August 19th, 2010
03:06 PM ET
12 years ago

Tancredo on GOP opponent: He's a 'total fraud'


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="In Colorado, American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo (right) says his gubernatorial challenger, Republican Dan Maes (left) is ‘a total fraud.’"](CNN) - Third-party Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, the former Republican congressman, wants GOP nominee Dan Maes out of the race, telling CNN the Tea Party-backed candidate is a "total fraud."

"He's a Republican, but tough crap; I don't care if he's a Republican, he's not the right candidate," Tancredo said.

Tancredo confirmed to CNN that until now he was willing to withdraw his third party candidacy if—and only if—Maes was willing to drop out of the race and allow the party to replace him with another candidate.

"He can't win," Tancredo said of Maes. "He's not a credible candidate."

But Maes' communications director, Nate Strauch, said the Republican candidate has "flatly rejected" Tancredo's offer.

"If Tom Tancredo wants to affect the governor's race, he needs to go through the proper nomination process," Strauch said. "Dan Maes has rejected this culture of backroom deals from the start, and he certainly won't be changing that philosophy for a third-party candidate."

With that, Tancredo said he's no longer willing to withdraw from the race and has raised close to $100,000 for his independent bid.

Tancredo is a former five-term Republican congressman who became well known for his fierce anti-illegal immigration stance. He ran for president in 2008 as a Republican but joined the American Constitution Party this year. His candidacy could divide the Republican vote, giving Democrat John Hickenlooper – the mayor of Denver – a walk to victory.

"A lot of people blame me for the situation because I'm in the race," Tancredo said. "But as I explained to them, this was a disaster before I even came."

"I also believe in my heart it's easier for me to win a three person race than for Dan [Maes] to win a two person race," he added.

Maes has come under fire for his lack of political experience – he’s never held public office – and for being slapped with a number of campaign financial violations.

Two Colorado Republican sources told the Denver Post that the Republican Governors Association would not fund advertisements in the state to help Maes win election. And when Mitt Romney announced six Colorado endorsements on Thursday, Maes' name was left off the list.

Tancredo has heavily criticized Maes for his characterization of his business career and his choice of lieutenant governor, former Colorado state Rep. Tambor Williams.

"He just picked a lieutenant governor candidate who was the most pro-choice member of the legislature and he claims to be a strong pro-life person," the former presidential candidate said. "He's a total fraud.

When Williams was a state legislator, she voted to essentially kill a bill that would ban partial-birth abortions. When Maes announced her as his running mate on Tuesday, she was asked to clarify her position.

"I will probably say I am pro-life, with the exceptions that we have come to respect…the life of the mother, rape, incest," Williams said, according to Fox affiliate KDVR. "I think there are times when pro-life has to give way to the best of possible choices, and they're never, ever easy."

Strauch denied that Williams is pro-choice and suggested Tancredo would be better off attacking Hickenlooper.

"If Tom insists on continuing his quixotic campaign, the least he could do is train fire on the Democrat in this race, a man who never met a tax increase he didn't like. Tambor Williams is a well-respected, pro-life conservative, and no amount of hot air from a third-party candidate will change that," Strauch said.

Tancredo also denied online speculation that he might offer the lieutenant governor slot to conservative blogger Michelle Malkin.

"Well she could take the top spot if she wants to run," Tancredo joked. "I'll be her lieutenant governor, she's a dear friend," but there's no truth to the rumors.

Filed under: 2010 • Colorado • Dan Maes • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    The GOP even hates their own people! Scary!

    August 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Tancredo never ceases to entertain. Not just a fraud but a TOTAL fraud. "Tea Party" candidates in general are a fraud because they are not a legitimate party...just an activist agenda.

    August 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    You are a nut, you old fart!

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Monrob

    How does that go... the kettle calling someone black or some... American saying...

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Kathleen

    Was it Tancredo that said that VOTERS, the American People need to take and pass a litmus test in order to vote????? Where in the constutition does it say that???? What a total idiot.

    Before you vote, check PolitiFact. The Republicans THINK they can make ANY statement they want and STILL WIN. IS THAT SO?

    August 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. GL

    Tancredo is a loaded gun.

    August 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    They are obviously both idiots!

    August 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Midwest

    Both Tancredo and Maes are scary.

    August 19, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Go Tom . . Go Tom . . . Go Tom . . .

    You have many supporters in Colorado

    August 19, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    But there aren't any credible republicans except Colin Powell.

    August 19, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Tancredo is a complete whack job and I am grateful he is handing the election to the Hickenlooper, who is a far better candidate than either Tancredo or Maes.

    August 19, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Stacey

    LOL! This is hysterically funny! Now the tea baggers are eating their own! Tancredo is a whack job and is no more credible than Maes! This is hysterical. Thanks for the laugh, Tancredo!

    August 19, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. LooneyBin

    "I embody all the conservative values of hatred and bigotry, so vote for me!" - Tom Tancredo

    August 19, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. AEK

    Wow! I just thought this guy was a little crazy! He even makes Sarah Palin look...okay, never mind!

    August 19, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. blue

    So much for sticking to the issues...

    August 19, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Bob of Lompoc

    Tom T. keeps forgetting to take his Lithium.

    August 19, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. cjr

    oh, this should be fun two right wing nuts fighting over sarah! goody goody!

    August 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Jim Brodie

    This is what I love about the 'Baggers and the Neo-cons. They can't play nice with anyone, including themselves. Buch of bitter, suspicious, paranoid iconoclasts, each of whom can't see beyond the end of his own nose.

    August 19, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    A couple of quotes from the American Constitution Party platform:


    We, the members of the American Constitution Party, gratefully acknowledge the blessings of the Lord God as the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe and of our nation. We hereby appeal to Him for aid, comfort, guidance, and the protection of His Divine Providence as we work to restore and preserve this nation as a government of, by, and for the people.


    Under no circumstances should government continue to subsidize activities that have the effect of encouraging perverted or promiscuous sexual conduct. In the name of “safe sex”, millions of tax dollars have been misdirected to organizations that contribute to the spread of AIDS by endorsing (implicitly or explicitly) perverse, immoral, and unhealthy sexual conduct.


    We affirm that the law of the Creator establishes and defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and that same law establishes and defines a family. We further hold that no government has the authority to establish marriage or family relations in any manner contrary to that law.

    All typical neo-con religious drivel.

    The frustrating thing is that most of the rest of their platform is fairly sensible. I just don't get it how they can philosophically reconcile superstitious nonsense with common sense–it just seems like you'd have really contort your brain to do that.

    August 19, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    ""He can't win," Tancredo said of Maes. "He's not a credible candidate.""

    Irony 5,965,683: Conservatives 0

    August 19, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    Tom "KLAN"-credo calling ANYBODY a fake or fraud is totally laughable. This guy is such a loser that he can't even run as a Republican esp. after getting only FIVE votes in his run for president cacus in 2008. Well one thing he is doing is practically making sure that the governorship in Colorado stays a Democrat. This guy is a disgrace coming from my former homestate.

    August 19, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Whatever happened to St. Ronald of Reagan's most important commandment: "Thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow Republican."
    This reminds me of other ego runs, like any run by Ralph Nader, or the primary runs by our two senators that could never outpoll the Margin of Error in their bids. To an old liberal Dem like me, this almost sounds like "I'm a member of a different party, now, and I don't want him to be your party's nominee because I don't like him." Unfortunately as Tancredo is playing to the lowest common denominator in his state, he will siphon enough votes from the Republicans to give the Mayor of Denver a lot better chance of winning. Here is food for thought – if anything happens to a Senator from Colorado, and Hickenlooper is the Governor, you can bet he will appoint a Democrat to fill the seat. So much for the Republican landslides! Too bad that Maes isn't going to benefit from any of Newscorp's campaign funding!

    August 19, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Blkman

    GAME sure does recongnizes GAME........................all republicans are "a total FRAUD".

    August 19, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Of course she is being compensated. Do you think this clown would get out of bed for less than $5.00?"

    Why not? She gets IN bed for less.

    August 19, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Preliminarily, my impression of Dan Maes is that he is a 'moderate Republican' and also reasonable. Tom Tancredo, on the other hand,...whew. My conclusion is Tom Tancredo is the real nutcase here.

    August 19, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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