Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Colorado U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo May Drop Out Of The Republican Presidential Sweepstakes On December 20th

Special Update: December 20th, 2007. Tom Tancredo does indeed withdraw from the race and endorses Mitt Romney. No word on any "quid pro quo" (promise of VP or Cabinet consideration). Reported by the Associated Press and the Washington Post.

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo plans to drop out of the race during an announcement Thursday afternoon (December 20th) in Des Moines, Iowa, GOP sources close to the campaign have told FOX News. Other sources, including the Associated Press, the Rocky Mountain News, and MSNBC are reporting the same thing.

Tancredo would not personally confirm whether he will pull out of the race. “I will neither confirm nor deny that report,” Tancredo told FOX News. But he added, “I wouldn’t have a press conference if I didn’t have anything to say.”

Tancredo, who has aggressively pushed his anti-illegal immigration message throughout the GOP primary race, has not been able to break through in the polls against his better known competitors. He and California Rep. Duncan Hunter typically poll in the single digits behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul in national surveys. The prestigious National Journal stopped referring to the Hunter and Tancredo campaigns weeks ago.

The five-term Colorado representative already announced in late October that he would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives in 2008. He said at the time that his core issue of illegal immigration has been elevated to national prominence and that he doesn’t need to remain in Congress to promote it. Perhaps he's beginning to feel the same way about his Presidential candidacy; even Mike Huckabee has done a startingly 180-degree about face and is now taking a hard line on immigration (beware of those "road to Damascus"-type conversions, however). Read some truth about Mike Huckabee HERE.

Tancredo focused primarily on immigration at the Republican presidential debate a week ago in Iowa, saying immigration without assimilation is a “catastrophe.” Tancredo refused to participate in a Spanish-language debate on Univision in early December. He told FOX News he did not want to encourage immigrants in America to speak Spanish as their primary language. On the other hand, in July 2007, Tancredo was the only Republican candidate to show up for an NAACP debate.

Commentary: Tancredo's likely exit from the race raises several questions:

(1). Who will he endorse? It's safe to say he won't endorse Giuliani. There is some scuttlebutt that he might endorse Fred Thompson. Duncan Hunter is a possibility, but I don't see it helping Hunter. Perhaps the most likely possibility is that Tancredo will endorse Ron Paul. An article published December 19th in USA Today, in which he asks Ron Paul to clarify an essay sent out by one of his supporters, indicates the possibility that Tancredo may be closely scrutinizing the Paul campaign to determine whether or not to throw his support to Paul.

(2). Who would take him as a running mate? Most likely no one; he is considered too shrill and too divisive by too many. Ron Paul might be the most likely to consider him, but I think Paul might want someone to broaden his appeal. I could easily support a Paul-Tancredo ticket, but Ron Paul has attracted too many who could not stand Tancredo. The secret to Ron Paul's appeal is that he's assembling a "coalition of the damned", who are primarily uniting behind a strong dislike for the Federal government and the increasing burdens imposed upon the average citizen.

You know who would be a superb running mate for Ron Paul? Sarah Palin. A Paul-Palin ticket could mop the floor with any Democratic combination.

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