Back on the campaign trail late last year, amid snow drifts and ice storms, candidate Tom Tancredo spoke often about the possibility of defecting from the Republican Party if its eventual nominee failed to meet his benchmarks of conservatism, most importantly a zero-tolerance policy for undocumented immigrants.
"I am absolutely tired and sick and tired of being forced to go to the polls and say I'm going to make this choice between the lesser of two evils," the Colorado congressman said at an October debate in Michigan, standing across the stage from his ideological opponent, John McCain, who supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. "I really don't intend to do that again."
But just months later, with Washington sweltering in humidity, the hawkish immigration reformer, who wants to deport the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants, has declared his support for McCain. "I expect to be supporting him in November," Tancredo told TIME last week. "But certainly it is not set in stone."
So Tancredo endorses McCain after a weekend appearance at the convention of National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, where McCain reaffirmed his support for comprehensive immigration reform. This says less about McCain and more about Tancredo. With both presidential candidates in favor of CIR, Tancredo has no place to go except to support his Party's nominee. Tancredo is retiring after this session. Look for him for crawl under some nativist safehouse such as FAIR or NumbersUSA.