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TARGET: Tom Tancredo (Warned "never to darken the door of the White House again.")
Roll Call ^ | November 18, 2002 | Josh Kurtz

Posted on 11/18/2002 6:23:24 PM PST by Mark Felton

November 18, 2002

Target: Tom Tancredo

Some Say GOPPrimary Challenge Likely

By Josh Kurtz He represents one of the most conservative districts in the nation. He just trounced his Democratic challenger by 37 points. Yet Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) may be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the 2004 election cycle.

Tancredo, a controversial, outspoken voice for the Republican right who is entering his third term, has angered leading Republicans back home and in the White House.

The House Member's criticisms of President Bush's immigration policy bought him a 40-minute rebuke earlier this year from Bush adviser Karl Rove, who, in the Congressman's own words, warned him "never to darken the door of the White House again." And his decision to renounce his pledge to serve only three terms has infuriated powerful Colorado Republicans, including his political patron, former Sen. Bill Armstrong (R).

"I'll be surprised if he doesn't have a primary [in 2004]," said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Colorado pollster.

Several Republicans, including popular state Treasurer Mike Coffman, who just won a landslide re-election of his own, are considering taking on Tancredo in the '04 primary.

Other potential candidates include state Sen. Jim Dyer (R) and former Arapahoe County Commissioner Steve Ward. "It's a given" that someone will run against the 56-year-old lawmaker, Coffman said. "There are questions about his term-limit pledge. When you have someone like Senator Armstrong, who was his mentor, backing away from him - I think that resonates."

Armstrong was instrumental in getting Tancredo elected in the first place, endorsing him over four strong opponents in a competitive GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Dan Schaefer (R) in 1998. By Tancredo's reckoning, Armstrong's blessing was worth 3 points at the polls - which just happened to be his margin of victory in the primary.

Even though he may not seek re-election in 2004 - and would consider running for Senate if Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R) retires - he has chucked the term-limit promise nevertheless.

"The term-limit pledge in and of itself is not the deciding factor if he will run again," said Tancredo spokeswoman Lara Kennedy.

Like all Members who change their minds on term limits, Tancredo has cast his decision as being in the best interests of his district and pet causes. Tancredo wants to preserve his seniority for his suburban district south of Denver and angle for better committee assignments. Plus, he does not want to lose the momentum he has built fighting the government's open immigration policies, Kennedy said. Tancredo is the founder of the House Immigration Reform Caucus.

While plenty of politicians have broken their term-limit pledges before, including Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.), Tancredo's decision is more noteworthy because he once headed Colorado's term-limit organization.

"All too often you have terrific candidates who come to Washington with the best of intentions, but they get too comfortable, and when the time comes, they don't want to go home," lamented Stacie Rumenap, a spokeswoman for U.S.Term Limits.

Whether Tancredo suffers any political damage remains to be seen. So far, the handful of Members who have broken their pledges, including McInnis, have not suffered any consequences at the polls, Rumenap conceded. And U.S.Term Limits is not in the business of recruiting challengers to incumbents who have broken the pledge.

Tancredo has promised to return campaign contributions to donors who are dismayed at his decision to ignore the term-limits pledge. But Armstrong - who did not respond to several messages left at his Denver law office - called the refund offer "hollow," according to The Rocky Mountain News.

Armstrong, meanwhile, has offered some kind words about Coffman.

"Mike Coffman is someone the Republican Party and the people of Colorado will rally around,"he told the News. "There is no doubt in my mind that he will be on the short list for whatever comes along - it could be governor, it could be Senator, it could be Congress."

Coffman, in fact, began running for Congress last year - in the new 7th district, which adjoins Tancredo's. But when the final district lines were drawn, Coffman found himself in Tancredo's 6th district, just a few blocks from the 7th, and chose not to move or run.

Coffman said that while he has not given much thought to the 2004 election yet, he believes that Tancredo will be vulnerable. The three Republicans most frequently mentioned as challengers are all military veterans, while Tancredo is not, and that could make a difference in a district that values military service, political insiders said.

Coffman, a 47-year-old Marine Corps vet who served in Operation Desert Storm, said Tancredo's military deferments during the Vietnam War would hurt him as America prepares to attack Iraq, and could be linked to his decision to ignore the term-limit pledge.

"Here's a guy ordering young men off to war and he himself didn't serve," he said. "I think in this conservative district, something like that could resonate."

Certainly, Tancredo's record would contrast with Coffman's, or Dyer's, who is an Air Force veteran, or Ward's, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves and is on active duty in Florida.

Dyer called it "highly unlikely" that he would challenge Tancredo, but said somebody else might, and predicted that the term-limit issue would sting the incumbent.

"I think a number of people that support Tom are not going to support him if he breaks the term-limit pledge,"said Dyer, who was a surrogate for Tancredo at a candidate forum this fall. "We can't say that situational ethics is bad for party A but not for party B."

Ward, a former mayor of suburban Glendale, could not be reached for comment, but is expected to return to Colorado next year. In an interview with the News after completing his one term on the Arapahoe County Commission, Ward made his opinion of politicians who stay in office too long perfectly clear.

"Any politician who can't find the bathrooms in the first week doesn't deserve to be in public office," he said.

It is unclear whether the White House would try to get involved in a primary challenge to Tancredo.

But it is fair to say that Tancredo is not one of the president's favorite people. Earlier this year, the Congressman accused Bush of pandering to Hispanic voters and trying to prop up Mexican President Vicente Fox by offering amnesty to certain undocumented immigrants. That declaration brought an angry 40-minute phone call from Rove, and Bush pointedly failed to introduce Tancredo to the crowd during a political rally in Colorado in September.

With his hard-line views on immigration, Tancredo is no stranger to controversy. In 1999, he gained publicity for reaffirming his support for gun owners' rights just days after the massacre at Columbine High School, which is six blocks from his house.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report last summer linking Tancredo to extremist groups, which the Congressman dismissed as "McCarthyism."

And he was embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that undocumented workers had been hired to do some construction work on his Littleton home.

But pollster Ciruli said Tancredo's views on immigration are in line with his constituents'.

"Nobody who's going to argue the soft side of immigration is going to beat him in the Republican primary, or even in the general," he said.

After seeing two fairly viable opponents get wiped out by Tancredo in 1998 and 2000, Democrats appear to have abandoned the 6th district - leaving Republicans there to decide whether they want him to remain in office.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: immigrantlist
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The Republican Party continues to purge conservative activists. Most of the 1994 "Revolutionaries" have been expelled.

For 40 years Democrat voters had the idea that the Democrat party stood for the values they believed in from the 1940's, 50' and 60's. They became attached to the name of the party and overlooked the true modern socialist values of the Democrat party.

Modern Republicans must be wary that the party of Reagan continues to truly hold the values of Reagan.

Classical conservatives (pro-liberty conservatives) must ask themselves if the modern Republican party truly stands for classical, traditional conservative values.

1 posted on 11/18/2002 6:23:24 PM PST by Mark Felton
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Mark Felton
Most of the 1994 "Revolutionaries" have been expelled

Who are they, and who expelled them? Trancredo is ineffective because he is strident. His style gets in the way of his message. If he was more measured and thoughtful, and calm in presenting his evidence, he would not so easily be sluffed off.

3 posted on 11/18/2002 6:29:43 PM PST by Torie
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To: DoughtyOne; Spiff; Tancredo Fan; AAABEST
ping
4 posted on 11/18/2002 6:30:05 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: Mark Felton
I'll consider Tancredo if he runs in '04 primary. It's time to send the Bushies a message:Stop appeasing the illegal alien lobby.
5 posted on 11/18/2002 6:30:49 PM PST by Commander8
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To: Mark Felton
"never to darken the door of the White House again."

Maybe he should wear a sombrero when he goes to see his compadre GWB?
6 posted on 11/18/2002 6:30:53 PM PST by APBaer
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To: Mark Felton
Unbelievable!!
7 posted on 11/18/2002 6:34:44 PM PST by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: Mark Felton
And he was embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that undocumented workers had been hired to do some construction work on his Littleton home.

That is a riot. He is going down. He sounds like that idiot James Traficant.

The Republican and Democratic party are teams. If you are not on the team you are off it.

If he keeps screwing with the power structure the DOJ will get him an all expense paid trip to join James Traficant in making license plates. Scottie can beam them both up.

8 posted on 11/18/2002 6:36:10 PM PST by Common Tator
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To: Mark Felton
"The House Member's criticisms of President Bush's immigration policy bought him a 40-minute rebuke earlier this year from Bush adviser Karl Rove"

I think this pretty much says it all as to what Bush's politics on sucuring our borders are, and therefor what his position is on seeing that the American people are secure.

9 posted on 11/18/2002 6:36:19 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Kerberos
I think this pretty much says it all as to what Bush's politics on sucuring our borders are, and therefor what his position is on seeing that the American people are secure.

You think this says it all?

Well, you're easy--if you have a predisposed opinion, that is.

10 posted on 11/18/2002 6:39:23 PM PST by cyncooper
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To: Mark Felton
Tancredo is, as Torie said, strident. Getting in Bush's face was not necessary, nor did he endear himself with his breaking of his term limits pledge.

Tom Coburn from Oklahoma kept his promise. Tancredo can't keep his because his "supporters" have turned him into a showboater who thinks he's "indispensable."

If Armstrong and Karl Rove oppose him in 2004, he's dead meat.

11 posted on 11/18/2002 6:40:18 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Mark Felton
even though I knew this was coming, I am still enraged. What other conclusion can a clear-thinking person come to except George Bush is a fake, NWO, fraud saboteur(or a complete, incompetent idiot) responsible for putting the nail in the coffin of America. I challenge any bushbot to defend this--if they can.
12 posted on 11/18/2002 6:42:05 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: dirtboy
Thanks for the ping. Rove will one day eat his own words, I suspect.
13 posted on 11/18/2002 6:42:36 PM PST by Tancredo Fan
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To: Common Tator
The Republican and Democratic party are teams. If you are not on the team you are off it.
If he keeps screwing with the power structure the DOJ will get him an all expense paid trip to join James Traficant in making license plates

You have a peculiar concept of how things should be in a free country.

14 posted on 11/18/2002 6:43:19 PM PST by RodgerD
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To: Common Tator
Actually, an illegal immigrant admitted to giving false papers to a contractor Tancredo hired. The leftist media crated a tempest. An "conservaitves" like you support them.
15 posted on 11/18/2002 6:43:57 PM PST by rmlew
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To: Mark Felton
Modern Republicans must be wary that the party of Reagan continues to truly hold the values of Reagan.

Lying to your constituents over your length of service is not a "Reagan value."

16 posted on 11/18/2002 6:44:29 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Mark Felton
I am glad someone is trying to fill B-1 Bob's shoes.
17 posted on 11/18/2002 6:45:11 PM PST by ambrose
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To: BrowningBAR
If he is challenged that WE (Those who care about him and his message) will have to support him in a re-election fight.

He is the only poltician that I have considered for monetary support.

I'll definitely donate to his campaign in 2004 if he is challenged in the primary.

18 posted on 11/18/2002 6:45:34 PM PST by HennepinPrisoner
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To: Mark Felton
Classical conservatives (pro-liberty conservatives) must ask themselves if the modern Republican party truly stands for classical, traditional conservative values.

They don't.... period. End of story. The ones that do get castigated and ridiculed.

19 posted on 11/18/2002 6:45:36 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: sinkspur
Lying to your constituents over your length of service is not a "Reagan value."

No, but lying about not raising taxes is a Bush value.

20 posted on 11/18/2002 6:45:56 PM PST by ambrose
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To: AAABEST
Tancredo is no longer needed.
21 posted on 11/18/2002 6:46:54 PM PST by ACAC
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Common Tator
Actually it was the contractor who hired the Illegals, but they had docummentation saying they were legal.

Of course after INS found out they were immediately released and allowed to vote democratic.

BTW it doesn't hurt to shout occasionally.

23 posted on 11/18/2002 6:47:40 PM PST by dts32041
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To: Tancredo Fan
I sick of hearing about what a great guy Rove is. Rove abandoned California to another four years of one-party Democrat rule after his preferred RINO candidate Riordan lost in the primary.
24 posted on 11/18/2002 6:47:48 PM PST by ambrose
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To: APBaer
Karl Rove...Karl Rove...I can't remember whether I voted for him or not.
25 posted on 11/18/2002 6:48:00 PM PST by henderson field
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To: ambrose
No, but lying about not raising taxes is a Bush value.

Has George W. Bush raised taxes, dimwit? If anything, he's lowered taxes, and will lower them further.

George W. ain't his dad, which is why Tancredo is in trouble.

26 posted on 11/18/2002 6:49:04 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: sinkspur
You look cute with those cheerleader pom poms. Perhaps you and Trent Lott could have a competition.
27 posted on 11/18/2002 6:50:20 PM PST by ambrose
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To: cyncooper
"Well, you're easy--if you have a predisposed opinion, that is. "

There's nothing predisposed about it. Have you seen the government protecting our borders? No. Have you even seen them remotely act like they are going to protect our borders? No. We now have groups that are forming on the border just to protect their property because the government won't do anything about the invasion that is scouring on a daily bases, and has been occurring for many years now.

Sorry, but I don't have to get hit upside the head with a sledgehammer before I get the picture. Maybe you do?

28 posted on 11/18/2002 6:51:17 PM PST by Kerberos
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To: Common Tator
If the parties are teams, then those who think we've already met our quota in the immigrant department are apparently not on either team. Is that it?
29 posted on 11/18/2002 6:51:32 PM PST by henderson field
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To: Common Tator
And he was embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that undocumented workers had been hired to do some construction work on his Littleton home.

If I recall, this came out prior to his election, and it turned out he hired a contractor who had an illegal on the payroll. The contractor himself was an American.

TC

30 posted on 11/18/2002 6:52:10 PM PST by I_be_tc
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To: Mark Felton
The headline got my hopes up that Tancredo had decided to challenge the Fox-Bush team in the '04 Presidential primary. Instead we hear that Jorge's consiglieri are gunning for him.
31 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:03 PM PST by RodgerD
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To: sinkspur
NWO

Why did you bother replying when (s)he helpfully included the "ignore this post" marker?

32 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:16 PM PST by AmishDude
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To: ambrose
I sick of hearing about what a great guy Rove is. Rove abandoned California to another four years of one-party Democrat rule after his preferred RINO candidate Riordan lost in the primary.

Ambrose, you're just dense.

Rove engineered the GOP majority we have now.

Simon was a pathetic, loser candidate, who couldn't figure out whether he was for gay rights, or against gay rights; who tried to set Davis up with a phony picture, and who couldn't beat a governor with the lowest approval ratings in 50 years.

Riordan, for all his warts, would have beaten Davis, and could have engineered California in Bush's direction in 2004.

Simon smelled like a loser, and Rove steered clear of him.

33 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:21 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Mark Felton

God bless Tancredo. God damn the useless Republican party.
34 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:23 PM PST by RLK
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To: Mark Felton
Tancredo has been effective precisely because he delivers a message that most of the Republican party doesn't have the cajones to deliver. Call him strident if you like. People listen.

Bush is likely to move closer to Tancredo's position before 2004 because the tide is rising. The sniper incident has brought illegal immigration to the public's attention and more and more people want the borders closed.

As far as the Karl Rove phone call to Tancredo, this is very old news. It happened in the spring of 2001 so if a Republican wanted to challenge Tom in his district they had plenty of time to do so this election.

And the person who commented on the illegal workers that Tancredo supposedly hired should get his facts straight. Tancredo hired a licensed legal contractor to do some work on his home. The contractor had a couple of illegals on his payroll. This is not something that Tancredo should have known and it's not something that you would know either.

Tom announced mid-campaign that he would not honor the term limit committment in 2004. Since Tom made that committment the Supreme Court found term limits unconstitutional. In my mind that changes things. He could have waited till after the election but being an honest man he told his constituents in time for them to vote him out this time if they wanted to. You see the results.

Tom has support from all over the state and country. I don't live in his district but I support him financially as do many others.

Now who is Josh Kurtz and what is his agenda?

35 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:37 PM PST by Myrean
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To: Mark Felton
I'm divided on this one. Something needs to be done about illegal immigrants. But it needs to be done in a way that won't offend Hispanics and other groups Republicans need if they are to have any future. In other words, there are two important issues at stake, and some way has to be found to achieve both of them.

Pete Wilson demonstrated that if you handle the immigration issue the wrong way, it will kill you. His clumsy handling of illegal immigrants in California cost Republicans the state, and they are still struggling to get back into the game.

I don't say that Rove is handling this the right way, either. It's not an easy problem to deal with.
36 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:48 PM PST by Cicero
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To: Tancredo Fan
"Rove will one day eat his own words, I suspect"

Con salsa?
37 posted on 11/18/2002 6:54:53 PM PST by APBaer
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To: Common Tator
And he was embarrassed earlier this year when it was revealed that undocumented workers had been hired to do some construction work on his Littleton home.

First of all there was some discrepancy as to whether the workers were illegal or not.

Secondly, and more importantly, Tancredo hired a contractor who hired the illegals. This is nor more an indictment of Tancredo than it would be for you or I to eat at a restaurant where illegals are washing the dishes. Would you or I be accused of having illegals working for us in such a case? Probably not, unless the Denver Post wanted to smear our reputation in retaliation for inquiring about the status of a known illegal (Jesus Apodaca) attending high school in the Denver area.

38 posted on 11/18/2002 6:55:06 PM PST by gubamyster
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To: ambrose
You look cute with those cheerleader pom poms. Perhaps you and Trent Lott could have a competition.

You argue like a high-school sophomore, ambrose.

39 posted on 11/18/2002 6:56:35 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Torie
Trancredo is ineffective because he is strident.

--------------------------

He's strident. Good. Thank God somebody other than just me has the guts to be strident.

40 posted on 11/18/2002 6:57:36 PM PST by RLK
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To: APBaer
Con salsa?

Hopefully, and in the cesspool del sur he's evidently been pandering to. You know, the one the vast majority of Americans want nothing to do with.

41 posted on 11/18/2002 6:57:44 PM PST by Tancredo Fan
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To: sinkspur
Has George W. Bush raised taxes, dimwit?

You argue like a High School freshman, sinkspur.

42 posted on 11/18/2002 6:58:17 PM PST by ambrose
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To: henderson field
Coffman, the Marine Corps vet, seems to find something wrong with Tancredo because he didn't serve in the military.

Frankly, all this "thank you for your service to our country" BS is getting a little tired. Anyone who has served in the military knows that the services are replete with foul-ups and clymers (from General to Private). The fact that one has or has not served in the military offers no real gauge for potential success in the political arena.

As for Tancredo himelf, he is a tough campaigner, and he is taking-on the illegal immigration issue when no one else will; he would probably defeat Coffman, or anyone else, that takes him on -- regardless of what Rove or Bush do.

43 posted on 11/18/2002 6:58:57 PM PST by gaspar
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To: RLK
Would not you prefer someone who pursued his agenda, or much of it, in a way that was more effective?
44 posted on 11/18/2002 6:59:06 PM PST by Torie
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To: Common Tator
Republican and Democratic party are teams. If you are not on the team you are off it.

That is only the case for conservatives. Liberals like John Warner can buck the team and get wet kissed from the powers that be. Conservatives are tossed out if they fail to bow to the party elite.

45 posted on 11/18/2002 6:59:47 PM PST by SUSSA
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To: RLK
God damn the useless Republican party.

Using God's name in vain is the "old fart" response to an argument. Especially when the Republican party is in total control of the United States Government for the first time in 50 Years!

Really "useless," huh?

46 posted on 11/18/2002 6:59:56 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Cicero
Something needs to be done about illegal immigrants. But it needs to be done in a way that won't offend Hispanics and other groups Republicans need if they are to have any future.

Something needs to be done about illegals before the Republican base becomes "offended" and looks elsewhere. The way this administration is appeasing Hispanics and other groups is offending me!

47 posted on 11/18/2002 7:00:35 PM PST by gubamyster
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To: sinkspur
Watch your language!

I'll ask you again... (although I think I'm wasting my time with you) Defend G.W. Bush's actions. What conclusions did you come up with after reading this story? Forget about Tancredo for a second. He is not the story. It might as well have been anyone with Tancredo's platform. Bush is, for some reason, dead set against preserving our borders, language and culture. (apologies to Michael Savage)Do you agree with this?

48 posted on 11/18/2002 7:01:15 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: Common Tator; holyscroller; Spiff; HiJinx; flamefront; Drill Alaska; healey22; lutine; ...
If he keeps screwing with the power structure the DOJ will get him an all expense paid trip to join James Traficant in making license plates. Scottie can beam them both up.

We're being overrun, and this administration isn't doing a thing about it. When the team starts acting like the opposition, it's time to 'fix' it. Does the U.S. look like some sort of kingdom to you?



49 posted on 11/18/2002 7:02:38 PM PST by Tancredo Fan
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To: Tancredo Fan
With people like you we are sure to reach that elusive 10% mark with the Hsipanic vote in 2004. I am glad Bush is in charge of winning elections and not you or some of the other posters here. Bush just proved he knows what he is doing.
50 posted on 11/18/2002 7:03:07 PM PST by ACAC
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