Bloggers at Colorado Pols today speculated that former U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo had filed exploratory committee papers for the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. In the end it wasn’t true. But in the wake of state Sen. Josh Penry’s withdrawal, Tancredo reports he is in fact preparing to take the plunge and race against fellow Republican McInnis, whom he sees as too moderate. The burning question remains: Was “The Tank” convinced to run by a caller to a KOA Evenings radio show?
The self-proclaimed one issue (illegal immigration! ) presidential candidate known for provocative statements has most recently been heading up his policy organization and acting as a regular talk show host at KOA, in a time slot once hosted by “Gunny” Bob Newman.
On the October 31 broadcast, Tancredo laughed at the notion that he might run for Governor. He jokingly said he was interested in perks– in living at the stately governor’s residence, commanding the national guard, and elk hunting from National Guard helicopters. He agreed with guest Gunny Bob that a chimpanzee could do a better job than Gov. Ritter.
NEWMAN: [The National Guard has] their own helicopters they could take you elk hunting from their helicopters.
TANCREDO: All right it is done. Elk hunting… I’ll do it.”
Tancredo recently questioned why the U.S. should not be allowed to use white phosphorus to ignite enemy troops in the War on Terror. In 2007, Tancredo called for the U.S. to deter terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by threatening to bomb Islamic holy sites.
“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo said. “If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Denver Post, Tancredo also notably whistled Dixie while at a recent convention hosted by anti-illegal immigration group Americans Have Had Enough and promoted by the League of the South, an organization that would like to see the South secede from the Union. Tancredo denied any connection to the League.
Another question: Will Candidate Tancredo continue his KOA talk show?
TANCREDO: I don’t know who you are talking about running for Governor but if it is me I am just very appreciative. John in Berthoud.
CALLER: I would think that Governor-Elect Tom Tancredo would sound like a wonderful thing.
CALLER: If Ritter can do it, you can do it.
TANCREDO: That’s it. That’s it.
CALLER: And you would be way better at it.
TANCREDO: Well thanks, buddy…
CALLER: I wanted to let Tom Tancredo know that I would donate money to your campaign.
TANCREDO: Oh brother. Well listen tomorrow at 9 o’clock and see. That is all it took. Somebody promised me that they would donate money. I will be up on the steps of the capitol tomorrow.
CALLER: And I am quite sure that with what is going now, you would be doing very well financially if you ran.
TANCREDO: Thanks my friend. I appreciate it. It is appealing in many ways. I will tell you, governor is more appealing than the U.S. Senate race, simply because you run for the Senate two things could happen to you, both bad from my point of view. You either lose or you could win.
NEWMAN: It is a lose, lose situation.
TANCREDO: I mean winning six more years in Washington. If I wanted to stay in Washington, I could have probably have that seat for a long time. It is a great seat and I got 60 percent of the vote every time I ran, so that was cool.
But Governor has a lot of allure to it because you get to stay in Colorado. You get that great big beautiful house. But anyway thanks buddy.
CALLER: I do think that if you were governor you could at least protect our borders.
TANCREDO: Ahhh. You bet. You do have the national guard at your command.
CALLER: There is a lot of unused chain link fence out there.
NEWMAN: They got their own helicopters they could take you elk hunting from their helicopters.
TANCREDO: All right it is done. Elk hunting and John is going to contribute. I’ll do it.
CALLER: Anyone of you guys ought to be governor because you could do as least of good of a job as the guy who is there.
TANCREDO: Maybe we could do a tag team governor thing. Now that would be fun. Or a tag team radio thing, that would be fun too.
CALLER: You would do just as good of a job as the guy who is there.
TANCREDO: Give me a break. If I couldn’t do as good of a job as the guy there….
NEWMAN: So could a chimpanzee.
TANCREDO: That is for sure.
NEWMAN: It has a ring to it.
TANCREDO: It does. I must admit it does. I do get the opportunity though– If I didn’t have these opportunities to cathart like crazy on KOA, where we get a lot of frustration off– I get rid of it. You get it all built up. I would be doing something like that. But probably lucky for me, my wife, and all the liberals in Colorado that I do get to do this on the radio, so it takes care of a little bit of the desire I have to get back in that [political] arena.