July 12th, 2007
12:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Tancredo: All by himself at NAACP

Tancredo was the only GOP candidate to attend the NAACP presidential forum Thursday.

DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) – You might forgive Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo if you caught him humming an Eric Carmen song Thursday morning.

Tancredo was truly all by himself on stage at the NAACP presidential forum in Detroit. Invitations went out to the entire GOP field, but Tancredo was the only Republican to accept. He walked out, passing empty podiums bearing the names of the other candidates. He peeked around a few of the podiums looking at the names, and playfully lined up behind the wrong one.

“Should we wait a few minutes to see if the other guys show up?” he asked to laughter. “Do they know something I don’t know?”

Addressing the gathering in Cobo Arena, Tancredo said, “The fact is, I know something they don’t know.” He noted that while he and the organization “don’t agree on every issue,” they share “a very common cause.”

The Democratic candidates will appear at the forum later Thursday.

– CNN Political Producer Matt Hoye


Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Jon, Sacramento, CA

    Kudos to Tancredo for walking into the lion's den! I do not agree with many of the positions and statements that have come from the NAACP Leadership (quite a political operation for a non-profit organization!). However snubbing this organization doesn't move the Republican Party forward. Show up – defend your views, articulate the common ground and attempt to win friends.

    I question if you can win the nomination but my respect leve just rose immensely for you Mr Tancredo.

    July 12, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    What!? This is ridiculous! I know the Republicans struggle to get black voters but they should at least show up and try to address them.

    Maybe it is because they either don't care or they realize they don't really have any real ideas or plans to help them beside the old "trickle down economics."

    Yet again poor and middle-class Americans get the shaft no matter what the race is.

    Keep on sending our jobs to third world countries and let the illegal aliens take jobs or drive labor costs to rock bottom, no matter what the social impact.

    July 12, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Denise Bond

    I don't know the circumstances around other candidates not attending but I find it sad that in America an entire party refuses to acknowledge a segment of the U.S. population that help build this country (regardless of the circumstances around the conditions of the building).

    A lack of simple respect for fellow Americans shows how out of touch the Republican Party is with the those of us who work for a living, support families, struggle to build futures for our children and hope that they are able to enjoy a bit of what this country offers.

    I fear that that lack of common decency and basic respect and a worship of the dollar and power is succeeding in tearing at the very fiber of a country that was once so very great.

    God be with us for we know not what we do!

    July 12, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Pete, T.S. FL

    Mr. Tancredo,

    Thank you for attending this event. It affirms your commitment to this country. A President of the greatest nation on earth has to be a President of all the people and for all the people.

    I salute you,

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    July 12, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Peggy, Mississippi

    Bravo Congressman Tancredo! BRAVO!!!!

    He understands that alot of American-Americans are just as upset as the Conservative Base about immgration.

    July 12, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. DJ, Los Angeles

    Yes I also vote Democrat...but wanted to add my own salute to Mr. Tancredo.

    Thanks for showing up and yes we do have common ground.

    July 12, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. page richmond,va

    why am i not suprised that republican canidates aren't interested in attending a forum presided over by the naacp?

    July 12, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Ray, Philadelphia, PA

    Well this sure says a lot about Republicans and that "big tent" of theirs, huh?

    July 12, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Jorge, Charlottesville, VA

    People are missing the point here. Republicans do not hate/dislike/disocunt Black voters. The candidates not showing up does not show a bias against African Americans. It shows a dislike of the NAACP. There is a big difference.

    The NAACP has consistently refuse to help Republicans, even though it was the Republicans who freed the slaves, fought for civil rights legislation in the Sixties, and were responsible for a Black Supreme Court Justice, Secretary of State (2), a Hispanic Attorney General, and the most diverse Cabinet ever.

    Yet the NAACP does not support the Republican Party.

    A big deal was made awhile back about Bush not speaking at the NAACP's convention. But why? The NAACP does not support President Bush.

    Conservatives will continue to reach out the Black voters based on principles and ideas. But a bunch of candidates not showing up to one event sponsored by the NAACP does not mean they've given them up/are bigoted.

    Gracias.

    July 12, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. g.s. charlotte nc

    Mr. Tancredo,

    APPLAUSE!! APPLAUSE!! To you for attending this event. Your presence was expected. Your staying was strength, courage, and grace. You were raised well.

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Pete, T.S. FL

    Jorge,

    I am not in agreement of all NAACP matters, nor am I in agreement of all matters of any other single association, union or political party. However I as an American will never ignore the voice or desire of one American or their affiliation. As a Caucasian American male, who served his country on active duty from 1979 until 2005, I hope that my sacrifice and service was for All AMERICANS.

    "WE THE PEOPLE"

    July 12, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Lou, St. Petersburg, FL

    Jorge from VA,

    Actually, not showing up to the convention does mean you do not respect the organization and the people they represent. Do you actually think candidates only show up to forums hosted by groups that unconditionally support them..NO. The NAACP has supported and worked with republicans many times, and many members of the NAACP are republican. Just because we are all of the same race does not mean we think and vote the same way (just as i dont assume all white people vote and think the same way). This is merely a respect issue and the Republicans (except for Tancredo) have no respect for anyone else and have repeatedly shown their lack of class. I want to see them not show up to all the union conventions because the unions have not supported Bush and his administration since that is your argument, let see what happens then.

    July 12, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Reggie L, Freeport, New York

    Jorge makes a good point but Jorge is overlooking a point also. I don't care who host the event, it is the audience that the candidates are trying to reach. The Republicans did all those things that you mentioned, but let's not forget that the Democrats fought to desegregate the south by calling out the National Guard on a couple of occasions (The Kennedy's). I'm not interested in a "few" jobs for minorities on the administration and other high offices in government. I'm interested in the millions of opportunities for minorities ACROSS the country. The Republicans need to attend all events and explain why they want to be President of the United States (nothing in that title says republican or democrat), the President is suppose to represent all Americans and be a representative of democracy for the free world. Forget the NAACP, the Republicans snubbed the audience. The voters that attended, wanted to hear how their lives would be better if they voted Republican this time. "Vote for me and I'll save your jobs and make life better for all Americans", ok good start, tell me how. That is what the Republicans missed and that is why they'll never gain the vote until they understand that. Being the President of the United States means dealing with the good and the bad, people that love you, hate you, despise you, make jokes about you and try to undermine you. A President must deal with all. So far the Republicans want to tip toe and pick their battles, well go ahead. As is the case every election, they missed the point. I don't care who moderates the event, just go, be Presidential, state your plan, deal with the good and the bad and show people that you have what it takes to handle adversity and turn it into advantage. Right now, the Republicans are looking a little weak and cowardly.

    July 12, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Dave, Reading PA

    Maybe they didn't show up because the NAACP is a blatantly racist organization.

    Should all the candidates of both parties show up at a KKK forum if invited?

    Still, kudos to Tancredo for showing up.

    July 12, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. James Atlanta, Georgia

    For all those that are bashing the Republican candidates that did not show-up, I ask you, what would be the point? We all know that the NAACP supports the Democratic party. This is in spite that most black Americans' religious and social values are closer to most social concervitives.

    Maybe the Republicans believe that it is not right to pander to social groups, which, if you have not noticed, Democrats are all to willing to do. Maybe they didn't show because they believe in individual rights, not group rights that only increase political devisiveness. Lets face facts, even though Bush has had more African Americans in his adminstration that any president in history, AA home ownership is up, AA business is up, AA college enrollment is up, and AA have seen the highest jump in income equality in decades under the Bush adminstration, Democrats can go on stage, bash Bush and the GOP, and get a standing ovation.

    If I was a candidate, I would have gone just to speak my peace. But, I can understand why other GOP candidates would have other things more important on their calenders.

    July 12, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. James, Charlotte, NC

    Aight, Jorge I have to say something. First of all, Republicans and Democrats from 150 years ago and now were the complete opposite. At this time, Republicans were for the North while Democrats for the South for political, social, and religious reasons, which for the most part, have switched. Second there was a third party that was influential at the time: Whigs. I don't see a lot of them anymore. Nothing between then and now is the same. So if you want to say that the NAACP doesn't support Republicans, don't say that Republicans "saved" us and we owe them a favor by supporting them because times are different.

    July 12, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Columbia, SC

    I am a Democrat-leaning Independant, but I applaude your committment to ALL Americans. You stood up for what you believe, even alone, and faced some serious questions I am sure. At least you have proven that not ALL republicans have their head in the sand. I seriously doubt I will consider voting for a repub this term, but you have my respect Congressman.

    July 12, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. James Golden Madison Al

    Wasn't it the leading dem candidates that didn't show up at the Black caucus debates because Fox News was associated? Does that mean that the dems "refuse to acknowledge a segment of the U.S. population?"

    July 12, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Jo, Philly

    The NAACP are a bunch of racist.

    July 12, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Bob Crawfordsville IN

    Bravo Congressman, we are Americans regardless of skin color. We are "We the People"...

    July 12, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. Eric W, New Jersey

    This is sickening. Of course politicians want to speak in front of crowds who applaud and agree with their positions, but it is an act of lowly cowardice to shield those positions from criticism. Presidential candidates have an obligation to answer the tough questions and when they refuse to have their views challenged, we all lose. Tancredo isn't one of my favorites, but i respect him more now for sticking his neck out.

    July 12, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    James Golden Madison Al:

    Of course that's what it means. BUT the liberalstend to overlook their slights to others as insignificant

    July 13, 2007 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  23. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    James Golden, you are the man!

    Funny, a lot of people are not aware of that because it got scant coverage in the media. The media that FOX dominates by the way.

    Let's here our liberal friends excuse that FACT away.

    MSNBC, NPR and other outlets are a lot more biased than Fox is, but since they also give a conservative viewpoint they are villified.

    July 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Mary, Westmont IL

    The Republicans did not show up because the vote is in the bag. Anyone heard of Tim Griffin and the "caging" issue. There have to be a multitude of "Tim Griffin, Karl Rove" wannabes working for the RNC. They dont have to worry about the minority vote.

    July 13, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Ann Hoppes, Apple Valley, California

    TOM TANCREDO GETS MY VOTE FOR PRESIDENT!!! HE IS HONORABLE, TRUTHFUL, RESPECTFUL, AND TO STAND ALONE ON A STAGE FACING POSSIBLE HOSTILE QUESTIONS PROVES WHAT HE IS MADE OF...IT TAKES LOTS OF GUTS TO DO THAT. I WOULD HOPE NAACP WOULD RESPECT HIM FOR THAT. AND SEE WHAT A TRUE AMERICAN HE IS AND THAT HE CARES ABOUT AMERICA'S FUTURE AND WE THE PEOPLE AND IT SHOWS HE WILL LISTEN TO WE THE PEOPLE. THE CURRENT PREZ G.W.BUSH DOES NOT!!! WHERE WERE THE OTHER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES? IF THEY CAN'T STAND THE HEAT IN FRONT OF THE NAACP THEN THEY ARE NOT TOUGH ENOUGH TO BE PRESIDENT!!! TRULY HE IS FOR THE PEOPLE, NO MATTER THEIR RACE OR POLITICAL PERSUASION.

    GO TOM TANCREDO!!! HE HAS MY VOTE!!! HE IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE WORTHY OF THE 2008 PRESIDENCY. LOOK HOW HARD HE FOUGHT TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND SHUT DOWN OUR BORDERS TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE. GOD BLESS TOM TANCREDO!!!

    July 14, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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