As the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels reports, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about immigrants from Mexico has given national Republican strategists heartburn in the last few weeks, not least because it seems to be helping Trump in polls of GOP primary voters.
Here in Colorado, Trump’s anti-immigrant diatribes have won him a big fan in former CD-6 Congressman Tom Tancredo. Even after being out of Congress for eight years, Tancredo remains one of the most nationally prominent immigration firebrands on the right. During his term in office, Tancredo earned the lasting enmity of the George W. Bush administration, even becoming persona non grata at the White House, after repeatedly clashing with them on the issue.
Not without reason, Tancredo suspects a Trump administration would treat him a little better:
These are heady days for former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is watching presidential hopeful Donald Trump take up his obsession with illegal immigrants at the same time a national discussion is underway about sanctuary cities after a fatal shooting in San Francisco by a five-time deportee.
So is Tancredo, who once ran for president himself, a supporter of The Donald?
“God, yes,” Tancredo said, and then clarified his position. “At least of what he’s said.”
But wait, hasn’t Trump actually offended more people than he has won over with his sweeping characterizations of immigrants as wanton murderous rapists, at least in terms of the broader American electorate?
The problem, Tancredo said, is that Trump “needs to be a little bit more artful” when talking about the problems of illegal immigration. [Pols emphasis]
Keep in mind, gentle reader, that this is the same Tom Tancredo who once referred to Miami as a “Third World country,” proposed Jim Crow-style literacy tests for voting, and refused to attend a presidential debate on Univision because of his belief that candidates should only campaign in English. For those keeping score, Tancredo also denounced the first Hispanic-American Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor as a “racist,” and in 2003 called for a five-year moratorium on legal immigration. Oh, and let’s not forget bombing Mecca.
Folks, when Tom Tancredo tells you you need to be “a little more artful” when discussing immigration issues, you’ve got a serious problem. That poll-topping Donald Trump is legitimizing the Tancredos of the world, showing the 2016 electorate the worst possible face of today’s Republican party, can be fairly considered a worst-case scenario.
For Republicans who want to win general elections, that is.