Meet Tom Tancredo, the white-nationalist apologist and Breitbart columnist running for Colorado governor 

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Former Colorado congressman and onetime presidential candidate Tom Tancredo officially announced his candidacy for Colorado governor on October 31, ending months of speculation about his intentions. Tancredo has a long history of racist and bigoted behavior, and since he left Congress, he has embedded himself in far-right media as a columnist for and has associated himself with the white nationalist website VDare.

This will be Tancredo’s third bid for Colorado’s highest office. The former congressman represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district for 10 years, and during his time in the House, he repeatedly proved himself to be a racist, anti-immigrant bigot. Tancredo once said that undocumented immigrants are “coming here to kill you and to kill me and our families” and proposed legislation that would have temporarily barred legal immigration. In 2007, Tancredo suggested that the United States bomb “the holy sites in Mecca and Medina” in Saudi Arabia. And during his laughable presidential campaign in 2007, he aired campaign ads that claimed “open borders” were responsible for “vicious central American gangs” and “jihadists who froth with hate” coming to the United States.

Since leaving office, Tancredo has embedded himself into right-wing media circles. He is a columnist at the toxic website and, according to Stephen Bannon, the former chief strategist in the Trump White House and the head of Breitbart, is “one of the top immigration experts in this country” whose columns “are just amazing.” The columns Bannon praised regularly demonize immigrants as dangerous and disloyal invaders, with headlines such as “Mexico Is Sending Us Colonists, Not Immigrants,” “European Colonization, Not Refugee Resettlement,” and “From Jenner to D.C., Multiculturalism Virus Is Destroying the U.S.”

In addition to his work at Breitbart, Tancredo has also written extensively for right-wing conspiracy site WorldNetDaily (WND), and has been published at VDare, an anti-immigrant site that multiple news outlets and the Southern Poverty Law Center have identified as “white nationalist.” But Tancredo’s association with VDare runs deeper than his byline page suggests; he was scheduled to appear at two VDare conferences, but both events were canceled after the venues learned more about the organization. After the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado pulled out of an agreement to host VDare’s 2018 conference, Tancredo blasted the state's Republican Party for failing to speak out in defense of the white nationalist group’s right of “free speech.” In August, Tancredo told the website Colorado Politics that he was “so mad” at Republicans for failing to speak out that he was mulling a run for governor, claiming that it wouldn’t “take much to push” him into the race.

And in September, Tancredo met with Bannon and discussed a possible gubernatorial run. If Bannon does offer his assistance, Tancredo will join a bevy of other far-right candidates whom Bannon has supported, including Roy Moore and Dave Brat, and could become the next soldier in Bannon’s “war” on the GOP establishment.