Few politicians are more committed to opposing amnesty than former Rep. Tom Tancredo in Colorado, but will his commitment to the issue be enough to push him over the top in the Republican primary for Governor of the state?
“I cannot think that it does anything but help me, because when people in Colorado read anything that makes them mad about the illegal immigration issue, they immediately think of me as someone who is on their side,” Tancredo said.
Tancredo, a perennial candidate for office in Colorado, is now running in a close race against four other Republican candidates.
The winner of tonight’s primary will face Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper
Although many Colorado Republicans tried to dismiss Tancredo in the race, a recent series of attack ads suggest there is a real concern about his momentum.
The anti-Tancredo messages were funded by Colorado groups including “Republicans Who Want to Win,” and “Make Colorado Great Again.” One group, “Colorado Campaign for Jobs and Opportunity,” has ties to Massachusetts and former campaign aides to Mitt Romney.
The ads accused Tancredo of being a “big-spending Republican in Washington” and someone who wanted to legalize hard drugs. Other ads simply said that Tancredo was too extreme to win.
But Tancredo laughs at the ads, pointing out that his supporters were not likely to believe that he was “being a liberal” or wanted to “giving heroin to little kids.”
Tancredo pointed out that the ads may have come out too late, as many Colorado Republicans had already voted in the mail-only primary.
“If I win that will be their biggest mistake,” Tancredo said.
Tancredo said that the immigration issue was not at the forefront of voters minds earlier in his campaign, but said that media headlines about the border crisis are driving the issue back into the conversation.
Tancredo said that more Americans should stay focused on the issue of illegal immigration.
He added that Democrats would rather view America as a “nation of tribes” so that they could divide them into a series of “ethic groups” for political purposes.