Rep. Tancredo (R-CO) largely ran as a single-issue candidate, linking most issues back to what he says are flaws in U.S. efforts to rein in illegal immigration. Tancredo has also not shied away from differing with his party. He opposed the troop surge in Iraq and said the United States should begin disengaging in November 2007. Tancredo was one of few Republicans to call for the resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales amid controversy surrounding Justice Department firings, although his complaints centered on Gonzalez’s performance on immigration cases. Still, Tancredo says he is a “lifelong conservative” and continues to publish “Daily Outrage” reports about illegal immigration on his presidential campaign site, generally taking a much more hard-line position than President Bush. Tancredo has come under fire for some controversial statements regarding the war on terror, particularly for his call in 2005 for the bombing of Muslim holy sites Mecca and Medina if the United States is attacked again by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.
Prior to his 1998 election to the House, Tancredo served in the Colorado House of Representatives. He worked in the Department of Education under the Reagan and first Bush administrations before becoming president in 1993 of the conservative Independence Institute, a “free-market think tank” based in Colorado. Despite low poll numbers, Tancredo continues his campaign with the support of immigration hard-liners.
Congressman Tancredo formally withdrew his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination on December 20, 2007.