norton-jane1Former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton will be at the Marriott Denver Tech Center this morning to announce her candidacy for U.S. Senate.

It was supposed to be a grand day of traveling, including to her hometown in Grand Junction, replete with red-white-and-blue streamers and visionary statements marking the start of a Republican Party comeback in Colorado. Instead, today is looking rather ugly.

Thank former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who tells The Denver Post that although he likes Norton, “I fear she is not ready for prime time.”

Moreover, Tancredo alleges that U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, his former rival for the GOP’s presidential nomination and a friend of Norton’s, talked her into running. To Tancredo, that represents the kind of meddling folks in Colorado don’t much appreciate: “Does John McCain have a right to do that? Sure. Do I have a right to [complain] about it? You bet.”

As for Norton, her spokeswoman, Cinamon Watson, says Tancredo’s concerns are not justified: “Jane talked to a lot of Coloradans about wanting to take Colorado values to the U.S. Senate.”

What kind of politician does Tancredo consider “ready for prime time”? South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, the guy who yelled “you lie” to President Barack Obama during a joint session to Congress addressing health care reform last week. Tancredo says Wilson was “telling the truth” and “Obama is a liar” when it comes to the subject of whether undocumented immigrants will receive health care under the proposed reform, writes the Denver Daily News.

Meanwhile, questions are popping up regarding whether Norton ever worked as a health-industry lobbyist and, if so, why it’s so hard to find public records indicating that she did, reports The Colorado Independent. The Norton campaign has not responded to the Independent’s request for comment.

Over on the Democratic side of the Senate race, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is expected to officially announce his bid in Pueblo tomorrow morning (via The Denver Post).