Last week, former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) gave Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott McInnis and Dan Maes an ultimatum: drop out of the race and make room for him under the Republican Party ticket, or face his third party candidacy. It turns out Tancredo is following through on his threat. The Denver Post broke the news earlier today that Tancredo will seek the nomination of the Constitution Party once he files some papers and registers as a member.
However, Tancredo is running into some heavy opposition from his own right-wing base. Today, leaders of 21 state Tea Party groups sent an open letter to Tancredo, accusing him of “betraying” them and asking him to reconsider. The groups quoted Tancredo, who once said that “leaving the [Republican] party is not the answer.” Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party Dick Wadhams took on a harsher tone in what was described as an “all-out-brawl” with Tancredo that took place on Peter Boyles’ KHOW radio station this morning:
WADHAMS: What’s your agenda? What are you going to talk about? Impeach Obama and bomb mecca? [...]
TANCREDO: All of a sudden you’re opposed to my attacks on Obama? [...] What does that have to do with my race?
WADHAMS: You’re talking about it as a candidate for governor!
In itself, Tancredo’s decision to run under the banner of a party which claims that its platform is “predicated on the principles” of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights is rife with irony. Just last week, Tancredo’s absurd interpretation of the Constitution led him to call for the impeachment of President Obama — claiming that Obama is “awfully close” to violating his oath of office by not securing the border and identifying him as “a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda.” In the past, Tancredo has also proposed imposing a “civics, literacy test before people can vote” and pushed Congress to pass a bill that essentially repeals the 14th amendment by denying citizenship to children of undocumented residents.
Tancredo claims his candidacy is motivated by the fact that the two Republican candidates are “unelectable.” However, state GOP officials believe a Tancredo candidacy is a potential disaster. In a separate statement, Wadhams concluded, “If Tom Tancredo carries through on his threat to run as a third party candidate, he will be responsible for the election of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor and for other races that will be imperiled as well.”