John McCain: Paul Babeu Is a Friend

Sen. John McCain (left) reaffirmed his support today of Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) said today that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu deserves the benefit of the doubt as more information comes out about his personal life.

Asked on ABC’s “This Week” about allegations that Babeu threatened to deport an illegal immigrant he was having a relationship with, McCain was measured in his response.

“Well, of course, Sheriff Babeu is a friend of mine,” he said. “I do not know the details, except what has been published in the media.”

Still, McCain called for people to hold off on making a judgment about the case.

“I’m sure there will be a thorough and complete investigation, if there is any allegations of wrongdoing,” he said. “All I can say is that he also deserves the benefit, as every citizen does, of innocence until proven guilty.”

Babeu memorably appeared in a 2010 TV ad in which McCain called for President Barack Obama to “complete the danged [border] fence.”

“I appreciate the support that he gave me in my campaign and always will,” McCain said.