Republican Tancredo Drops 2008 Bid, Backs Romney

John Whitesides, Reuters, December 20, 2007

Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a strong supporter of tougher immigration laws, dropped his long-shot Republican presidential bid on Thursday and endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Tancredo, who entered the race to raise awareness of the immigration issue, languished at the bottom of a big Republican presidential field most of the year but said he had accomplished his task.

Most of the Republican field has supported a tough crackdown on illegal immigrants and stricter border security, and polls put illegal immigration near the top of the agenda for Republican voters.

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He said Romney, who he met with before making his announcement, had a solid record on immigration and praised him as “the best hope for our cause.”

“He will secure our borders,” he said. “He’ll require those who are presently here illegally to return home. He also has, by the way, a solid record that matches his rhetoric.”

He said staying in the race might benefit candidates who he described as “abysmal” on immigration, pointing to the rise of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

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