Republican Arizona State Senator Steve Montenegro tried to defend President Donald Trump’s pardon of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday — but his arguments were quickly shot down because he could not defend any of Arpaio’s actual practices.
When confronted with the fact that Arpaio systematically racially profiled Latinos in his state, Montenegro tried to argue that it didn’t matter because “liberals” were the ones who were lobbing accusations at him.
Panelist Ana Navarro laid a hammer to this argument and noted that two Republican Senators from Arpaio’s state were among his biggest critics.
“John McCain, who has spoken strongly against the Arpaio pardon, is not the left,” she thundered. “He is a national hero and was the Republican nominee. Your other senator, Jeff Flake, also a Republican from Arizona, people who know the facts and have been on the ground are not the left. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, who came out and spoke against this pardoning of Arpaio, is not the left.”
Montenegro, however, continued this line of attack and insisted that only “liberals” had problems with Arpaio’s pardon. At that point, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked him to justify Arpaio’s long documented history of racial profiling — and Montenegro again tried pivoting back to his talking points.
Cuomo, however, demanded that he actually try to defend Arpaio’s actions.
“Defend the practice!” he said. “You’re not speaking to the practice, you haven’t said a damn thing about the practice.”
Watch the video below.