Posted: November 8, 2007 2:31 PM
Tancredo Charges on in Iowa Despite Possible Debate Snub
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has campaigned extensively in Iowa and placed in the top half of the field in last summer’s straw poll, but he may not be able to participate in an upcoming Republican presidential debate in the Hawkeye State.
Both McClatchy’s DC Bureau and the Des Moines Register reported that Tancredo, along with Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and possibly Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, could be excluded from the Dec. 4 Fox News Republican debate in Des Moines. The Republican Party of Iowa, as well as Fox News, have decided that a candidate needs to register at least 5 percent in an average of national polls or an average of 5 percent in Iowa polls to qualify for the debate.
In a separate fight for relevance, the Tancredo campaign has called on supporters to launch petition drives to get the Congressman on the ballot in a number of primary states. His campaign Web site lists New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Virginia, D.C., Alaska, Vermont and Nebraska as states where petitioners are needed.
Tancredo spent Monday and Tuesday in northeast Iowa, holding events in Dubuque, Dyersville, Manchester, Independence, Waverly and Waterloo. Next week, he is expected to campaign in New Hampshire for three days.
In an interview with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier during his Iowa trip, Tancredo said that although he is not seeking another term in Congress, he remains focused on campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. He echoed earlier statements, however, that he needs a third-place finish or better to keep his campaign going.
Tancredo also sat down for an interview with Washington Monthly editors that aired on XM Radio’s POTUS ‘08 station. He said he has purposely set high goals for his tough anti-illegal immigration agenda so he will have “a better chance of getting the game played on my side.”
“I have to set the bar as high as I can. I’m being completely candid with you. If I had actually set out to become president, then of course it would be ludicrous for me to do it in the way I’m doing it. I don’t have that as my goal; I never have. The only way I can get on that plane and go to Iowa or New Hampshire and spend night after night in hotels in places you’ve never even heard of is by saying, ‘Think about why you’re doing this, Tom. It is because the issue is important. You are the person that is advancing it,’” Tancredo said in the interview.