Former Rep. Tom Tancredo told TheDC Friday that he’s “absolutely” serious about his pledge to run for governor in Colorado in the case his ultimatum to the top GOP gubernatorial candidates there is not fulfilled.
“I will run as hard as I can,” Tancredo said by phone while traveling by car in Colorado.
The firebrand conservative and former presidential candidate — best known for his ardent views on immigration — has caused a raucous by saying he’ll make a third-party run if whoever the Republicans nominate for governor, the day after August’s primary, is polling behind the Democratic nominee.
While Colorado has been seen as a prime gubernatorial pickup opportunity for Republicans, both GOP candidates, Scott McInnis and Don Maes, have weathered ethical criticisms, leading to fear that either candidate will lose in November if nominated.
Tancredo says he won’t run if both candidates publicly pledge to drop out if it still appears they’d lose. “All they have to say is, ‘Look, if I’m not ahead in the polls when we reach the end of the primary, I will indeed at that point drop out and let the party nominate someone else.”
As for whether he’s really interested in state issues, the former congressman said he very much is, “when you consider, for instance, the center stage that immigration has taken, which was of course a federal issue but is now something every state has to try to deal with.”
Since leaving Congress following his unsuccessful 2008 run for president, Tancredo often has made headlines for outlandish comments. But the backlash he sees from that doesn’t bother him, he said.
“Believe me,” he said. “If it bothered me, I would’ve changed my attitude, demeanor, motive, operandi about 30 years ago — and I haven’t.”