M.E. Sprenglemeyer of the Rocky Mountain News interviewed Tom Tancredo last week. The transcript is here.
Tancredo has not decided whether he will run again for the House or take a stab at the Senate after he finishes running for President.
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SPRENGELMEYER: So I’ve kind of assumed that if you don’t win the White House, you will be running for Congress again. Is that wrong?
TANCREDO: It is wrong to assume that is the thing that will happen.
SPRENGELMEYER: So it’s still up in the air?
SPRENGELMEYER: Is that because the presidential race could last longer, or is it for another reason.
TANCREDO: No, it’s for a totally different reason entirely. I have to have the fire in the belly, and this takes a lot of effort, what I’m doing here.
SPRENGELMEYER: You mean running for president.
TANCREDO: Yeah. But I’m telling you, it just wears on you just generally, physically, everything. You know. I mean, you… I just don’t know whether I’ll have the strength, the fire burning still. I just don’t know. I don’t know how this will affect that, so I don’t know what to say about it. All I can tell you is it is certainly not a for sure thing either way. I can tell you that.
Assuming he keeps that fire in the belly, will he run against Ken Salazar?
SPRENGELMEYER: What makes the idea of going head-to-head with Ken Salazar — be as specific as you can — what makes that so (appealing)?
TANCREDO: Well because he has set himself up as the leader of the opposition on the issue, on the immigration issue. He says, ‘I’m part of the group that put together this bill.’ He’s claiming all this ownership of the immigration issue on the other side. It just would be fun, it would be fun to have a battle with somebody who sees himself in that way and probably has every right to. He probably is all the things that he said in terms of having, participating in this thing…. It sounds like more fun.
SPRENGELMEYER: So if you’re not president by then — or maybe you’d resign the presidency just so you could run against Salazar — is it pretty likely that if you’re not elected president, likely that you’re going to run against Sen. Salazar in 2010?
TANCREDO: No, I don’t think I can say that in all honesty… It’s 50-50 because, once again, you know, that’s a long time. If I run for the House again and do that, that takes a lot out of you. You’re talking about I’d be 64 years old. You’re looking at another six years after that if you make it. Six years commitment, 70 years old, on the plane, back-and-forth, back-and-forth. That part doesn’t have any allure whatsoever.
Tancredo sounds tired. I don’t blame him, he’s been burning the candle at both ends for a long time. It’s hard to serve two masters. Running for President while serving in Congress has got to take its toll.
I think he needs to ask himself where he can make the biggest impact, on the campaign trail or serving his constitutents by enacting laws that further their best interest. He doesn’t seem to have any delusions that he will win the presidential sweepstakes. Maybe it’s time for him to come back home.