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."
"Is he just trying to stir the issue? Or is he really thinking about a run?"
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.
"We have to get a president who will do something about (illegal immigration) -- that's why I'm here," he said. Though he also has visited Iowa, another crucial primary state, he said he has no presidential aspirations of his own. He said he would support somebody taller and better-looking.
"I'm too short, I'm too fat, I'm too bald to be the president of the United States," he said.
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. I know the Dems talked a big game in 2004 about upsetting him with some phony moderate challenger, and while Tancredo beat her by 20 points, I believe it was a relatively lower showing for him.
It would be nice if Tancredo could force the eventual nominee to adopt positions that at least resemble conservative values. While I doubt Giuliani could get the nomination, he is nonetheless thought of as a frontrunner right now with McCain, and its a pretty safe bet that both would be atrocious on immigration. McCain has even sponsored a stealth amnesty with Ted Kennedy, so a little pressure from the base would be nice.
Without such pressure, its easy to imagine GOP primary debates where discourse over immigration never rises above the nauseating platitudes that have somehow come to substitute for rational arguments.
You really need to get this right.
It is chaired by Pat's sister Bay Buchanan, not Pat himself.
right.....and no I don't believe it for a second....
not with Buchanan at any rate....
The critics, of course, being the illegal immigration cheerleaders and the racist organizations that support them including LULAC, MALDEF, La Raza, and MEChA.
I don't intend to vote for any republican who isn't willing to take a firm stance on border control. The GOP has time to prove something to me but they had better not waste it and they better not try to feed me doublespeak.
If they wait till the last few months or weeks to pretend to support border control it will be too late. I'll vote for 3rd parties or write myself in.
" Run by Pat Buchanan no less..."
Which democrat paid you to make that statement? You know it is simply a lie.
Is this animus towards Pat Buchanan inspired solely by his genuinely conservative stances on immigration, or is there more to it?
I mean, I think he's wrong about Israel, but he's correct on immigration and the culture war.
Well, at least he'd be getting advice from someone who was correct about GOALS 2000, shutting down the borders, NAFTA, etc. vs. one of the country club conservatives that see no problem with huge trade and budget deficits, swarms of illegals, nation-wrecking trade agreements.....just so taxes stay low.
McCain is a frustraing character. On the one hand he does have a fairly solid conservative lifetime voting record -- http://www.acuratings.org/statedelegation.asp?state=az -- but it has been less conservative as of late, and one gets the feeling that he'll continue moving left if that's what it takes to maintain his adoring press.
He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, but voted for the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. He has come out both for and against overturning Roe vs Wade. He has been mostly pro-Second Amendment.
I think the one thing that could really put McCain over the top in winning the nomination is a promise to the social conservative base that he would appoint Scalia/Thomas types to the Sup Court.
Giuliani would have a lot of credentials with law and order and national security, but he's too liberal on social issues. McCain at least does have a record of casting many conservative votes in the culture war.
So while I agree that neither would be ideal, I do however think McCain's chances are pretty good. And unless he can be pressured into dropping his support for amnesty, then I think we could look forward to at least 4 more years of having no chance for good immigration reform, because Hillary would clearly be no better.
At first, I thought Tancredo's remarks about Mecca were stupid and terminal. Now I'm thinking they are principled. Anything could happen between now and 2008. If the wrong thing happens, Tancredo's remarks may make him President.
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.
That's the way it works when one group spreads malicious false myths about another group. The good get hurt as much as the bad.
You don't give the American voter enough credit for being able to apply common sense instead of reacting out of pure emotionalism like many who have been caught up in the anti-immigrant hysteria.
President Bush has been advocating immigration reforms for five years that the Secretary of Homeland Defense recently testified are necessary to secure the border against terrorists. Immediately after his testimony Tancredo vowed to block the reforms necessary to protect us from terrorists getting through the border defenses.
If there were to be an incident linked to ineffective border defense, Tancredo would be the one with blood on his hands, not President Bush.
Tancredo and the Buchanans are simply bungling amateurs compared to Karl Rove when it comes to political strategy. Tancredo has already shot himself in the foot while it was in his mouth.
Well, Tan should NOT vote to block ANY reform. If it doesn't go far enough, use the old Marxist-Leninist philosophy: pass it, then come back for more. But we need both: we need the "pragmatists" who can get legislation passed now, and we need the guys ringing the alarm bell like Tan, because the bell needs to be rung! Heck, today in Colo. seven libraries have become ALL SPANISH. That's outrageous.
When you say "anti-immigrant", do you mean anti-legal immigrant or anti-illegal immigrant? Oh wait, I forgot that you don't make a distinction between legal and illegal when it comes to immigration.
Based on your post and tag line one could easily get the impression that you are just giddy with anticipation of a terrorist attack on America. People really concerned about terrorism don't look forward with glee to another attack.
Rod, we've been here before. How about if I told you that I predicted a major terrorist attack on the USA three years before 9/11 happened. My 35 years experience with the military, my year of living in Saudi Arabia and my studying of strategy may have something to do with it too.
I am by no means an expert on it, but unlike you, I am willing to look at the "whole" picture. There is no doubt where you stand on illegal immigration and wide open borders. If 20,000,000 illegal immigrants and hundreds of tons of illegal drugs can be brought into the USA every year, you can be assured our enemy has, and will exploit our open borders. For once, do your homework. It is estimated that 30% of the illegals entering the country today are OTM's with absolutely no doudt that a large number of them are from ME countries. We could triple the size of our Homeland Security and still not be able to follow up on their movements.
As for your comment that I am giddy about another terrorist attack on our soil. I just consider that statement another of your foolish FROBL rants. I have stated here on FR hundreds of times that another attack on our soil is the very last thing that I or any other loyal citizen wants. I also say that it is likely that it will take another attack to wake up jackasses like yourself to the fact that we cannot allow millions to come into our country unchecked and free to roam our country. After our next attack, the American public(except for a few like yourself) will DEMAND a complete crackdown on immigration.
I haven't defended this country for 35 years to be 'GIDDY" about being attacked by terrorists. No need to apologize and thank me again for my service, we've BTDT already. I only ask that, for once, you open your eyes and realize that myself and most FReepers are not racists, but realists about wanting immigration controls.
Once a quisling, always a quisling...
The animus isn't limited to Buchanan but every single Republican who has failed to constantly lick George Bush's psuedo-conservative toes on every single issue. It includes Schlafly, Buckley, Keyes, and recently Coulter for dissing Roberts. It's cult of personality crap backed by a fictive 11th commandment that is reminiscient of Clinton koolaid swallowing. From exapanding Federal government to the appointment of queer ambassadors to pledging to sign assault weapons bans to Federal meddling in religious charities to expanding the Federal role in education to the new Wilsonian/Kennedy doctrine foreign policy ....don't you dare criticize the fearless leader you DU Commie rat bag.