Posted: November 15, 2007 5:35 PM
Tancredo Lobs Backpack Bomb onto Campaign Trail
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., released a TV advertisement in Iowa this week that is already making the rounds on blogs and political talk shows for its depiction of a hooded man planting an explosives-laden backpack in a shopping mall.
At the introduction of the message, Tancredo declares, “someone needs to say it.” An ominous voice then warns of open U.S. borders and how they leave Americans vulnerable to terrorist attacks. As images of bombings in Europe flash across the screen, interspersed with a terrorist planting his backpack in the middle of a crowd, the narrator warns of “the price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill us.”
The spot has evoked comparisons to President Lyndon Johnson’s Daisy Advertisement, which implied that the country would be at risk of nuclear war if then-rival Barry Goldwater were elected.
Although some critics noted that would-be perpetrators of terrorist attacks are often legal residents or even U.S. citizens, the FBI has revealed that it has previously received information about possible targeting of shopping malls. Tancredo also has a more extensive radio message that elaborates on the imagery of the television ad. He describes his plans for getting tougher on the border.
“Leadership is about more than taking action after an attack, it’s about doing everything in your power to stop it. And I mean everything,” Tancredo says in the radio ad. Upon a visit to the Tancredo campaign Web site, the video pops up with a link asking voters for contributions to help keep it on the air. The campaign expects to spend $1 million to run the ad in Iowa through the Jan. 3 caucuses, but there may also be efforts to broadcast it in New Hampshire, the other focus of Tancredo’s efforts.
Democratic presidential hopeful and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who is of Mexican descent and has advocated reforming immigration laws, denounced the Tancredo ad and described Tancredo as an “extremist” during an appearance in Denver. The Tancredo campaign shot back with news release criticizing the New Mexico governor’s immigration stance.
“It is pro-amnesty politicians like Bill Richardson that have caused the problem of illegal immigration and increased the security threat we face as Americans. Richardson lacks the will and the courage necessary to make the tough decisions to get the job done. Instead of action, he talks smoothly and calls names, and that’s not leadership,” Tancredo said in the statement.
Tancredo is scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with stops in Manchester, Nashua, Hudson, Concord, Lebanon, Berlin and Warner. He is then expected to head to Texas, holding $250-per-person fundraisers in Heath on Monday and Houston on Tuesday.