Thursday, December 20, 2007

Colorado U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo Withdraws From Republican Presidential Race, Endorses Mitt Romney

Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo has indeed officially announced his withdrawal from the Republican Presidential race and has chosen to throw his support to Mitt Romney. Reported on December 20th, 2007 by the Associated Press, by CNN, and the Washington Post.

Transcript of press conference HERE.

Recognizing that his campaign had not proceeded beyond the marginal stage, and concerned that he could end up a spoiler that could help nominate a candidate who would not protect the country's border, Tancredo finally decided to pack it in. His endorsement of Mitt Romney is based primarily on his perception that Romney is the strongest remaining prominent candidate on immigration issues and that his candidacy is strong enough to go the distance. He acknowledged that he does not agree with Romney on all issues, though.

Tancredo conceded that his campaign for the presidency had always been a long shot, saying that "we've always known the odds were enormous." But he asserted that his candidacy was also intended to force all of the candidates to become more aggressive on the issue of immigration and of forcing the issue "to the forefront of the national debate."

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC poll from Iowa, where immigration is the top issue among GOP voters - only 2 percent planned to support Tancredo, but 11 percent called him best on immigration. Data also show Romney has a slight advantage among immigration voters, but faces a large deficit among those focused on social issues.

Tancredo had run a campaign almost totally focused on the need to close the country's borders and deport the estimated 11 million immigrants who are here illegally. His critics called him xenophobic. But he never backed down on the issue that has animated his entire public career. It is well-known that the Denver Post has carried on a thinly-disguised long-term editorial vendetta against Tancredo.

For more on Tancredo's announcement, see The Fix.

There's no evidence of a quid pro quo, such as VP or Cabinet consideration, being offered at this time. While some might think a Romney-Tancredo ticket might offer good geographical balance because Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, the fact remains that, despite Romney's impressive polling numbers in New Hampshire, his strongest power base is in Utah and so may be perceived more as a Westerner. In addition, Tancredo, despite his stalwart opposition to illegal immigration (or perhaps because of it) is perceived as too divisive and too polarizing by too many. However, Tancredo might make a good choice for Department of Homeland Security in a Romney Administration.

Tancredo has also previously renounced any intent to seek re-election to his House seat, which, despite the Denver Post's machinations, would remain basically a safe seat. However, Tancredo has not ruled out running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Wayne Allard in 2008.

Voice Of Deseret is disappointed that Tom Tancredo did not choose to endorse Ron Paul, but at least he didn't endorse Giuliani, McCain, or Huckabee, thank God. However, Voice Of Deseret expresses its editorial thanks for Tancredo's stalwart opposition to illegal immigration and relentless exposure of the problem, and wishes him well in his future endeavors.

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