Friday, June 01, 2007

Good Press For Tancredo

(As reported by ColoradoPols)

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo had a nice write-up in the Chicago Tribune:

While Tancredo's Republican bid is widely regarded as a long shot, the reaction he has received so far in Iowa shows his campaign can't be entirely dismissed, political analysts say.

He hasn't left much of a footprint in Congress, and yet, driven by an anti-illegal immigrant wind, he audaciously has become a single-issue candidate for president, his fists bared as he derides a bipartisan immigration plan being debated in the Senate and calls his opponents "soft."…

…The longer the problem of illegal immigration lingers, the easier it will be for Tancredo to serve as a GOP spoiler as his hard-line stance attracts voters feeling overwhelmed by their changing social landscape, said University of Iowa political science professor Peverill Squire.

"Here in Iowa, things have changed dramatically in the last two decades and it's probably caught a lot of Iowans by surprise," Squire said.

"Tancredo talking in a way to suggest that some of these changes can be slowed down or even reversed, for some people, may be comforting," he added.

A recent University of Iowa poll indicated that 96 percent of Republicans in the state consider a candidate's stance on immigration to be "very important" or "somewhat important" in their vote, with 57 percent saying they support allowing illegal immigrants to "earn" U.S. citizenship if they paid back taxes and learned English.

With Republicans split over immigration policy, top tier GOP candidates such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently have hardened their views.

Touring through Iowa, Tancredo takes credit for the shift, relishing his underdog status with jokes about not being invited to the White House. His outsider's role has enabled Tancredo to speak more bluntly than some of his rivals.

That approach worked at the GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines, where McCain, Giuliani and eight other candidates addressed about 1,000 of the party's faithful. Tancredo grabbed the loudest applause of the night after a lectern-thumping speech that cast his campaign as a fight to preserve American values and Western civilization itself.

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