UPDATE: The Chieftain just updated their story with a video of an interview with the sign-holding man you see below, former Pueblo council member Al Gurule. It appears from this video that the signs around Tom Tancredo in the Chieftain's photo that say "RACIST," which we refer to below, were held by Tancredo supporters attempting to shame Gurule. If that was the intention it very much failed, as it looked to all observers (including us) that they were holding signs calling Tancredo a racist. Which is, you know, what you'd expect.
Too clever by half, folks–we've posted the video after the jump.
As the Pueblo Chieftain reports:
Known for his long opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants, Tancredo waves aside any softening of that view, even for the children of the undocumented — a group being championed these days by some conservatives, too.
“It’s all amnesty,” the 68-year-old Tancredo said Wednesday during the opening of his Pueblo campaign office. “I understand the emotional appeal (of making an exception for children). But until you show me a fair way to protect the rights of people who want to legally immigrate . . .”
Would he deport the 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S.? Tancredo shook his head. That’s not necessary if employers would shut the door to hiring them by verifying citizenship, he countered.
The Chieftain's photographer got a better photo than the one we were forwarded above, with GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Tancredo himself standing in front of his new Pueblo campaign office surrounded by both his own campaign signs and hand made ones that said "RACIST." The larger sign you can see above is being held by former Pueblo city councilman Al Gurule:
“Pueblo’s Hispanics should just line up on the street and tell him to get lost,” Gurule said.
Just a few years ago, a fiercely nativist presidential candidate Tancredo vowed to never so much as even advertise in a language other than English–so his new "Viva Tancredo" outreach campaign to Latino Colorado voters represents at least a symbolic departure from his strident old ways. Even if, as Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio responded:
“[Tancredo's] obviously smoking something if he thinks a Spanish language ad can somehow erase his years of fighting against the interests of Hispanics and our families.”
The fact is, Tancredo's attempts to organize Latino voters are more about making the traditional white Republican base comfortable than anything else, by giving them something affirmative to argue back when confronted with Tancredo's long and famously xenophobic history. Tancredo and his anti-immigrant record are much too well known in the Latino community to meaningfully rehabilitate his image with them. But if he can convince white Republican primary voters that he's not racist, they may not feel as much trepidation about backing him.
Lest you think this is about you, Pueblo.