Trump greets former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in
Trump greets former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Screenshot from new Biden ad

President Biden's reelection campaign's newest digital ad features former President Trump kissing former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on stage.

The kiss occurred during a rally in Phoenix on Thursday when Trump brought the 91-year-old Arpaio onstage, hugged him, and blew an air kiss near his right ear.

"I don't kiss men, but I kissed him," Trump told the crowd at the Dream City Church in Phoenix, a church that advocates marriage as "between a male and a female."

The new Biden ad focuses on this moment, juxtaposing Trump's kissing remarks with news coverage of Arpaio's most controversial actions as sheriff. The 30-second ad, set to target Latino voters in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, emphasizes Arpaio's notoriety for his aggressive immigration enforcement policies.

In 2011, the Justice Department found that Arpaio had engaged in the worst pattern of racial profiling by law enforcement in U.S. history. This conclusion was based on numerous police actions in Maricopa County, such as deputies pulling over Latino-operated cars at a much higher rate and jail guards refusing to accept written requests in Spanish from inmates.

The county was also infamous for being home to Tent City, Maricopa County's open-air jail which he likened to a "concentration camp". The facility was notorious for hosting inmates wearing pink underwear in the blistering summer heat, will shut down, according to Sheriff Paul Penzone.

The DOJ report, presented by then-Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Tom Perez (now a senior advisor to Biden), led to a 2012 lawsuit against Arpaio to halt discriminatory and unconstitutional law enforcement practices.

Trump ultimately pardoned Arpaio in 2017 for these accusations.

While Arpaio remains popular with Trump's base, the Biden campaign aims to highlight the ongoing relationship between Trump and Arpaio, who is deeply unpopular among Latinos. The Biden campaign's ad underscores its strategy to mobilize Latino voters by spotlighting Trump's controversial associations and emphasizing the importance of their political power in the upcoming election.

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