Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tom Tancredo’s remarks at Tea Party convention catch the attention of immigration activists

A comment by former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R, CO) at last week’s Tea Party convention in Nashville has raised concern among immigration activists and Hispanic groups.  During a speech, Tancredo said, “People who could not spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House — name is Barack Hussein Obama.”  Additionally, he also suggested that President Obama was only elected because “we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

Immigration reform activists are now worried that the Tea Party movement could adopt a more hardline nativist tone.  Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, has said that if the Tea Party antagonizes Latinos, Republicans will pay the price in upcoming elections.

“Republicans who are pandering to the Tea Party movement, who are afraid to speak up and quite frankly, brave and smart Republicans who understand that if they continue to alienate this fast-growing population, they’re going to make it harder and harder to regain majority status and certainly regain the White House are the ones who are on the right side of history,” he said.

As evidence of the risk involved with attacking immigrants and Latinos, Sharry points to California’s Proposition 187, a voter-approved initiative that denied healthcare and education to undocumented immigrants.  Despite being soon-after invalidated by a judge, the initiative has led to more than a decade of backlash against the GOP by Latino voters.


  1. I am afraid for the future of our country if these extremists get in power. Tancredo is a racist extremist.

  2. As a Hispanic Republican, I strongly disagree with the former Congressman’s racially motivated and hate filled comments. I also disagree with those who blame all our ills on the poor immigrants, who only want to find a better life for their families in the U.S.

    I am not sure whether there is a Heaven or Hell, but if there is, I do not believe Mr. Tancredo will be allowed to push the “Up” button.

    Jess Martinez

  3. Wolfcounsel says

    Tancredo and the Tea Party movement provide cover for Republicans candidates. By being strident and extremist the Tea Party will eventually make Republican candidates seem palatable in contrast.

    While this may not sway many Democrats over to the Republican side, they were never the target to begin with. It’s all about the fast growing independent cohort made-up of bi-conceptuals, as Geo. Lakoff has termed them. Incidentally, Latinos are the fastest growing group within that cohort.

    It may seem hard to believe but, give it a few years and Republicans will begin to re-invent themselves into the new centrist hope.

    And while some may conclude that Democrats need to disavow the progressive left for the sake of shifting more towards the center, that’s exactly the worst thing to do. What the Democratic Party needs to do instead is to embrace the left and widen the Democratic tent’s footprint.

    The strategic object is to create an ascendant Democratic Party that dominates American political life. The key of course, is to create policies that shift the burden off of the middle-class (a significant number of whom are independents). However, by becoming a strong presence in American life, many new Americans (Latinos) will gravitate towards it.

    Unfortunately, at the rate and direction that current leadership is taking the Democratic Party, Latinos are likely to continue to opt to remain independent of party affiliation. That is, until the Republicans entice them anew.

    Tancredo scares me but not because of what he says but rather because of the manner in which the Democratic leadership react to him and the extreme right: acquiescent ignominy.