FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Monday, January 28, 2013

FACT CHECK: Sheriff Joe ™ Claims Prez Obama ™ Calls VP Biden "Sheriff Joe"

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio tweeted on Friday that President Obama - not one of the Sheriff's favorite people - "keeps calling VP Biden Sheriff Joe".  Arpaio used that - and conservative webmaster Matt Drudge's reference - to re-proclaim that "there is only one Sheriff Joe and that's me."  Drudge aside, Arizona's Politics could find no evidence that Obama ever used the should-be-trademarked "Sheriff Joe" to refer to either Biden or Arpaio.

Arpaio may have to re-target his ire at Drudge and Biden alone.  Obama has called Biden "the Sheriff" from time-to-time, but has never stepped on the Arizona sheriff's spit-shineds.  The White House's website posts every word publicly uttered by the Commander in Chief, and this Google search shows no such mention.

Back in 2009, Obama did refer to his VP as "the Sheriff" ("To you, he's Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff -- (laughter) -- because if you're misusing taxpayer money, you'll have to answer to him."), apparently carefully avoiding Arpaio's nic.

Biden's slip took place two years later, referring to Obama's declaration: "And he appointed me as “Sheriff Joe” to make sure the job gets done."

Drudge and others in the media have been much more eager to jump on the comparison.

But, Sheriff Arpaio's tweet is incorrect.  Obama has not called Joe Biden "Sheriff Joe".  Arpaio gets an "F" for "fact-free", but an "A" for "attempted humor."  (Hopefully, it was meant to be humorous.)


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