The Mexican man identified in the media only as Jose appeared on CNN today to reiterate his claim that a former chair of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona threatened to deport him in order to cover up their gay affair.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who is a nationally known immigration hawk and is running for Congress, stepped down as co-chair of the Romney campaign’s Arizona operations on Saturday to address the allegations that were first made last week.
The man, who has provided photographs of the couple together in an effort to document his claims, told CNN he met Babeu on gay.com and that their relationship was conducted on and off for about three years. The man says he is in the US on a ten-year multiple-entry tourist visa.
With his face and voice obscured, a man can be seen to say: “I think he just want…to keep me as far as, so I don't say anything about him or about his behavior.”
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CNN said a lawyer for Babeu said the claims of threats were an unsubstantiated and a “lie.”
“The deportation claim is a complete lie. Do they have anything to support it beyond one person's claim that it happened once on an unspecified phone call at an unspecified time?” attorney Chris DeRose was quoted as saying.
Babeu appeared with Sen John McCain, a Republican of Arizona, in a 2010 reelection commercial during which McCain called on the US government to “complete the danged fence” that was intended to keep out illegal immigrants.
The Associated Press wrote today that, while Sheriff Babeu denied any wrongdoing, the revelation that he is gay and may have made threats against a Mexican migrant to keep this a secret would likely prevent his election to Congress in a deeply conservative part of Arizona.
Here is the video of CNN's interview with Jose and his lawyer: