Just as Norm Coleman and other relatively progressive — or at least pragmatic — Republicans try to reassure Latino voters that the GOP isn’t stuffed stem-to-stern with lily-white bigots cowering in fear of skins browner than theirs, Michele Bachmann has to go harsh their mellow by visiting Joe Arpaio for the second time this year (h/t Bluestem Prairie):

The gentlewoman from Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District can’t get enough of Sheriff Joe, returning to Arizona for a visit yesterday,  MSNBC reports in Bachmann courts ‘America’s toughest sheriff’:

If you’re running for president, how do you convince supporters you are tough enough on immigration? Get the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America whose uncompromising stand on illegal immigration is a point of pride.

On Wednesday Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was the latest Republican presidential candidate hoping for Arpaio’s backing.

She met in Phoenix with the Republican sheriff, whose endorsement is frequently sought by candidates in all types of races across the country.

Arpaio said he hasn’t yet decided which candidate he will back in the GOP primary race. .  .

The network reports that Bachmann didn’t answer questions about whether she supports SB1070. However, last year Immigrants List cited her support for the bill, Andy Birkey reported in Group inducts Bachmann into the Immigration Hall of Shame:

5. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — The potential presidential candidate has a history of inflammatory statements which go along with her outlandish voting record. She’s spread the widely-debunked rumor that Phoenix is “the kidnap[ping] capital of the United States,” using that myth to justify her support for an armed presence on the border. She’s advocates Arizona SB 1070, and told Bill O’Reilly that all local law enforcement should be required to ask for proof of immigration status. Bachmann chairs the House Tea Party Caucus.

Bachmann also visited California on her trip out west, but it seems that her timing left a bit to be desired from the California Republican Party’s viewpoint:

The conservative Bachmann, who counts evangelical Republicans, home-school advocates and members of the tea party movement among her supporters, stops over on the same weekend the state party considers rewriting its platform in what supporters call an attempt to broaden the party’s appeal, especially with Hispanics and independents.

Moderates want to push the party toward the center on immigration, guns and gay rights. The proposed changes — opposed by the party’s conservative wing — retreat from opposition to same-sex adoption, domestic partner benefits and child custody, avoid any mention of overturning Roe v. Wade and drop demands to end virtually all federal and state benefits for illegal immigrants and establish English as the official language of government.

Yeah, I can see where a visit from the head of the House Tea Party Caucus, and a crushie of Joe Arpaio, might throw a spanner in the CA GOP’s works — especially with plans like these:

The party is also planning to outline a new effort to recruit Latino voters, an acknowledgment of the state’s changing face. Hispanics accounted for about 80 percent of the increase in registered voters in the state over the last decade and the weak showing of GOP candidates in recent statewide races has been attributed, at least in part, to a lack of Hispanic support.

Oops.