So Much For “¡Viva Tancredo!”

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

Back in February, we talked a little about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo's "Latino outreach program," which coincided with the opening of a campaign office in Pueblo, and the rollout of a new chutzpah-heavy tagline, "¡Viva Tancredo!" As one of the nation's best-known and most controversial public figures on the issue of immigration, Tancredo's "Latino outreach program" seemed a lot like the fox rolling out a public relations campaign targeting henhouse residents.

But for a while, it seemed like the whole world was turned upside down. Tancredo–friend of Jon Secada! Why, maybe he'd even be fit to serve as the superintendent of Jefferson County Schools! Truly heady prospects for Tancredo we were being asked to entertain.

But fortunately, since we were starting to get kind of, you know, dizzy, in today's Canon City Daily Record, we see that Tancredo has put the kibosh on all this crazy "Latino outreach" business.

Former Congressman and Colorado gubernatorial hopeful Tom Tancredo told members of the Royal Gorge Tea Party on Thursday that if elected governor in November, he simply wants to "save the state."

"I want to feel comfortable again in my own state," he said while addressing the group at its regular monthly meeting at Mountain View Core Knowledge School. "I don't want to look at this place as I do now. It's like a strange environment…it's not the state I grew up in."

"…One thing I am radical about is the idea that if you come this country as an immigrant, by God, become an American," he said. "…And if you want to keep your own language, stay where you are — if you come here, I want to you to speak English." [Pols emphasis]

Now that's the Tom Tancredo we know! Never mind that it horrifies any Republican concerned about the party's long-term viability in American politics. As Tancredo's successor in Congress, Mike Coffman, runs desperately away from his own culturally anti-immigrant record–and let's be clear about that distinction, Coffman's legislation to restrict bilingual ballots being a perfect example of immigration "culture war" politics–Tancredo once again keeps it absolutely, positively real. More real than a thousand new taglines. More real than a a whole book of perfectly-honed talking points. More real than anybody's politically expedient flip-flop.

Honestly folks, it's better this way. Much less bullshit.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ct says:

    On my way to catch the aeroplane off to join a hen party I had to ditch an articulated lorry.

  2. dwyer says:

    This quote from Tancredo:

    "I don't want to look at this place as I do now. It's like a strange environment…it's not the state I grew up in." – See more at:

    That's crazy.  Tancredo grew up in North Denver and I have heard him speak of going to St. Catherins school and everyone he knew was Italian and I think his grandparents spoke Italian…..IMHO, the Italians did not like the "Mexicans"…(you know those people from the San Luis Valley whose people had been in that area for four centuries and who not been "Mexicans" since the Treaty of Gualupe in the early 1800s) and the Irish didn't like anyone….including each other.

    It was a grand old place…..loaded with new catholic immigrants being pushed around by old catholic  immigrants and the Scott-Irish Protestants had moved out long ago…..

  3. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:


  4. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    That's not even the best line to emphasize:

    I don't want to look at this place as I do now. It's like a strange environment…it's not the state I grew up in.

    It's not even that he wants immigrants to learn english or stay home, it's that he pines for the Colorado he grew up in – a Colorado that was much more white than it is today. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Probably what a lot of folks were saying when Tanc's folks started showing up. My great grandma never did learn to speak much English having arrived here in her 40s but her teen to twenty something kids did and their kids, my parents' generation ranged from being completely and effortlessly bilingual (the oldest) to only knowing bits and pieces of the ancestral tongue. And guess what?  The people Tanc is so hostile toward are following the same pattern. It's the American way. And if some of their kids do manage to remain bilingual, more power to them. I wish I was fluent in more than one language. In parts of Colorado it was the English speakers who were the newcomers altogether.

      Cultiral change is the American way. It's the American way that no place is the same as it was when folks now in their 50s and 60s were growing up just as things weren't the same for people who were in their 50s and 60s back when Tanc was a kid. It's the people who want to preserve some largely imaginary America in amber forever who are the un-American ones.

      New waves of immigrants bringing new cultural contributions to the mix are as American as the Fourth of July and always have been. Exclusive links between ethnicity and nationality are old world, not American. Wonder if Tanc realizes that if being a real American is really about being white, people from his background just barely and only relatively recently qualify for full membership. Some of his white supremacist pals probably, in their heat of hearts, don't really believe he qualifies even now. He's not exactly poster boy material for their ideal.

  5. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Tommy is looking better every day.

  6. Sunmusing says:

    Hey Tank….there's always Texas ya can move to…that should remind you of home…

  7. CaninesCanines says:

    You don't recognize the state you grew up in? You didn't grow up during Ludlow either, Tom. Maybe that's a good thing.

  8. DawnPatrol says:

    I now refer to such poisonous anti-immigrant posturing as the GOTP's "Tancreatic Cancer."

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