Sanders Blasts Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He ‘Ambushed’ My Wife

March 18, 2016 8:35 a.m.

After Jane Sanders engaged Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in an unplanned debate over immigration, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took on the sheriff during a rally in Flagstaff, Arizona on Thursday.

Sanders described Arpaio as “un-American” and told rally attendees that the sheriff had “ambushed” his wife on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

Jane Sanders visited Tent City, an outdoor jail in Maricopa County, on Wednesday, where Arpaio approached her after his own press conference. When Jane Sanders criticized the conditions in the outdoor jail, Arpaio told her that the conditions are similar to those soldiers experience when fighting overseas, according to the Arizona Republic.

He also declined to answer her questions about racial profiling, according to the Arizona Republic.

During his Thursday rally, Bernie Sanders railed against Arpaio and his interaction with his wife.

“She asked him about racial profiling, and he didn’t have an answer,” Sanders said, according to the New York Times. “She asked him about conditions in Tent City and other abuses that he has perpetuated, and he didn’t have an answer. You know what, he cannot have an answer, because what he is doing is un-American and uncivilized.”

“If elected president, we are going to pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship, whether Mr. Arpaio likes it or not,” Sanders continued at the rally.

The Vermont senator criticized Arpaio’s treatment of Hispanic immigrants — the sheriff was sued by the Justice Department for allegedly discriminating against and unlawfully detaining Hispanic immigrants in traffic stops.

“It’s easy for bullies like Sheriff Arpaio to pick on people who have no power,” Bernie Sanders said at his rally, according to USA Today. “If I am elected president — the president of the United States does have power. So watch out, Joe.”

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