Tom Tancredo pledges to be ‘civil’ to his GOP primary opponents

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Tom Tancredo may sometimes flip people off, but he promises to be civil to fellow Republicans seeking to unseat Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Four of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination debated Thursday night and, according to the Durango Herald, they were hard to tell apart when the topic was slamming the governor.

Hickenlooper has given the opposition — former Congressman Tancredo, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, state Sen. Greg Brophy and former state Sen. Mike Kopp — plenty of ammunition. From supporting divisive new gun laws to waffling on the execution of convicted mass murderer Nathan Dunlap to being perceived as waging a “war on rural Colorado,” the candidates have their pick of topics to hammer him with.

In fact, the Republicans seemed unified enough that Tancredo suggested they all sign a pledge to only attack Hickenlooper rather than each other.

It may seem an odd proposal coming from the man who split the Republican vote in 2010 by jumping ship and running on the American Constitution Party ticket. That came after a public excoriation of the GOP’s primary candidates, Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.

Tancredo, who wasn’t a candidate at the time, demanded that they quit the race because he deemed them to be no competition against the popular Hickenlooper.

When they refused, Tancredo ran on the third party ticket and came in second, with 36 percent of the vote.

Tancredo appears eager to show his willingness to play nice in this race, according to Westword.

“I’m not going to say anything to create conflict between me and other people here,” the magazine quotes him as saying.

The others wouldn’t go so far as to sign the pledge, but promised to be civil themselves. One candidate couldn’t resist taking a shot at Tancredo, however.

“If the congressman wants an easy path to the nomination, he might go talk to the American Constitution Party about that,” Brophy said.

“That wasn’t very civil,” Tancredo replied.

The field for the GOP nomination is crowded, with two other candidates jumping into the race in recent days. Adams County GOP chairman Steve House and relative unknown Jim Rundberg, whose campaign website doesn’t seem to be operating and who’s campaign Facebook page has only 10 “likes,” joined the race too late for the debate.

While GOP primaries have proven to be messy in the past, Hickenlooper is vulnerable. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in August shortly after he granted Dunlap an indefinite stay of execution — and when there were only three Republican contenders — showed that only 45 percent of Coloradans want him re-elected.

A poll done by liberal Public Policy Polling in Colorado’s Democrat-heavy Senate District 3 in September, shortly after voters there recalled Democrat Angela Giron for her support of the new gun laws, showed him tied with Tancredo.

The debate was taped for the Aaron Harber Show and will be broadcast at a later date.

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