June 8th, 2007
06:38 PM ET
12 years ago

Tancredo: The 'death knell' for McCain campaign

Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado

ATLANTA (CNN) – Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, said Friday that Thursday night’s defeat of the immigration bill will be the “death knell” for Arizona Senator John McCain’s presidential bid.

The GOP rival for the nomination made the comments in an interview Friday on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” show.

“I think that the silver lining in this bill and the fact that we've debated this bill and the fact that he's pushed it so hard, it probably means there will never be a President John McCain,” Tancredo said in the interview.

Tancredo – who strongly opposed McCain on the immigration bill – has built his campaign around the issue. “This is becoming as big an issue for him as is for me in a way,” he said. The fact that the immigration legislation failed, he said, should send a clear message to McCain and his supporters.

“[T]his is sort of the death knell for John McCain's campaign,” Tancredo said.

In response, the McCain campaign had no comment.

But in his first public reaction to the Senate setback, McCain told a town hall meeting in Pella, Iowa on Friday that he was “disappointed but I respect the process and respect the views of those who disagree.” McCain added, “I hope we can revisit the issue.”

“The President of the United States and I and many others were hopeful that we could come to some conclusion on this. Well, my friends, because we didn't then, as I said, several hundred people will cross the Arizona border today and into Arizona and go around the country, and several hundred tomorrow and then the next day. So it's not an issue that we can say, well, it's over. Because it's not over,” McCain said. “We still have broken borders and we still have this problem of not finding out who these people are.”

McCain defended his efforts on the immigration deal, telling reporters, “I do what I think is right. The people of Arizona sent me to Washington to do the hard things.”

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Immigration • John McCain • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Bob Earl, Miami, Florida

    Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo is correct in his assessment that Senator McCain is washed up. All elected officials should take note of the public's total disgust with the non-inforcement of our immigration laws. Our citizenry wants all government employees, from the President on down, that do not enforce our immigration bills to be prosecuted, tried, convicted, fined and jailed. The citizens of the U.S.A. also want all employers of illegal aliens to be prosecuted, tried, convicted, fined and jailed for breaking our laws.

    June 8, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Sugar Land, Texas

    "The people of Arizona sent me to Washington to do the hard things"

    Amnesty is easy, the cowards way out. Hard things? How about securing the border? Standing up to the cheap labor lobby? Standing up to the La Raza "the border crossed us" types?

    That would be hard and take the kinds of guts John McCain doesn't have.

    June 8, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Mark, Littleton, CO

    I have always wondered where Tancredo's outrage over illegal immagration was, while they were most definitely part of the workforce building his district during the past two decades.

    June 8, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Bill Exrepublican

    Mccain is history. He hates us and amercian culture. He is voting to repeal the 14th amendment and make me a slave. Wants to give my job to mexico and then have ME hire him... I will fight him with my last breath...

    June 8, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Mark Appel, Benicia, California

    John McCain has more integrity, intelligence, leadership skills, and vision, than the entire Democrat and Republican slates combined.

    Tancredo is an intellectual and moral midget. As is ANYONE who votes based on a single issue.

    June 9, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  6. Tom Good, Bakersfield, California

    I agree with Senator Tancredo aregarding Senator McCain. I am deeeply disappointed in both Senator McCain and President Bush in regard to immigration. They have a chance to make amends if they will do something of substance to close the border.

    June 9, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. alarmed in Bolingbrook Illinois

    Tom Tacredo is a great man and a great American.

    I advise everyone to read his book "In Mortal Danger" to see what is really going on with the illegals. I live in th southwest suburbs of Chicago My family has lived here for decades.

    The illegals have had devastating effects here in terms of gangs, crime, theft, school overcrowding, etc.

    I have begun to feel unsafe and sense no attempt at the illegals. Many failies live in small houses and I see dividing lines being drawn amongst what used to be a very friendly neighborhood. Good people who I have known for decades have been leaving here. I had hoped to be freinds and neighbors with the people I grew up with forever. It is devastating.

    Tom Tancredo described the situation in Colorado and other parts of the USA and it seemed identical to mine.

    I am absolutely disguted with what I see and the local, state, and federal poliiticians do nothing.

    In fact, I believe they now treat Legal US citizens as second rate citizens in their own country. If the illegal invasion hasnt hit your town or area, it is coming. It is disgusting to watch.

    June 9, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Rita McDonald, Clayton, OK

    I find it deplorable, that our Senators such as John McCain, and our own President are essentially blackmailing us by tying border security, to amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants! I believe they are telling us, no amnesty, no border security. Our leaders have failed to follow the constitution, in securing this country and its citizens, from an invasion from a foreign country such as Mexico, the whole bunch of them should be fired just as any employee not fulfilling his or her job duties.

    June 9, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Mack, Orlando FL

    McCain infuriates me, and I too will fight him until my dying breath.

    I am infuriated that he would mention "broken borders." The border is broken because George Bush refuses to secure the border.

    I am infuriated that he would speak of those people crossing the Arizona border every day. STOP THEM!!!

    The solution is SECURE THE BORDER AND ENFORCE OUR LAWS. McCain falsely tells us that our choices are to accept this despicable bill that betrays America, or to accept an endless flood of illegal immigrants.

    There is another choice: STOP THEM ARREST THEM DEPORT THEM.

    People who live in Arizona know how the government refuses to do anything about this problem. The government refuses to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. Who would be stupid enough to trust any promise of enforcement or security from the Bush Administration? They don't enforce anything now!!!

    McCain, George Bush, and the Republican Party want the cheapest possible labor. Americans are being fired and replaced by Mexicans who will work for less and don't expect overtime or benefits. Additionally - this is crucial - that filthy immigration bill increases the H-1B visa limits, so that tech companies like IBM, Intel, and Microsoft can FIRE AMERICANS and REPLACE AMERICANS WITH H-1B visa holders.

    The ENTIRE purpose of this despicable bill is to help US companies replace American workers with cheaper immigrant workers. It has nothing to do with "what is right." This bill has nothing to do with fixing a "broken border." McCain is not telling the truth. What a crock!!!

    McCain is completely dishonest. McCain is a sell-out and is betraying American workers. Let's remember this and vote against McCain. I hope that Tancredo is right and that McCain's presidential aspirations are utterly destroyed. Now let's get him out of the Senate. McCain is NO PATRIOT AND NO HERO. McCain is a SELL-OUT.

    June 9, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. M. Denver, CO

    Looks like McCain can ride his "banana" boat into the sunset rather than trying to shove one down our throat. Serves him right for taking the American people for stupid with his "no amnesty but feels like amnesty" bill and his support for the Dufus in the White House.

    June 9, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  11. Mary, Muncy, PA.

    The ONLY candidate that will get my vote is one who is AGAINST AMNESTY, regardless of what it is called!

    June 10, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Conservative Republican

    Tom Tancredo is an idiot. To say that the defeat of this bill is the death knell of McCain is simply ridiculous. That truth is that most Americans want an immigration bill passed. Tom Tancredo just wishes McCain's campaign was over. I don't think McCain will win, but this immigration bill certainly isn't the cause.

    June 10, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. David, Gilbert Arizona

    This quote is mind boggling:

    “...several hundred people will cross the Arizona border today and into Arizona and go around the country, and several hundred tomorrow and then the next day...”

    It would appear that Mr. McCain has forgotten existing immigration law as well as the dollars already allocated to reinforce our border. I can't help but believe McCain has absolutely no intention of enforcing existing laws that punish employers who hire illegal immigrants. What happened to the border fencing we've already paid for?

    The people of Arizona sent Mr. McCain to Washington to represent the citizens of America, not illegal immigrants and special interest groups like big business.

    I don't agree with the majority of what Tancredo believes in but as far as the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill goes Tancredo has the interests of American citizens at heart.

    June 11, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |