Criticizing other GOP candidates as weak in their efforts to stop illegal immigration, Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo announced Monday he would seek the Republican presidential nomination.
“The political elite in Washington have chosen to ignore this phenomenon,” he said.
It’s, “the field, the field,” he said when asked why he was entering the race. “You look and you see no one is going to make this the primary issue of their campaign.”
Tancredo made his announcement on a conservative Des Moines-area radio show, opting for a live broadcast rather than a more typical staged campaign event.
Tancredo said he chose radio because talk radio had for years given him a platform for his stand against illegal immigration. And he made the announcement in Des Moines rather than his home state of Colorado because of the importance of Iowa in the nominating process.
“That’s how you get there,” he said. “You do well in Iowa, you do well in New Hampshire.”
He said he wasn’t intimidated by other campaigns with more money and resources. Tancredo said he had raised a little more than a million dollars for his presidential bid. In comparison, aides to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced on Monday that he had raised more than $20 million.
“We have something they don’t havea group of people out there who are there because of an issue,” Tancredo said. “And they’re never going to have that. They can use their 100 million to try and buy constituency. I have it. It’s natural. It’s there.”
US Representative Tom Tancredo, a Republican of Colorado, has announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Tancredo, a leading voice against illegal immigration, made his announcement Monday on a radio programme in Des Moines, Iowa, the state that would hold the first caucuses in next year’s presidential primaries, USA Today reported.
The lawmaker promised to make the fight against illegal immigration the cornerstone of his 2008 bid, the report said. ‘The crisis of illegal immigration threatened not only our economy and our security but our very identity,’ he said in a statement.
‘That ends today,’ said Tancredo, who, with the announcement, joined a crowded field that includes better-known hopefuls such as former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Born in Denver, Colorado, in December 1945, Tancredo has served as a House member since 1999. He supports deporting all illegal immigrants and has criticised a plan by the President George W. Bush, McCain and others to give some illegal immigrants a chance for citizenship.
An estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now live in the US. A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll shows immigration ranks fourth behind the Iraq war, terrorism and corruption as an issue that Republicans want the president and Congress to address.