Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a leading 2018 candidate for Governor of Colorado, elaborated on his vision for limited government and stronger border controls in an exclusive interview with The Liberty Conservative.
Tancredo previously ran for Governor in 2010 as the Constitution Party candidate, coming in second place, with 36.4% of the vote. Now, he has rejoined the Republican Party, which he sees as essential in order to avoid the restrictions that have been set up by the major parties against third parties.
“I’d make it as easy as possible for third parties to run – I have nothing against arguments being made in the public arena,” Tancredo stated.
He also talked about his time served in Congress with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) as a fellow member of the House Liberty Caucus.
“I was a strong advocate of many of his ideas,” he said, noting his agreement with Paul’s critique of the Iraq War.
“The biggest mistake I ever made in Congress was voting to give Bush the ability to use force in Iraq, and I look back on it now and think how really bad a decision that was – it was based on all the information we had available, that we all had available, thinking we were all working on solid, truthful information, and we weren’t.”
He also backed Paul’s monetary policy stance, stating that should a bill be passed legalizing metallic currencies as legal tender in Colorado, he would sign it.
Tancredo went on to defend Colorado’s legal marijuana industry, criticizing Democrats for looking it with “greedy eyes” and trying to “fund everything imaginable” by taxing the industry, and suggesting that doing so would lead individuals to purchase illegal marijuana and thus “put money right back into the hands of the cartels”. He also expressed his support for working with Congress to “establish a financial system that allows the legal marijuana industry to bank”.
“I’ve never used it, but I couldn’t care less if you did,” Tancredo added. “If you’re an adult, the things you put into your body, that you ingest, are simply your business and it is not the government’s.”
He continued his libertarian-leaning remarks when the interview shifted to the ongoing process of redistribution of federal lands to the states.
“In reality, the state can manage the forests inside the state better than the federal government has been able to manage them,” Tancredo added, before noting that “parcels of land that are privately owned” are often better managed than federal lands in Colorado as people who own them have a “much greater interest in keeping it safe, keeping it healthy” than the government.
When asked about what sort of economic policies he would pursue if elected, he mentioned cutting the state’s high hospital provider fees. The fees are used to pay for the state’s Medicaid expansion, which Tancredo regards as a “huge waste of money”.
“Once you establish a program like that, a constituency develops overnight of course,” he said. “It’s very difficult to roll back, but I hope to do it.”
“That’s why Donald Trump is so hated, because he is doing that,” he continued, citing Trump’s deregulation efforts on a federal level.
Tancredo went on to call for Colorado to introduce constitutional carry laws, which have been introduced in many neighboring states, as well as greater carry reciprocity with other states.
“Whenever gun deaths happen, we have a tendency to blame an inanimate object, when of course it has nothing to do with it. A better armed society is a safer society – this is empirically provable.”
With regards to free speech on college campuses, Tancredo suggested the ongoing problem was related to a lack of understanding among students of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“Public high schools students should be required to take a civics literacy test, the same test we give to immigrants. If we gave them the same test, and it’s not a difficult one … 70% of people in this country would not pass.”
“The animus against the country throughout academia is so great, so intense, that you do wonder how in the world can we actually survive this as a Republic,” he continued.
On the topic of immigration, Tancredo stuck by his long-held advocacy for controlled borders.
“The only immigrants who should be coming into this country are those folks who number one are vetted, and number two, who truly want to be Americans and assimilate into American culture,” he said.
He also expressed his support for cutting funding to sanctuary cities in Colorado, such as Denver, Aurora, and Boulder through the use of the line-item veto, stating he would direct his appointees as Governor to “have penalties applied” to cities that engage in such conduct and make these cities “personally liable” for crimes committed by illegal aliens.
Tancredo emphasized his belief that Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama was a “turnout problem”, and he would seek to avoid a similar outcome in his own race by “making sure we have a turnout model that will overcome the kinds of opposition that we know will exist.”
Tancredo also suggested the left would be unable to use the same types of attacks they successfully deployed against Moore in the Colorado race.
“I’ll take a lie detector test right now, this minute, I’ve never had an affair, so I’ll try to get that out of the way at the beginning,” he joked.
“The Republican establishment is the biggest problem I have,” he said. “If there’s anyone who agrees with me, and thinks it’s important to show the flag here in Colorado for a good, solid conservative/libertarian guy, please go to TancredoForColorado.com.”