msnbc | February 20, 2012
>>> despite stepping down as co-chair, mitt romney 's state campaign, the arizona sheriff and gop congressional candidate paul bab u says he is on the ticket. this follows that he threatened to deport a former boyfriend if that man went public with their relationship. fab u, known anti-immigration figure denied the allegations while acknowledging in fact he is gay.
>> i am here to say that all the allegations in one of the newspapers are absolutely, completely false, except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. because that's the truth.
>> daniel wick ee, reporter for the arizona republican joins me. romney is leading arizona 48% in the latest poll. will this hurt romney in terms of him losing family value vote, some say he will lose at his own congressional run?
>> i don't think it is going to hurt romney . kind of the national coverage of the sheriff issue has focused on romney , but in arizona , it is a bigger story, and mostly focusing on the sheriff himself who had been a rising star in republican politics in arizona .
>> when you say a rising star , because he had a hardcore anti-immigration stance, in addition to backing mitt romney , has been a vocal critic of the obama administration. we have seen him in ads with john mccain , they have a political relationship. how have the allegations effected the fact he supports at all.
>> a lot of viewers remember him from build the damn fence ad by sarah palin . it is hard to get a feel for how supporters are reacting. story broke late friday, and it broke over the weekend, and today is a holiday, so it's hard to get a real feel. his campaign is insisting supporters have overwhelmed him with their, you know, support and backing and encouragement.
>> and the big story here is not that this man is gay, it is the fact he was in a relationship with an immigrant who he allegedly threatened to deport if that relationship made its way to the press, now that it has.
>> it is an abuse of power story.
>> prior to all of this happening, dan, have you avoided discussing his private life , taking any sort of public stance on gay rights or for the lgbt community ? however, this is what he is saying saturday. i can be a supporter and get out there and help articulate as we progress as culture and society that there should be individual liberties and freedoms, for any other person to define somebody else's relationship and say it is not okay, that is not who we are as americans. so given those comments, given the fact that we're looking at what is a potential political hypocrite, big time , how does someone like that turn things around for his own campaign, because he is staying in the race for the congressional run.
>> right. he previously, you know, his position was sort of like his personal life and his professional life as sheriff, there was no real nexus between them. now that he's running for congress, he's going to have to deal with a lot of the gay rights issues, and he's running in a very tough republican primary , rural arizona district that's dominated by the gop. so i think he's got a lot of political challenges on that front ahead of him. how he wants to articulate his positions on these issues. now he can't avoid them.
>> arizona political reporter, dan no wick ee. thanks for joining me. appreciate it.