A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado, who once referred to the city of Miami as a third-world country, broke a vow this week never to campaign in Spanish.
Despite a long history of supporting anti-immigration reform, Tom Tancredo, who unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate during the 2008 presidential election and as a Constitution Party candidate for Colorado governor in 2010, released a Spanish language ad addressing Hispanic voters.
During a 2008 presidential debate, Tancredo told Wolf Blitzer, “No I would not advertise in Spanish.”
“Believe me when I tell you this,” he continued, “the preservation of the English lanuage is important for us for a lot of reasons not the least of which because it is what holds us together. It is the glue that holds a country together, any country. Bilingual countries don’t work, and we should not encourage it.”
On the Spanish-language ad released on his campaign website, Viva Tancredo he says, “Tom Tancredo will fight for our families.”
“Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared the “War on Poverty” in the United States. But poverty has not disappeared and hardworking families keep on fighting, especially in the Hispanic community because our broken immigration system promotes poverty, rewarding law breakers instead of helping immigrant families that follow the law,” the ad says.
The website, which is formatted with English on the left and Spanish translations on the right, says “Viva Tancredo” is a “movement of Hispanic citizens” who support the candidate because he “will fight for the everyday interested of law-abiding and hard-working immigrants.”
Supporters are asked to sign up and explain why they support Tancredo.
“I know him to be a good man and unlike out-of-touch liberal John Hickenlooper, Tom Tancredo truly understands the issues and values that matter most to Hispanic workers, families, and communities,” writes Alex Vigil.
Tancredo once proposed cutting off legal immigration permanently and is famous for his support of English as the official language of the U.S.
In March 2013, he argued that undocumented immigrants should self-deport. He also said Hispanic people weren’t “natural” Republicans because they “are twice as likely as whites to have abortions,” according to ThinkProgress.