Arpaio, the sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County who has built a reputation for his stance on border security and immigration issues, said in an announcement in Amherst, N.H., where Perry is campaigning ahead of New Hampshire's Jan. 10 primary, that he likes the Texas governor's efforts to tighten border security.
"The federal government has failed on border crime and border enforcement, and no candidate for president has done more to secure the border than Governor Rick Perry," Arpaio said in a statement posted on Perry's campaign Web site. "I'm endorsing Rick Perry because we need a tough-on-crime president who will champion and fund full-time border security operations from Brownsville [Texas] to San Diego. Governor Perry has a superior border security record and plan to make our border and our nation safer."
The Perry Web site noted the governor's push to beef up border security and faulted President Barack Obama for not approving his January 2009 request for more National Guard troops and helicopters.
Perry said he is "honored" to have Arpaio's backing.
"Sheriff Arpaio knows the struggle border states face as Washington politicians and bureaucrats fail time and again to properly secure our nation's southern boundary with Mexico," Perry said.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday Perry stumbled Tuesday on the nation's voting age and the date of next year's presidential election. Speaking at Saint Anselm's College in Goffstown, N.H., Perry asked all of the college students on hand who will be 21 by Nov. 12 to support him.
"Those who won't be, just work hard. Because you're ... counting on us," Perry said.
The voting age is 18 and the election will be Nov. 6.
Afterward, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said "the governor misspoke."
The Hill noted the governor's gaffe follows one he made in a recent debate in which he couldn't come up with the names of the three government agencies he wants to chop if elected president.