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Tancredo to Visit Key ’08 States

Riding a wave of national attention for his stand against illegal immigration, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) will visit the early presidential primary states this summer as he leaves open the possibility of a White House run.

Tancredo, who has become known nationwide for his calls for tougher immigration policies and his criticism of the Bush administration, will be in New Hampshire Saturday to attend a handful of events around the state. He will visit Iowa in July and is planning to return to New Hampshire in September.

“President Bush has had a poor record on border security and he wants to be sure that the next president does better,” said Tancredo spokesman Will Adams. “Whether that means he makes a run for [the White House], that’s a decision to be made a lot further down the road, but for now he’s interested in influencing the debate.”

Tancredo’s Saturday schedule includes speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the New Hampshire Republican state committee and giving the commencement address at Nashua Christian Academy High School. He will also attend a reception for the Nashua City Committee.

Tancredo has already visited the Granite State once this year. In February, he traveled to the state on behalf of the Team America Political Action Committee, of which he is founding chairman, to bestow the “American Patriot Award” on New Ipswich Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain for arresting illegal immigrants.

On that trip, Tancredo did a host of talk-radio appearances and also met the publisher and editor of the Manchester Union-Leader.

Bay Buchanan, the sister of former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and chairwoman of Team America, wrote on the PAC’s Web site before the February trip, “We both hope that you will help us take our immigration reform message to New Hampshire, and help us begin the process of making immigration reform presidential campaign issue #1 in 2008!”

On his trip to Iowa in July, Tancredo will attend several house parties organized by the state chapter of the Christian Coalition.

Steve Scheffler, president of the state Christian Coalition, said he did not reach out to Tancredo but rather was contacted by the lawmaker’s representatives in hopes of scheduling some Iowa events.

“A number of people here, surprisingly, know who [Tancredo] is,” Scheffler said.

He estimated that immigration was one of the top three issues of concern to Iowa conservatives.

“It’s something that resonates with the grass roots here,” Scheffler said.

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