Former Colorado congressman and famed immigration hawk Tom Tancredo is on the campaign trail for Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward in her primary bid against John McCain this week, and he’s looking to get even with the senator over his immigration stances.
“I’ve had a long history with John McCain just in terms of our positions on the issues of immigration,” Tancredo told The Daily Caller Monday during a phone interview. “For as long as I was in Congress, he was the most stalwart opponent of any kind of true reform that we wanted to try to accomplish. He is a champion of open borders. He is a complete hypocrite on the issue.”
The conservative politico explained that he saw McCain as equally bad as Democrats when it came to the issue of border security, as well as a servant for the Chamber of Congress, a notable supporter of increasing immigration.
“You know, I had two huge problems in Congress trying to do anything in a positive way about immigration reform,” Tancredo said. “One was the Democrat Party that saw massive immigration, both legal and illegal, as a source of voter replenishment in their pool, and the other was the Republican Party that saw that same phenomenon and licked their chops because they saw lots of cheap labor. The Chamber of Commerce is the greatest opponent of open borders and their champion has always been John McCain.”
One of the things that irks Tancredo the most about McCain is the senator’s promise to “complete the dang fence” during the 2010 Senate primary, yet failing to deliver on it. The former representative sees this as obvious hypocrisy.
“He is probably the most egregious violator of the trust that so many people have placed in him when they heard him say things like ‘build the dang wall,'” he argued. “He comes home to Arizona to campaign, he is a warrior on the borders. When he goes back to Washington, he is exactly the opposite… It’s not even nuanced!”
“He hopes people won’t pay attention, that’s all you can imagine, really. He assumes that: ‘Look, I’ve gotta get these crazy Republicans who want this border secured — I’ve gotta get them in line here for the election. Then, hey, you know, I’ve got 6 years. They’ll forget, and usually I can accomplish different things I want to do,” Tancredo continued. “It’s a burden, it’s an annoyance for him, but that’s how the game is played.”
Tancredo believes that Republican voters may have had enough of McCain’s conflicting rhetoric on immigration and are ready to vote him out.
“I hope that they are as hurt by those promises and lies as they should be, because he’s a master at it,” he stated.
On the other hand, Tancredo has nothing but praise for McCain’s opponent, Kelli Ward — someone the former congressman sees as a “rockstar” who’s ready for the United States Senate.
“You’ve got all the components there. You’ve an got incredibly bright, you’ve got an incredibly accomplished, stalwart conservative, proven, tested, you know who she is and what she will do, and I think when you put all that together it can be the absolute best candidate that I have seen in a long time,” he told TheDC. “I think the time is right for Kelly in every single way. She’s a superstar in my book.”