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Rep. Tancredo mulls running for president to push illegal immigration issue

Ron Brynaert
Published: Friday August 25, 2006

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On Friday's edition of FOX's Your World with Neil Cavuto, Colorado's Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo said that if "no one else" in the party will push the illegal immigration issue then he would enter the 2008 Presidential race.

"If it is -- if the situation develops that no one else will take this issue on not just with their rhetoric, but with their heart -- because people will see through that, I think -- if they will really do this, then I'll be knocking on doors for them," said Rep. Tancredo.

"If no one does, I will do it and I will push it as hard as I can because I believe with all my heart, Neil, that this -- we're talking about the country here, the salvation of the nation," said Tancredo. "I believe it is that much of a problem."

A few days ago, Tancredo placed fourth in a Zogby poll which featured only "blind bios."

"The pollsters didnít ask about candidates by name," reported M.E. Sprengelmeyer for the Rocky Mountain News. "Instead, they read brief biographies of various would-be contenders and then asked people to pick their favorites."

"Candidate J is a four-term Congressman from a swing state in the Midwest," Tancredo's "blind bio" read. "Candidate J is best known of being an outspoken critic of illegal immigration."

"He has also been highly critical of the Bush administrationís guest worker plan," the Zogby bio continued. "Before coming to Congress, Candidate J was a Department of Education official under Reagan and George H.W. Bush and was president of a conservative think tank."

At first, Tancredo joked to Cavuto that he might just run his bio for president.

"Well, I'll tell you, it's certainly a lot easier to run your bio than it is to run yourself," said Tancredo. "I just think I'll put that out there."

"We'll enter my bio into all these presidential primaries," Tancredo joked. "It's a lot easier than me doing it!"

But Tancredo told the Fox News host that it was the issue not the man that voters were pulling for.

"You know, when -- I know when you and I talked about the fact that I won a straw poll in Michigan in a Republican event, and my colleagues treated that as if I had actually won the New Hampshire primary," said Tancredo. "They were astounded by it."

"And what I kept explaining to them is that it isn't just -- it isn't Tom Tancredo; most of these people probably have never met me," Tancredo continued. "It is that my name is connected to an issue they care greatly about, and they know that that issue is what carries the -- this whole thing forward, this presidential thing."

"I'd like to think it was just me and that I'm just so wonderful everybody is saying, you know, I think this guy ought to be president of the United States," added Tancredo. "I am well aware of the fact that it is the issue that is -- and that's what my colleagues should understand."

"And that is what every single person running for president should understand, that it does matter to people and it is an issue they've got to try to address," Tancredo said. "And yeah, Tom Tancredo is out there doing it, and as a result he's winning straw polls in Michigan."