UPDATE: In response to claims by Tom Tancredo to CBS4 that he was being verbally harassed by "thugs" immediately prior to the video clip of him flipping off a pro-Evie Hudak cameraman, we received a longer version of the video clip in question showing the moments prior to Tancredo's gesture. As you can see, the altercation Tancredo described to reporter Shaun Boyd isn't supported by video evidence:
The only dialogue in this video appears to be a pair of pro-recall workers questioning the camera operator about a sign he's holding, which claims signatures are being "sold" for $3. The cameraman approaches the vehicle containing Tancredo without saying anything, and makes no attempt we can see to harass Tancredo. The only thing we can see that could have provoked Tancredo was the content of the sign itself.
You'd think that "tough guy" Tancredo wouldn't have to tell a lie about being accosted to justify his giving of the finger, which he certainly seems willing enough to take credit for. On the other hand, it's what most bullies say when they get caught.
CBS 4's Shaun Boyd caught up with GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Tom Tancredo yesterday, and asked him some questions about the video clip, first seen on Colorado Pols, of him giving a supporters of embattled Sen. Evie Hudak the finger this past weekend.
Tancredo told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd that if he becomes governor he’s not going to be giving people the middle finger at the Capitol, but he has no regrets about the incident caught on tape…
“I wasn’t speaking to him. I was walking back to the vehicle with two ladies next to me and he yells, ‘Get (expletive),’ “ Tancredo said. “And he comes over the car and leans in (motions with finger), and I flipped him off.”
Tancredo says he gave him what he deserved.
“Look, this guy is a thug, and you have to talk to thugs in a language they understand,” he said.
For the record, we posted the entire 16 seconds of video we were forwarded, which reportedly occurred at the intersection of 112th and Sheridan last Saturday.
We don't know anything about the events leading up to Tancredo's "one-finger salute" of this anti-recall demonstrator to comment on that one way or the other (we do now, see update).
But regardless of what led up to this, it's just another display of the walking, talking liability that is Tom Tancredo. In our nearly a decade of covering Colorado politics, we're at a loss to recall a single instance where Tancredo has assumed a higher public profile in a political event, and not had it become a messaging disaster for the GOP. In the Bush era, Tancredo's over-the-top anti-immigrant rhetoric made him persona non grata in a Republican White House. In 2009, when Tancredo accused then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor of being "a racist" who "benefits" from "being a brown woman," he did as much to discredit GOP opposition to her nomination as any Democrat. And we shouldn't even need to mention Tancredo's abandonment of his party to run as a minor-party candidate against the GOP's (admittedly hapless) gubernatorial nominee in 2010. We could go on and on.
Safe to say, Tancredo is a known commodity. His lowbrow antics endear him to the Peter Boyles demographic, even as they ensure that he will never appeal to anyone beyond it. Some Republicans already understand this from experience, and they're the ones who won't be caught in the same room with Tancredo. But a great many others appear on Tancredo's 2010 gubernatorial endorsement list.
To them, we say fasten your seat belts.