UPDATE: Via Jason Salzman, Tom Tancredo responds on talk radio today:
“You know, and I told [Beauprez] at the time, ‘Look,’ – because he was saying, ‘You get out of the race. I’ll get in.’ And I said, ‘Bob, I have 7,000 contributors.’ You know what, Peter? It’s now over 10,000 individual contributors to my campaign. [Do] you know what the average is? Sixty-seven dollars. God love these people. I’ll take their endorsement any day over Mitt Romney’s. I’ll tell you that right now.”
“And I said, ‘I’m not going to – you can’t expect me to get out of this race, because – just because — why? We had coffee? Just get in!’ I told him. ‘Get in! Run! You might be the guy that knocks us all off of the block and you make it, and God bless you, and if you can beat Hickenlooper, hey, I’m with you, buddy! But I don’t think you can. I don’t think any of these other guys can either. I’m closer to Hickenlooper in the polls than any of them.”
And that's that, folks.
The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports on behalf of institutional Republicans growing nervous about Tom Tancredo's ongoing success in the GOP gubernatorial primary:
Some of the same people who want to recast the Grand Old Party as the Great Opportunity Party — in an effort to attract minorities and young voters — believe Tancredo spells disaster in a year that is supposed to be rough for Democrats. For weeks, behind-the-scene movers and shakers in the Republican Party have tried to talk Tancredo into dropping out of the June 24 gubernatorial primary.
They haven't gotten anywhere.
"If you want a traditional candidate and a traditional campaign you will get the traditional outcome: the Republican loses," Tancredo said. "I'm not a traditional candidate. I pride myself on that."
It's not hard to understand why Republican strategists desperately want Tom Tancredo out of the GOP gubernatorial primary, all the more so every time something happens that suggests he might actually win the nomination. Tancredo's plethora of extreme statements and policy positions from his long career in politics are a severe liability in a statewide election, far more so than Tancredo's built-in base of support can boost him. The problem is that Tancredo's support is much more heavily concentrated in a Republican primary, and Tancredo may well be able to win the primary using the very same issues that poison him, and potentially the entire GOP ticket, in the general election.
At stake: the governorship of Colorado, control of the state Senate where Democrats now have only a one-seat lead and a ferocious battle for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner.
Tancredo was incredulous that Republicans are holding him responsible for Gardner's fate.
"They're beating the living crap out of Cory right now," Tancredo said of attacks from the left. "I have nothing to do with that." [Pols emphasis]
To be perfectly frank, Tancredo is right that he's not responsible for the withering fire Cory Gardner is taking in the U.S. Senate race. And if the best Republicans hoping to stop Tancredo can field as alternatives are Bob Beauprez and Scott Gessler, who are seriously compromised by endless gaffes and ethical problems respectively…who the hell is there to tell Tancredo what he can and can't do?
Answer, like it or not: maybe no one.