Big Line Updated

We’ve updated The Big Line after some admitted confusion over how we would list Tom Tancredo’s new Party affiliation. This is the first time we can remember that we’ve ever listed an American Constitution Party candidate on the line.

Tancredo’s entry into the Governor’s race may have another unintended consequence beyond all but ensuring that Democrat John Hickenlooper is elected Governor. American Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden should get a small boost in CD-4 because of all of the press that Tancredo’s new party will receive, and in a close November race, that boost could be a killer for Republican Cory Gardner’s bid to knock off Democrat Betsy Markey.

We’ve also upped the odds for Republican Jane Norton in her bid to win the GOP nomination for Senate over Ken Buck. While Buck remains the frontrunner, he keeps screwing up just enough, while Norton adds some high-profile endorsements, that this race is tightening by the day.

BREAKING: Tancredo Wants Governor, Calls for High Noon Showdown

UPDATE: Republican State Party Chair Dick Wadhams is none too happy about Tancredo’s ultimatum:

I am terribly disappointed in Tom Tancredo’s announcement that he has made a backroom deal with a minor political party to run for governor.

Tom Tancredo used the Colorado Republican Party to get elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in the 1970’s, to work as a political appointee in the Reagan administration in the 1980’s, and to get elected to Congress from 1998 to 2008.  But now it appears he wants to destroy Republican chances to win a governor’s race after four failed years of Bill Ritter…

…Let there be no mistake about it:  Regardless of who our nominee is for governor after the primary, if Tom Tancredo carries through on his threat to run as a third party candidate, he will be responsible for the election of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor and for other races that will be imperiled as well.

Yup. This should end well.


We reported last week that Republicans in Colorado were scrambling to figure out how to replace both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes as candidates for Governor, while at the same time looking for someone who could prop up the ticket enough to benefit the GOP Senate candidate and every other candidate down the ballot. It looks like former Rep. Tom Tancredo is going to do everything he can to elbow his way in.  

Click after the jump for the full statement from Tancredo, which was just released. He gives McInnis and Maes until Noon on Monday, July 26 (no seriously, that’s exactly what he wrote) to publicly promise to withdraw from the race after the August 10 primary results are announced…or else Tancredo will run for Governor under the American Constitution Party platform.

If both McInnis and Maes do withdraw, presumably Tancredo would then be the Republican candidate for Governor.

This all seems a bit melodramatic and silly, but both words pretty well sum up Tancredo’s career in general. We’d be surprised to see this from anyone but Tancredo, frankly, though we’re still not sure how this helps Republicans.

Demanding a withdrawal by an arbitrary deadline only serves to humiliate McInnis and Maes more than they’ve already humiliated themselves. McInnis has always been too proud to admit his own errors; we just don’t see him bowing out of the race to kiss the feet of one of the Colorado GOP’s foremost lunatics.

Tancredo’s threat is also pretty meaningless. Neither McInnis nor Maes can possibly win the general election for Governor anyway — not after their various collection of scandals and misstatements. If McInnis and Maes don’t withdraw, and Tancredo runs under the American Constitution Party banner…so what? Tancredo pulls enough votes from the GOP candidate to ensure that they won’t win a race they weren’t going to win anyway?

We really didn’t think there was anyway things could actually get worse for Republicans, but we underestimated Tancredo. Hell, he’s already caused significant damage in the GOP Senate Primary. He might as well just keep screwing up the rest of the ticket.



Events of the past two weeks have developed in such a way as to create an unprecedented situation in the race for Governor of Colorado. The two candidates vying for the Republican nomination have, in my opinion, lost any hope of carrying out a successful campaign.

This situation is unacceptable to me, and I am sure, to thousands of other Colorado Republicans, Independents and other Colorado voters whose hopes for a change to a smaller and fiscally responsible government in Colorado in November now seem dashed.

To achieve this goal the winner of the August Republican primary must step down and allow the Party to appoint a viable replacement candidate to face John Hickenlooper and the Obama-Pelosi smear machine. It is up to the Party to pick that replacement except that it is imperative he or she be a solid conservative with a chance to win the general election in November.

There are, because of time and party registration constraints imposed by state election laws and party rules, very few other options open to those Coloradans who seek a solution to this dilemma.

I, for one, will do what is necessary within those limitations to avoid the electoral disaster looming on the horizon. That disaster would not be limited to the loss of the Governor’s race, but of many “down ticket” races. The grass roots electorate would lack any incentive to get to the polls.

Therefore, today I am asking for a public commitment from both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes that they will do what is right for the state of Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the Primary election on August 10, on August 11 the winner must agree to remove himself from consideration if polling on that date shows that he is losing the race for Governor. If either or both choose to ignore this request, and do not make a public commitment to this end no later than noon on Monday, July 26, I will announce on that day that I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party for Governor of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

If I run, I will do so to the best of my ability and will do so through the November election.

A great deal needs to be done for any candidate to put together a competitive campaign. Of course that includes raising the money necessary for such a race. Every hour of delay makes that a more difficult task.

This decision is completely in the hands of Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.

Tancredo’s Crazy! No, He’s Not! He’s Sort of Right! Wait, What?

UPDATE: Ready for another twist? Fox 31’s Eli Stokols:

In a new audio recording obtained by FOX 31, Buck is discussing the Tancredo firestorm roughly a day later, on Friday, and said, “I can’t believe that guy opened his mouth.”

Listen here.

It’s a seemingly reasonable reaction, given that Tancredo completely stole the headlines following Buck’s Thursday rally with South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint; and it aligns with Buck’s initial response to the media when, moments after Thursday’s rally ended, he told a group of reporters, “I think there are a lot of threats to the White House and I don’t think the man in the White House is the greatest threat to this country at all.”

…Norton’s decision to stick up for Tancredo, who has endorsed Buck and harshly criticized Norton and her campaign, underscores how this primary continues to be battle to demonstrate the most strident conservative credentials possible.

That dynamic is largely responsible for Buck’s recent momentum; and it may explain why, on Saturday, Buck himself took a notably different stance on Tancredo’s remarks while speaking at the Conservative Western Summit.

The fallout from former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s crazy comments at a rally for GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck continues, with the rhetoric becoming less and less comprehensible by the day. Politico has more on the story today (most of which you’ve already seen here):

Buck quickly distanced himself from the comments, and a YouTube video showed that the Republican primary hopeful did not applaud Tancredo’s remarks. “I love Tom, but I don’t always agree with him. I don’t agree that the greatest threat to the country is the man in the Oval Office,” Buck said, noting that Tancredo “tends to exaggerate sometimes.”

The Colorado Democratic Party still hammered Buck by association, and state party Chairwoman Pat Waak said in a statement: “No one should give Ken Buck a pass on the extreme and shocking statements of his good friend Tom Tancredo.”

But it was former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, the favored Senate candidate of national Republicans who has been nudged to the right by Buck’s feisty campaign, who jumped to Tancredo’s defense.

“There was a real measure of truth in what Tancredo said,” Norton wrote on her Facebook page. “Obama is spending this country into bankruptcy. [Joint Chiefs Chairman] Admiral Mullen said our debt is a greater threat than terrorism. It’s time to end the culture of political correctness. Obama’s brand of big government is a threat to America.”

Norton’s decision to stick up for Tancredo, who has endorsed Buck and openly criticized Norton’s campaign, shows how completely the Republican Senate primary has become a battle for the hardest-line conservative credentials.

We’ve discussed for some time on this website how the Republican primary for Senate may end up driving the winner so far to the right that it will be difficult for either Buck or Jane Norton to tack back to the center in time for the General Election. But the way things are going now, it’s not right vs. left vs. center that we’ll be discussing, but rather, which candidate can at least be coherent?

Through a spokesman, Buck said he looked forward to a debate that puts not just President Obama, but the whole Democratic Party’s views on debt, energy, Israel and more in the spotlight.

“If Obama leaves office, you turn on your TV and you hear the following, ‘I Joseph Biden do solemnly swear.’ The threat continues because then Nancy Pelosi is in office, Harry Reid is in office, Barney Frank is in office and the liberal progressives continue marching down that path,” Buck said.

Yeah, you said…wait, what are you talking about?

Tancredo Loves Him Some Jimmy Lakey

To this point we’ve been generally dismissive of radio host Jimmy Lakey’s hints at running for Congress in CD-7. Radio personalities, like Dan Caplis, often talk about becoming candidates but never actually make the jump.

But it appears as though Lakey is really running, as evidenced by a recent endorsement from former Rep. Tom Tancredo. Take a look at the Tancredo endorsement email after the jump, which warns of illegal immigrants kidnapping your dog, or something, if Lakey’s primary opponents (Ryan Frazier and Lang Sias) win the nomination. “The Republic is at risk!”

We joke about Tancredo’s endorsement, but in a multi-candidate Republican primary, it could actually play a huge role. Lakey only needs about 10,000 votes to win a three-way race, (there are 85,000 active Republican voters in CD-7, and traditionally only about one-third of eligible voters participate in a primary) and we’re guessing there are a lot of anti-immigrant GOP voters who will take Tancredo’s advice on who to vote for this August. If Lakey can do even a decent job of raising money, he’s got a real shot here.

Our Republic is at risk and the 2010 election will be crucial if we are to set our country back on the right course. This is why I am asking you to help Jimmy Lakey, a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District.

No matter where you live in the nation, here is why your help today is so urgent. In the race for the 7th Congressional District, Senator John McCain has endorsed one of Jimmy’s opponents, and now Senator Lindsey Graham has chosen to endorse another opponent.  


The “Amnesty Brothers” are coming to Colorado!

I am pleased to say that Jimmy Lakey is NOT a McCain-Graham Republican.  Jimmy is cut from a different cloth.  He is not one of the “Amnesty Brothers”.  

This is why I am am asking you to help Jimmy today.   Your generous donation today to Jimmy’s campaign will help Jimmy combat the “Amnesty Brothers” as they come to Colorado to wield their influence.

The Republic is at risk and we cannot allow politicians and corporate lobbyists to continue to sell our country out to the highest bidder. From immigration, amnesty, economic reform, and the other key issues of the day, we need to send people to Washington, D.C. who will stand firm & advance the conservative cause.

The “Amnesty Brothers” are working to get their candidates elected in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, and if they succeed, we will have more of the same in Washington, D.C.  This must not happen!

Here is what you need to know about Jimmy Lakey:

1)  Jimmy Lakey is a consistent conservative.  As a former talk-show host on Denver’s 710KNUS, Jimmy is a known quantity for his conservative views.  He didn’t just paint on conservative stripes for this election.  He has stood with conservatives for years.

2)  Jimmy Lakey gets it.  He is a entrepreneur and business owner who understands the free market and the danger that expansive government poses to our economic future.

3)  Jimmy Lakey is not one of them.   Jimmy Lakey is not a McCain-Graham Republican!  He understands the need to secure our borders and he understands that we cannot reward illegal behavior by granting amnesty.  He will not speak in platitudes and will not obfuscate on such key issues.

I’ve often said that the most important thing to look for in a candidate is a desire to advance a conservative agenda as opposed to simply wanting to BE the elected official.  Look at the candidates in the 7th and tell me which one just wants to be a congressman and will say anything to get there. Then listen and get to know Jimmy Lakey. When you do, you will understand why I have agreed to help him all I can. Hope you will too. He is the real deal.

Would please join me today in supporting Jimmy Lakey For Congress?  

Whether $25, $250, or even $1000 . . . any donation amount will help Jimmy in his fight to represent you!

Would you please make a generous donation today to his campaign so that he can stand up for Colorado and fight “The Amnesty Brothers”?

You’re One To Talk

Whatever desire that Democrats may have to bring Senate candidate Jane Norton down to earth should not permit subsidizing the rants of Colorado’s greatest embarrassment since John Chivington. Noting very, very briefly what the Denver Post reports:

Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton will announce her candidacy for the U.S. Senate today, much to the chagrin of retired U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Tancredo said he would not have had a problem if Norton earlier this year had called fellow Republicans statewide to say she wanted to run for the office and outlined her reasons.

Instead, he charged that Norton in recent weeks got talked into running by Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Norton family friend and political ally.

“Does John McCain have a right to do that? Sure. Do I have a right to (complain) about it? You bet,” Tancredo said in an interview Monday night. “Jane Norton is a nice lady who I like. End of story. But I fear she is not ready for prime time.”

Yeah, we’ll remember that next time you run for President on the “Send ‘Em Back” ticket. And why do we have the feeling that Tancredo wouldn’t be nearly so angry if McCain had suggested that he should run for Senate?

At least Post reporter Lynn Bartels had the sense to edit Tancredo for the print version, in the first version of this story he asks, “Do I have a right to bitch about it?”

If the messenger makes your skin crawl, it’s really hard to listen to what they say. Almost makes us wonder if he’s learned his lesson from the Sonia Sotomayor burn and is now using his ignominy to inversely boost the team…

You’re right. Not nearly smart enough for that.

From the “No Shit” Department

We weren’t the only ones who commented that calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist probably wasn’t a good strategic move for conservative critics, so there’s no need to say “We told you so.” Actually, it was so blatantly obvious that this was a stupid line of attack that “we told you so” would be too generous.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich now sheepishly admits that the “racist” attack might have been a bad idea. From The Associated Press:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he shouldn’t have called Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist, but said he was still concerned that she would bring bias to her decisions.

In a letter to supporters, the Georgia Republican said that his words had been “perhaps too strong and direct” last week when he called Sotomayor a reverse “racist,” based on a 2001 speech in which she said she hoped the rulings of a “wise Latina” would be better than those of a white male without similar experiences. Gingrich’s remarks created a furor among Sotomayor’s backers and caused problems for GOP figures who have been pushing to bring more diversity to the party.

We’ll give Gingrich some credit for belatedly realizing what a stupid attack this was for the GOP in general, but unfortunately for the Republican Party, the damage has been done.

Penry for Governor? Um, No

Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry is apparently beginning to seriously engage in discussions about running for Governor, and may soon file paperwork to make it official. Penry is doing this quietly while he tries to gauge support for a potential run against Gov. Bill Ritter, and trying to keep this quiet is probably the smartest thing Penry has done in months.

Our prediction? Penry doesn’t actually end up running for Governor in 2010. And here’s why…

Penry has long been touted by Republicans as a “rising star” in the Party, but like many “rising stars” who have come before him (from both parties), Penry’s just not ready to move from “rising” to actual “star.”

We know what some of you conspiracy theorists might think – that say this because we think Penry is actually the toughest candidate to potentially challenge Ritter and we’re trying to tear him down before that happens. Quite the contrary, in fact. As it stands now, Penry would be one of the weakest candidates Republicans could put forth in 2010 because he is absolutely not what they need to lead the ticket.

To be sure, Penry has enjoyed a swift rise among the GOP. But what we have learned from his brief time thus far as Senate Minority Leader is that he’s not young and fresh – he’s young and old. He may be young (he’s 33), but Penry is actually no different in political philosophy or leadership than any of the other right-wing failures that have damaged the GOP in recent years. Republicans have not adjusted to the changing political climate in Colorado by running moderate candidates; instead, they have trotted out old-school right-wing thinkers with no new ideas like Bob Schaffer, only to watch them get pummeled in the general election by Democrats who are able to appear more moderate than they might actually be.

A Penry candidacy would be the same thing in different packaging. By refusing to lead his caucus in deflecting the terribly damaging comments made last week by Sens. Scott Renfroe and Dave Schultheis, Penry showed that he a) isn’t ready to lead his own caucus, much less an entire state, and b) his ideology is really little different from the right-wing of the party. That’s a not a good combination for a candidate for Governor.

Or consider what we wrote last summer when we discussed “The Political Death of Josh Penry“:

We wrote earlier this week about Republican Sen. Josh Penry’s bizarre comments about his plan to divert state money to speed up a section of I-70 in his district. Penry’s quote basically amounted to saying that he thinks voters would prefer to see an improved I-70 than to preserve their water resources.

The plan devised by Penry and fellow “wunderkind” Cory Gardner is basically an “earmark,” which is something that is normally reserved for members of congress and less often seen by state legislators. Whether it passes or fails – and it’s almost certainly going to fail – Penry and Gardner just irrevocably damaged their future political careers. For a quick primer, see how The Denver Post rips into their idea today:

Coloradans deserve reasonable solutions to our state’s transportation problems.

Instead, we’re left with either nothing, which has been the governor’s plan the past two years, or schemes, including this latest Republican plan that actually drains funds from Colorado water projects into a single pork-barrel project on Interstate 70.

The more Penry tries to do, the more it becomes obvious that the would-be emperor has no clothes. Does this mean that Penry will never be Governor of Colorado? Of course not, but it does mean that he is absolutely not ready to run for Governor or any other statewide office in the near future. Penry is going nowhere until he either moves to the middle, which isn’t likely to happen, or Colorado moves back to the right, which isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

If Penry does attempt a run for Governor, where is his base? It’s no secret that the business community is not all that impressed with Penry, particularly given his laughably-stupid ballot measure plan last fall. Penry is a career politician who hasn’t done anything else of note outside of the legislature. It’s also no secret that the moderate branch of the party – what’s left of it, anyway – considers Penry to be just another right-wing soldier. Penry may or may not be well-liked along the Western Slope, but who cares? Nearly 90 percent of Colorado voters live along the Front Range between Ft. Collins and Pueblo. Being a Western Slope candidate doesn’t mean anything anymore, and the numbers prove that out.

Even if Penry were to somehow win a primary against Marc Holtzman, which we don’t think he could, he could only do it by running as far to the right as possible. That would leave a general election of a younger Bob Schaffer (ideology-wise) against the moderate Ritter. It’s not hard to predict who wins that one.

All of this leads back to our first prediction – that Penry won’t actually run for governor. Our guess is that he dips his toes in the water with pressure from Dick Wadhams, who also doesn’t understand that Colorado has shifted politically, but ultimately finds that he won’t be able to raise the money or generate the support needed to win both a Republican primary and a general election. He’ll stay where he is and make the safe decision to run for re-election in 2010 instead.

In some ways, Penry is in the wrong place at the wrong time. If Penry had been a 33-year-old Senate leader for the GOP eight years ago, he might have been the perfect candidate to head a statewide ticket. But things have changed a lot in the last decade, and Penry has not. He had a chance as Senate Minority Leader to show bold, innovative leadership for the GOP. But he didn’t. Penry is what he is, which isn’t what works in Colorado right now.


Tancredo, Beauprez Eye Ritter

We’d been waiting until after the election to discuss 2010 more in-depth, but it looks like the cat is out of the bag regarding one potential GOP challenger. Congressman Tom Tancredo, long thought to be considering a run for Senate in 2010, has instead focused his sights on running for Governor. The reason, we’ve heard, is that poll numbers show Ken Salazar to be a strong incumbent, while Gov. Bill Ritter is the weaker of the two statewide candidates. Tancredo wants to run statewide in 2010, and it makes more sense to take on Ritter than to challenge the stronger Salazar.

Also rumored to be seriously considering another run for governor in 2010 is – don’t laugh – Bob Beauprez. But while Beauprez may be seriously considering a run himself, it’s doubtful that any other top GOP backers would seriously take him seriously. You don’t run the worst statewide campaign in Colorado history, as Beauprez did in 2006, and try to run again for the same race four years later.

Tancredo Pulls Out, Supports Romney???

Colorado no longer has one of its own in the race for President. Today Republican Tom Tancredo withdrew from the race for President…and endorsed Mitt Romney.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Rep. Tom Tancredo officially bowed out of the race for the White House today, declaring a moral victory despite never escaping the bottom rungs of the polls.

At an afternoon news conference in Des Moines, the Colorado congressman also endorsed Mitt Romney, saying he was satisfied the former Massachusetts governor is well-suited to drive many of the same immigration reforms that Tancredo has been pushing on the campaign trail.

Tancredo called Romney “the best hope for our cause.”

He also said worried if he stayed in the race that someone who is wrong on immigration – namely former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – could benefit.

“I don’t want to do anything that would aid them,” he said of Huckabee, while also mentioning Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Tancredo did not say anything about his immediate plans. He’s long left the door open to a possible Senate run in 2010…

…It’s unclear how much weight a Tancredo endorsement might have with just two weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.

In Iowa, Tancredo got between 2 percent and 6 percent in the most recent polls, and his supporters and campaign volunteers appeared to be split among various camps.

Tancredo’s exit from the race is certainly no surprise, but we’d be lying if we said the Romney endorsement was not.

Tancredo Tries to Scare Voters Into Supporting Him

In an effort to boost his Presidential campaign, Rep. Tom Tancredo has gone the scary route with his latest campaign ad – as in, try to scare people into voting for you.

As M.E. Sprengelmeyer explains:

On Monday he unveiled a new television ad that shows a hooded man slip into a peaceful shopping mall, set down a black backpack – not far from where children are playing – and then, boom!

Interspersed with images of a bloody body and the destruction from recent terrorist attacks in London, Spain and Russia, it argues that this could be “the price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our border against those who come to kill.”

But one Iowa political analyst called it such a “brute” appeal for fear, that it’s not likely to help Tancredo’s long-shot campaign here in the nation’s first presidential caucus state, nor prompt any of the other candidates to respond, as Tancredo told reporters Monday was his real goal.

“This is just blatant, raw fear images, and they’ve never worked in the United States, period,” said Bruce Gronbeck, a communications professor from the University of Iowa who teaches a course on politics in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

You can watch the ad here.

Tancredo Won’t Run for CD-6 Re-Election

As we’ve said on the Big Line for months, and the Rocky Mountain News reports today:

Even if he loses his long-shot bid for the White House, Rep. Tom Tancredo will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of 2008.

Tancredo, 61 , waited until after the Colorado Rockies’ last out of the World Series on Sunday night before announcing that he plans to retire from Congress at the end of this, his fifth term.

“It’s the fact that I really believe I have done all I can do in the House, especially about the issue (immigration) about which I care greatly,” he said.

Tancredo said other people are now taking up leadership on the immigration issue…

The decision is not a surprise, considering Tancredo’s repeated complaints that his presidential run was taking a heavy toll on him and his family. But it is sure to set off a mad succession scramble in his solidly conservative, suburban Denver district.

Tancredo parlayed a back-bench seat in Congress into a national megaphone to oppose illegal immigration, denounce a so-called “cult of multiculturalism” and warn about a “clash of civilizations” between radical Islam and Western civilizations.

Those issues have been the centerpiece of Tancredo’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, although he has yet to break out of single digits in most polls…

Initial predictions: lively GOP primary. Seat stays GOP, but Dems will make a more serious run than in years past — meaning no unseasoned candidacies like that of Bill Winter. Republican state Sen. Tom Wiens will declare early and work hard to be anointed frontrunner, but don’t count Mike Coffman out of this thing.

We hate to say we told you so, but…who are we kidding? We told you so. As always, remember that you read it here at Colorado Pols first. Kudos to M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the News for getting the scoop on the official announcement.

Speculate away…

One Doozy of a World Series Bet

From ABC News via State 38:

Rep. Tom Tancredo wants to go all in. He’s batting for the fences. He’s a Rockies fan, he’s from Colorado, they’re in the World Series against the Red Sox, darnit… He’s on a roll.

So Tancredo, who had already pegged an announcement on whether he’ll run for reelection to his Littleton, CO Congressional seat to the Rockies — he’d announce his intentions when their season ends — had his spokesman call ABC News to officially offer a friendly little high stakes wager to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Red Sox fan.

“If the Rockies lose, Tancredo will drop out of the Presidential race,” said spokesman Alan Moore. But if. . . IF the Red Sox lose, Moore went on, “Romney would have to agree that he’d drop out.”

Usually when politicians bet on sporting events its for food. Boston Baked Beans versus some Silver Bullet smooth Coors, or something else from Colorado. A Denver omelet?

Romney would be nuts to take the bet, obviously. So while there is no official response yet from team Romney, with Mitt’s enormous campaign war chest and status in the polls among the GOP frontrunners, he’s got a bit more to lose than Tancredo, who raised less than a million dollars in the most recent financial quarter.

Tancredo Forgets About Immigration Reform

We’ve always wondered why Rep. Tom Tancredo doesn’t do more about illegal immigration, since, you know, he’s a congressman and all. Apparently the answer is simple: He just forgets.

As The Denver Post reports:

Call it congressional amnesia.

Rep. Tom Tancredo two months ago announced a far- reaching proposal to rewrite immigration laws. Today that plan is missing in action.

The Republican congressman from Littleton never submitted the bill he trumpeted in July, legislation that would severely limit family-based legal immigration, imprison employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and deny citizenship to babies of illegal immigrants who are born in the U.S.

Tancredo’s spokesman said that the congressman and his staff have been busy and that perhaps it just slipped their minds.

“We’ve been fighting a lot of other fights” on immigration, said Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa. “Are we going back to that? Of course we are.”

Tancredo, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, also has been hard to pin down, Espinosa said.

Vote Tancredo for President! He’ll solve the immigration problem…unless he forgets.

Tancredo Gets Matching Funds

From The Denver Post:

Tom Tancredo’s presidential quest qualified for federal matching funds Wednesday, a boost his campaign said will keep it alive awhile longer…

Tancredo, a Littleton Republican known for his criticism of U.S. immigration policies, now will get a dollar-for-dollar match up to the first $250 of every contribution he’s received this year…

In paperwork filed June 30 with the Federal Election Commission, Tancredo had raised $2.8 million and had about $556,000 on hand. Qualifying for matching funds means Tancredo’s campaign can get a bank loan for about $2.5 million, Buchanan said. That loan is paid back with the matching funds, which will come beginning next year…

…To qualify for matching funds, candidates must raise at least $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states, in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual.

Tancredo raised about $176,000 through 3,082 contributions from 25 states.

So far, only Tancredo and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have qualified for and decided to take the matching funds, the FEC said. Most of the top-tier candidates have opted out of the system because it requires them to spend less than about $50 million.

But the news isn’t all good for Tancredo. The Republican congressman has repeatedly called for the U.S. to deport all illegal immigrants, which it turns out, would be pretty expensive. The department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement estimates that it would cost $94 billion to deport every illegal immigrant in the U.S.

Tancredo: We’ve Spent Enough on Katrina

From the man who brought you the suggestion that we bomb Mecca…

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo says it’s time to stop “runaway government spending” on post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

“Enough is enough,” the Colorado congressman said in a statement today, aiming to head off requests for more money to help New Orleans recover from the hurricane that ravaged the city and much of the Gulf coast two years ago this week.

Tancredo’s statement comes two days after President Bush visited New Orleans and promised residents there that “better days are ahead” and “we haven’t forgotten, and won’t.”

Katrina smashed through levees in New Orleans and flooded 80 percent of the historic city on Aug. 29, 2005. It also obliterated coastal Mississippi and killed 1,600 people.

Several New Orleans neighborhoods still look like a wasteland, and Tancredo says the federal government is partly to blame. It has spent about $114 billion – or around $1 billion per week – but hasn’t paid enough attention to how the money has been used, he said.

Contest: How Many Votes Will Tancredo Get in Iowa?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE #2: M.E. Sprengelmeyer gives the Tancredo contest some love over at his blog “Back Roads to the White House”

UPDATE: The contest closes tonight at Midnight, so get those guesses in to the comments section below.

The Iowa Straw Poll takes place this Saturday, and it has traditionally served as a good barometer of what will happen in the Iowa Caucus in January.

With candidates scrambling to turn people out to the (straw) polls, including offering Capitol/capital tours, we thought it would be a good time for a little contest…

As always, we play by Price is Right rules (closest without going over), and the winning entry will receive a free small button ad on Colorado Pols for one week; you can do whatever you want with the ad, with a few exceptions (we’re not advertising your favorite porn site, for example).

So here’s the question:

How many votes will Colorado’s own Tom Tancredo receive at the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday?

Hint: There were 23,685 votes cast in the last GOP Iowa Straw Poll in 1999. There may be as many as 50,000 votes cast this year.

The contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, so get those votes in. We’ll announce the winner as soon as the final Iowa Straw Poll results are made public. Submit your entry in the comments section below.

Tancredo “50-50” On 2010 Senate Run

He may be running for President, but that doesn’t stop Rep. Tom Tancredo from talking about running for something else. M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News reports on Tancredo’s future political thinking in a wide-ranging Q&A…

SPRENGELMEYER: Are you definitely, definitely in the race until February 6th, even if you’re polling on February 6th where you are today?

TANCREDO: I don’t think so, and here’s one reason: because we will not be able to get any money to stay in the race for any length of time if that’s the case. You know, you do have to have some money to make this thing work. Certainly, the immigration issue has helped out. In the last week, it would be actually, not this last week but the week before, we raised over $200,000 in one week, and much of it of course was as a result of what was happening in the Senate with that immigration bill…

SPRENGELMEYER: So I’ve kind of assumed that if you don’t win the White House, you will be running for Congress again. Is that wrong?

TANCREDO: It is wrong to assume that is the thing that will happen.

SPRENGELMEYER: So it’s still up in the air?


SPRENGELMEYER: So if you’re not president by then — or maybe you’d resign the presidency just so you could run against Salazar — is it pretty likely that if you’re not elected president, likely that you’re going to run against Sen. Salazar in 2010?

TANCREDO: No, I don’t think I can say that in all honesty… It’s 50-50 because, once again, you know, that’s a long time. If I run for the House again and do that, that takes a lot out of you. You’re talking about I’d be 64 years old. You’re looking at another six years after that if you make it. Six years commitment, 70 years old, on the plane, back-and-forth, back-and-forth. That part doesn’t have any allure whatsoever.

Tancredo for Senate…in 2010?

As M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News reports:

The first head-to-head debate in Colorado’s 2010 U.S. Senate race will have to wait.

For a time on Friday, it looked as if Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, and Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, were destined to square off on a nationally-televised, Sunday morning talk show.

But alas, Salazar will be on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” broadcast and Tancredo will not.

Before the joint appearance fell through, the thought of a head-to-head appearance made Tancredo and his staff enthusiastic to say the least.

“He thinks it’s a great match-up,” Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa said. “I think it’s interesting how these two, I’d say they are the bookends for the immigration issue. You’ve got Tom on one end and the Senator on the other. This is a good match-up for a race we may see in the future… This may be the first of many debates for a potential match-up down the road.”

Yes, Tancredo currently is making a long-shot run for president. But there’s at least a slim chance he won’t win. A future run for the U.S. Senate appears to be his back-up plan. Espinosa describes a Tancredo-Salazar contest as the congressman’s dream match-up…

…Salazar spokesman Cody Wertz had no comment on Tancredo or a potential 2010 match-up. Pollster Floyd Ciruli said Tancredo would be “the candidate Salazar would most look forward to running against,” since Tancredo is so polarizing.

If the election were today, Tancredo would probably get his brains kicked in by Salazar in a matchup for U.S. Senate. But if he does well enough in his bid for President and significantly raises his profile, who knows?

What do you think? Poll follows…

Could Tom Tancredo Win a Colo. Senate Race?

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Good Press for Tommy T

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo had a nice write-up in the Chicago Tribune:

While Tancredo’s Republican bid is widely regarded as a long shot, the reaction he has received so far in Iowa shows his campaign can’t be entirely dismissed, political analysts say.

He hasn’t left much of a footprint in Congress, and yet, driven by an anti-illegal immigrant wind, he audaciously has become a single-issue candidate for president, his fists bared as he derides a bipartisan immigration plan being debated in the Senate and calls his opponents “soft.”…

…The longer the problem of illegal immigration lingers, the easier it will be for Tancredo to serve as a GOP spoiler as his hard-line stance attracts voters feeling overwhelmed by their changing social landscape, said University of Iowa political science professor Peverill Squire.

“Here in Iowa, things have changed dramatically in the last two decades and it’s probably caught a lot of Iowans by surprise,” Squire said.

“Tancredo talking in a way to suggest that some of these changes can be slowed down or even reversed, for some people, may be comforting,” he added.

A recent University of Iowa poll indicated that 96 percent of Republicans in the state consider a candidate’s stance on immigration to be “very important” or “somewhat important” in their vote, with 57 percent saying they support allowing illegal immigrants to “earn” U.S. citizenship if they paid back taxes and learned English.

With Republicans split over immigration policy, top tier GOP candidates such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently have hardened their views.

Touring through Iowa, Tancredo takes credit for the shift, relishing his underdog status with jokes about not being invited to the White House. His outsider’s role has enabled Tancredo to speak more bluntly than some of his rivals.

That approach worked at the GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines, where McCain, Giuliani and eight other candidates addressed about 1,000 of the party’s faithful. Tancredo grabbed the loudest applause of the night after a lectern-thumping speech that cast his campaign as a fight to preserve American values and Western civilization itself.

Tancredo’s Office a Sanctuary for Immigrants

Whether you love or hate Rep. Tom Tancredo, you’ve got to admit that this is pretty funny. Members of United Voices for United Families, who work out of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Church in Chicago, apparently had a meeting in Tancredo’s congressional office and declared it a place of sanctuary for immigrants.:

The group consisted of 10 members, women, men and children who had a scheduled appointment with the congressman’s office. They met with legislative assistant Andrew Good to discuss the issue of the mixed status families in America and to bring a very important message.

The group knowing that Congressman Tancredo has a very racist reputation when it comes to Latino immigrants and the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform still choose to bring him a message of truth.

The message was brought to the Congressman as a people of faith. Inside of the office the celebration of the Holy Eucharist was performed, all participated, even Mr. Good. During the Celebration of the Eucharist the office was declared a Holy Sanctuary for all immigrants around the world. (Pols emphasis)

Tancredo Belittles Virginia Tech Tragedy

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Never one to keep his mouth shut when potential headlines beckon, Tom Tancredo is jumping on the Virginia Tech mass killing to issue a public “correction” belittling the scale of the recent carnage. The murderous episode wasn’t quite as bad as the press says it is, according to Tancredo.

While many press reports are calling the Virginia tragedy the worst school massacre ever, Tancredo’s office has declared that the Virginia Tech rampage is actually not THE deadliest school rampage in U.S. history. That distinction actually belongs to a 1927 school bombing in which approximately 48 people, mainly children, were killed. (It’s unknown whether the 1927 total still outranks the Virginia Tech rampage if wounded are also tallied.)

This appalling, tone-deaf attempt at one-upmanship is an example of why Tancredo is widely viewed as not ready for prime time. One can only imagine what the Congressman’s response would have been if some Virginia counterpart had issued a similar press release within days after the Columbine massacre.

Tancredo’s office maintains that it’s necessary to go public with this “correction” at this time of profound grief and sorrow – over a matter that his own spokesperson admits is nothing mooe than “splitting hairs” – to deflate any attempts to use the Virginia Tech shootings as an excuse to promote gun-control legislation.

That reasoning is odd, to say the least, and the timing is atrocious, hapless and cruel. While there are predictably a few liberal Democrats raising the issue of gun control again, most Democrats are aligned with Republicans in not wanting to re-visit that issue – and almost all other politicians are putting aside issues of partisanship to extend their deepest sympathies to the reeling Virginia Tech community.

Surely Congressman Tancredo realizes that this Congress is not about to move any gun control legislation forward in the near future. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said: “I think we ought to be thinking about the families and the victims and not speculate about future legislative battles that might lie ahead.”

If only Tancredo were so compassionate. But his most recent pronouncement is actually par for the course for Colorado’s controversial Congressman: the victims aren’t even buried yet, and Tancredo is busy at work trying to capitalize on the situation.

One can legitimately speculate about Tancredo’s true motive: is it truly about thwarting gun control legislation, or merely about keeping his own name in the headlines? Since he’s not been able to raise much money, “He can get free media by being on radio and TV shows and remaining controversial,” a political analyst recently noted in the Denver Post.

That may sound like a harsh judgment, but this is not first time that Tancredo has used personal tragedy in a shameless attempt to promote his own visibility. As Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin wrote about Tancredo in 2005, after Tancredo tried to make hay out of the killing of policeman Donnie Young: For Tancredo “no tragedy is too horrible to exploit.”


Tancredo Announcement on Monday

Tom Tancredo will announce his Presidential plans on monday, according to The Associated Press:

Tancredo said Friday he will make the announcement in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa’s presidential caucuses are the first in the nation.

Tancredo, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, formed an exploratory committee in January and this week chose former CNN commentator Bay Buchanan to temporarily oversee the exploratory campaign.

He has made campaign visits to Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire and has hired a campaign manager for New Hampshire.

Given that he is making the announcement in Iowa and recently hired Buchanan, it’s safe to say that Tancredo won’t be announcing that he is not running for President.

Tancredo Inching Closer to Presidential Run

Tom Tancredo continues to move closer to becoming a full-fledged candidate for President.

Political commentator Bay Buchanan announced today that she is leaving CNN to become Tancredo’s senior advisor, and expects a formal announcement on a Tancredo candidacy in about a week. As the Associated Press reports:

CNN commentator Bay Buchanan said Monday she will temporarily oversee the presidential campaign of Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo and has resigned from the cable network.

Buchanan said she will function as campaign manager until someone is appointed to that job.

Tancredo said last week he had not yet formally decided whether to run.

“I’m certainly encouraging it,” Buchanan said. She said she expects Tancredo to formally announce his plans in the next week or so.

Two things are abundantly clear after this news: 1) The GOP primary fight in CD-6 is about to heat up, and 2) Bay Buchanan is going to be looking for a job in 18 months.

Open the CD-6 Floodgates

Tom Tancredo announced today that his Presidential exploratory committee has raised more than $1 million, which means, as the Rocky Mountain News reports:

…he had set a goal of raising $1 million for his exploratory committee, Tancredo for a Secure America, by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Crossing that goal, “kicks my enthusiasm level up about a million times,” Tancredo said in phone interview. “It just simply means it’s certainly more likely that we will announce I will be a candidate for president,” he said.

He’ll make a final decision within two weeks.

And as Colorado Confidential explains:

More importantly for Colorado, Tancredo’s fundraising success means that he is less likely than ever to run for re-election to his congressional seat. Several Republicans, including state Sens. Tom Wiens and Ted Harvey, and Wil Armstrong, son of GOP patriarch Bill Armstrong, have already been putting together shell campaigns for taking a run at CD-6 in the event that Tancredo doesn’t run for re-election; expect them, and others, to speed up the process in the next couple of weeks.