
Babeu's accuser, identified only as
Jose in a Phoenix New Times story, claimed that Babeu had
threatened him with deportation when he refused to sign an agreement
stating that he would not discuss their relationship.
Babeu told reporters that he had
stepped down as a co-chairman off Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign.
However, he vowed to continue his campaign to represent the people of
Arizona's 4th Congressional District.
Babeu notes Ron Paul's gay marriage stance at coming out presser.)