Skip to comments.Tancredo tour sows national seeds
Posted on 08/04/2005 4:04:16 PM PDT by 4.1O dana super trac pak
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Rep. Tom Tancredo is trying to become the Johnny Appleseed of the immigration reform movement.
State to state, small town to small town, he's spreading the seeds for a national grass-roots movement.
The question is whether he can make it grow beyond a core of die-hard local activists so that immigration issues - and maybe Tancredo himself - become serious factors in the 2008 presidential contest.
With that in mind, the Littleton Republican on Wednesday wrapped up a two-day tour around the suburbs of Charleston, S.C.
Tancredo got plenty of local media attention for the trip, which closely followed his tour of the early presidential caucus state of Iowa. He raised money and lined up enthusiastic new volunteers for the political action committee he founded, Team America PAC, which supports immigration reform-minded candidates.
But he also was greeted by smaller-than-expected audiences at events Tuesday and Wednesday, and he continues to be distracted by the controversy over his remarks suggesting that the United States could threaten Muslim holy sites to deter nuclear terrorist attacks on U.S. cities.
Still, the South Carolina tour confirmed that Tancredo has fans far from his Denver suburbs district - and some want him to push the fight against illegal immigration all the way to the White House.
"It has got to be him because he is the issue," retired Army Lt. Col. Tom Loftain said Wednesday after a breakfast reception in Summerville, S.C.
Joe Kress, a retired Air Force officer, agreed.
"He's not going to get anywhere unless he gets in the presidential politics," Kress said. "He wants a voice. He wants national attention. That's the way to go."
More than 2 1/2 years before the presidential contest heats up, Tancredo has now stumped in the three states that lead off the traditional primary season calendar: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
As a little-known fourth-term congressman who's often on the outs with his own party leadership, Tancredo knows he faces the longest of odds to win the White House. He keeps saying he just wants to pressure other contenders to embrace his hard line about securing the borders and oppose President Bush's proposed guest-worker plan, which he equates to "amnesty" for illegal immigrants.
In case he decides to run, however, he already has the makings of a volunteer force in eastern Iowa, and now, South Carolina.
"He's the only voice of reason I see," said R.E. "Reggie" Sharpe, a sheriff's detective who arranged a Tuesday night meeting for Tancredo at a Fraternal Order of Police hall in Hanahan, S.C. "Most people are reluctant to speak (against illegal immigration), lest you get a label."
For years, critics have accused Tancredo of racism or xenophobia. On his recent barnstorming trips in Iowa and South Carolina, he has tried to send a message to racists who might be in the audiences.
"This is not a race issue," he told Wednesday's gathering in Summerville. "If there's anyone who comes at the issue with that kind of a mind-set, I say, 'Get lost.' "
In South Carolina, some people who shook hands with Tancredo said they were hearing his name for the first time. He has a daunting task if he wants to raise his national profile to be on par with other rumored presidential contenders such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and former New York Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In his recent travels, he's trying to take advantage of the political vacuum between the 2004 and 2006 elections, when most of the bigger-name presidential wannabes are lying low.
Is he just trying to stir the issue? Or is he really thinking about a run?
Even his biggest fans are not sure.
"I think he's running a national campaign," said Ron Turner, who invited Tancredo to address the Low Country Conservative GOP Breakfast Club on Wednesday. "His national campaign is immigration reform. What we don't know is what his political aspirations are."
Unfortunately, I think it will take a suitcase nuke, brought in by an AQ type from Mexico, with restrictions put on the Border Patrol by some idiot federal judge, that will cause this "perfect storm" to erupt. And that will not come without a lot of casualties, all laid at the feet of the "illegals-are-ok" crowd.
What I meant was that I'm assuming Hillary is the Dem nominee, so therefore if she faced off against McCain it wouldn't matter who would win as it relates to immigration. Both would be horrible.
I just hope he isn't in danger of holding his congressional seat because of his recent remarks about possible responses to Muslim extremist setting off a nuke in the United States.
This FReeper thinks that Tancredo actually helped himself with this statement. There are a LOT of people who feel that way, just as there are a LOT of people who want illegal immigration to be fixed.
His seat is safe. His chances of being a serious contender for POTUS are not very good IMHO.
Well he knows he has little to no shot at the Presidency, and has said repeatedly that his run would simply be to put pressure on those who do have a good chance.
And I agree in that I don't think his recent controversial remarks in and of themselves will hurt him, but I do think they can be used by the media and the left to hurt him. By that I mean they will try to make supporting Tancredo something one should be embarrassed about.
Well, you did leave out one group: legal Mexicans who got here like everyone else: "This is what happens when you allow people to break the law---we all get blamed."
I recall the Democrats saying that Gray Davis would never be recalled and only a tiny group was driving it. This went on for months. Gray Davis himself said the recall was being driven by a small faction of the radical right wing, and they would never pull off a recall.
5 months later, he was no longer governor.
2008 is a long while off. By then the mood won't be good, given the fact that that by 08 there will probably be another 7,000,000 illegals in our country.
"He's just stirring the issue (and it does need stirring). I doubt he really has any interest in the white house and the republicans would smear him seven ways from Sunday to prevent it. However the GOP had better wake up and admit that they have a serious problem when it comes to border control."
The GOP are not going to do anything about illegal immigration, period. They are going to come up with some BS plan to add more border patrol agents(which are not allowed to do their jobs), or some other controlled worker(amnesty) program. Once these immigrants are here there is no getting rid of them. They are now making phony documentation that the FBI is having a hard time deciphering its authenticiy. Vote Tancredo or constitution party before it is to late.
We are at a point where the pols have put a pall on anything regarding this subject.
If all he does is create a point of stir to make someone face up to this problem he will have done a world of good in the right direction. There isn't a lot of point in waiting until we are conquered to raise the issue.
but I do think they can be used by the media and the left to hurt him.
That's likely. However, when we have our next terrorist attack on US soil, his words will resonate with the majority. Unfortunately, 60% or more of our population have either forgotten about 9/11 or honestly think that our Homeland Security is capable of protecting us 100%. This 60% will also be very angry after we get hit again. Tancredo will sound like a hero then due to his stance on immigration(the attack will be attributed to our porous borders) and his statement.
given the fact that that by 08 there will probably be another 7,000,000 illegals in our country.
and...we will likely have experienced at least one more terrorist attack on our soil. The 20,000,000 or so illegals will have shown their true financial impact by 08 and 7,000,000 will only add to that. Spanish will be our official language soon thereafter.
Very strange times.
I know a Mexican-American family in Mesa, AZ, that opened one of the best restaurants in the Valley. He is a vet (Korea?) and is a member of every civic organization you can think of. It's outrageous that someone like him gets lumped in with the lawbreakers who need to be sent back with extreme prejudice.
Can anyone imagine? A Tancredo/Norman Schwarzkopf team?
No more D.C. insiders. They need to be completely cleaned out.
Where did you find that quote?
If just one bad guy is found connected with a terrorist attack on this country and it's subsequently discovered he crossed our border illegally, I agree, all bets are off.