UPDATE: Republican State Party Chair Dick Wadhams is none too happy about Tancredo’s ultimatum:
I am terribly disappointed in Tom Tancredo’s announcement that he has made a backroom deal with a minor political party to run for governor.
Tom Tancredo used the Colorado Republican Party to get elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in the 1970’s, to work as a political appointee in the Reagan administration in the 1980’s, and to get elected to Congress from 1998 to 2008. But now it appears he wants to destroy Republican chances to win a governor’s race after four failed years of Bill Ritter…
…Let there be no mistake about it: Regardless of who our nominee is for governor after the primary, 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.
Yup. This should end well.
We reported last week that Republicans in Colorado were scrambling to figure out how to replace both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes as candidates for Governor, while at the same time looking for someone who could prop up the ticket enough to benefit the GOP Senate candidate and every other candidate down the ballot. It looks like former Rep. Tom Tancredo is going to do everything he can to elbow his way in.
Click after the jump for the full statement from Tancredo, which was just released. He gives McInnis and Maes until Noon on Monday, July 26 (no seriously, that’s exactly what he wrote) to publicly promise to withdraw from the race after the August 10 primary results are announced…or else Tancredo will run for Governor under the American Constitution Party platform.
If both McInnis and Maes do withdraw, presumably Tancredo would then be the Republican candidate for Governor.
This all seems a bit melodramatic and silly, but both words pretty well sum up Tancredo’s career in general. We’d be surprised to see this from anyone but Tancredo, frankly, though we’re still not sure how this helps Republicans.
Demanding a withdrawal by an arbitrary deadline only serves to humiliate McInnis and Maes more than they’ve already humiliated themselves. McInnis has always been too proud to admit his own errors; we just don’t see him bowing out of the race to kiss the feet of one of the Colorado GOP’s foremost lunatics.
Tancredo’s threat is also pretty meaningless. Neither McInnis nor Maes can possibly win the general election for Governor anyway — not after their various collection of scandals and misstatements. If McInnis and Maes don’t withdraw, and Tancredo runs under the American Constitution Party banner…so what? Tancredo pulls enough votes from the GOP candidate to ensure that they won’t win a race they weren’t going to win anyway?
We really didn’t think there was anyway things could actually get worse for Republicans, but we underestimated Tancredo. Hell, he’s already caused significant damage in the GOP Senate Primary. He might as well just keep screwing up the rest of the ticket.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT BY TOM TANCREDO
Events of the past two weeks have developed in such a way as to create an unprecedented situation in the race for Governor of Colorado. The two candidates vying for the Republican nomination have, in my opinion, lost any hope of carrying out a successful campaign.
This situation is unacceptable to me, and I am sure, to thousands of other Colorado Republicans, Independents and other Colorado voters whose hopes for a change to a smaller and fiscally responsible government in Colorado in November now seem dashed.
To achieve this goal the winner of the August Republican primary must step down and allow the Party to appoint a viable replacement candidate to face John Hickenlooper and the Obama-Pelosi smear machine. It is up to the Party to pick that replacement except that it is imperative he or she be a solid conservative with a chance to win the general election in November.
There are, because of time and party registration constraints imposed by state election laws and party rules, very few other options open to those Coloradans who seek a solution to this dilemma.
I, for one, will do what is necessary within those limitations to avoid the electoral disaster looming on the horizon. That disaster would not be limited to the loss of the Governor’s race, but of many “down ticket” races. The grass roots electorate would lack any incentive to get to the polls.
Therefore, today I am asking for a public commitment from both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes that they will do what is right for the state of Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the Primary election on August 10, on August 11 the winner must agree to remove himself from consideration if polling on that date shows that he is losing the race for Governor. If either or both choose to ignore this request, and do not make a public commitment to this end no later than noon on Monday, July 26, I will announce on that day that I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party for Governor of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]
If I run, I will do so to the best of my ability and will do so through the November election.
A great deal needs to be done for any candidate to put together a competitive campaign. Of course that includes raising the money necessary for such a race. Every hour of delay makes that a more difficult task.
This decision is completely in the hands of Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.