Tom Tancredo | Media Matters for America

Tom Tancredo

Tags ››› Tom Tancredo
  • Pundit and GOP candidate Tom Tancredo shared Seth Rich / Clinton murder conspiracy theories and racist images on Facebook

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    Conservative pundit and former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who is now running for Colorado governor, has used his Facebook account to share racist images as well as conspiracy theories suggesting that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton killed her purported political enemies.

    Tancredo has a long history of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric. He suggested that the United States bomb “the holy sites in Mecca and Medina” in Saudi Arabia; said that Miami, FL, had “become a Third World country” because of its Spanish-speaking population; and claimed that undocumented immigrants are “coming here to kill you and to kill me and our families.”

    He regularly wrote columns for the similarly toxic Breitbart.com, but stopped following his late October announcement that he’s running for Colorado governor. (This is Tancredo’s third bid for governor.) Former Breitbart head Steve Bannon is a fan of Tancredo and reportedly talked with the former congressman in September about another run for office.

    Tancredo was also a board member of the white nationalist group VDare until he recently stepped down to focus on his political career. He was scheduled to speak at VDare conferences in 2017 until the hosting venues cancelled them when they learned about the group’s white nationalist ideology. After Tancredo announced his candidacy, The Denver Post noted that he had begun “to explore a run after being outraged that Republicans didn’t speak out against the cancellation” of the VDARE conference.

    Tancredo has repeatedly defended VDare. He recently claimed, “It is not a white supremacist group. Go on their website, they talk about who they are. They believe in stopping illegal immigration, they believe in preserving the culture, it's got nothing to do with race."

    Headlines on VDare include: “America Does Not Need ANY Immigrants From Africa,” “Indians Aren`t That Intelligent (On Average),” “Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…Hispanic Immigrants Taking Over FBI’s Ten Most Wanted,” “'Time To Rethink Martin Luther King Day'–The 2017 Edition,” “Barack Obama, Trayvon Martin and the Four Dirty Little Secrets of Black America,” “Do We Need More Hispanics?” and “Color Of Crime, Sound Of (Big Media) Silence.”

    Tancredo’s toxic rhetoric has extended to his social media. During his time as a pundit, he shared conspiratorial and racist viral images on his Facebook page. He shared images suggesting that Hillary Clinton killed former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, United Nations official John Ashe, anti-Semitic writer Victor Thorn, and process server Shawn Lucas.  

    There is absolutely no truth to those claims.

    Tancredo has also repeatedly shared racist images on his Facebook page. Those images claimed that Democrats keep black voters as slaves on their “plantation,” responded to Black Lives Matter with "White Lives Matter," said that “celebrating diversity” only leads to massacres, and suggested that non-European immigrants just come to the United States to “bitch, collect welfare, wage jihad, and replace the American constitution with Sharia law.”

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

    Blog ››› ››› GRACE BENNETT


    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 Breitbart.com 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 Breitbart.com 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.

  • White nationalist VDare hosting conference in Colorado with Breitbart columnist

    Conference at Cheyenne Mountain Resort will also feature writer who describes himself as “racist” and “homophobe”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI


    Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

    UPDATE: Before he organized the August 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, Jason Kessler wrote multiple articles for VDare. A June 19 post (his most recent) concludes that the “governments of the West are waging a campaign of slow extermination against their own core populations. It is white genocide.” VDare also posted a defense of the Charlottesville rally on August 12 which concluded that “it’s not Unite The Right that is ‘dividing’ America. Whites who aren’t comfortable with being dispossessed in every single Western country, or with seeing the symbols of their heritage wiped out, gathered to protest peacefully. … Why should Unite The Right apologize for anything? Indeed, how can the ‘Far Right’ be regarded as anything other than an incredibly moderate protest movement against a deliberate campaign of genocide?” (The white supremacists did not actually “protest peacefully.”) 

    UPDATE 2: Cheyenne Mountain Resort cancels plans to host white nationalist VDare conference after wide criticism

    The white nationalist and anti-immigrant hate group VDare will host its next conference at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO. The 2018 event will feature anti-immigrant writer Peter Brimelow, Breitbart.com columnist Tom Tancredo, and writer John Derbyshire, who describes himself as a “mild and tolerant” “homophobe” and “racist.”

    Civil rights groups have heavily criticized VDare for its racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), VDare is a white nationalist website that “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.” The Anti-Defamation League wrote that VDare is a racist site that “posts, promotes, and archives the work of racists, anti-immigrant figures, and anti-Semites.”

    Headlines on VDare include: “One Problem With These Hispanic Immigrants Is Their Disgusting Behavior,” “Indians Aren`t That Intelligent (On Average),” “Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…Hispanic Immigrants Taking Over FBI’s Ten Most Wanted,” “America Does Not Need ANY Immigrants From Africa,” and “Roll Over, JIHAD—There’s Also HIJRA, Muslim Conquest By Immigration.”

    Numerous media outlets have correctly identified the site as white nationalist, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and CNN.

    VDare recently announced, and started taking reservations for, its April 2018 conference at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which is a part of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels. A booking page for the event states that it will feature “a weekend of candor, fellowship, and top-notch speakers, as we celebrate the shifting political tides and discuss the way forward for patriotic immigration reform and American national identity.”

    VDare attempted to hold its first public national conference at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park earlier this year, drawing criticism from Media Matters and SPLC. That event was also set to feature Brimelow, Tancredo and Derbyshire. The lodge subsequently took “steps to immediately cancel this booking” when it “became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation.” VDare responded by criticizing Media Matters for engaging in “cultural Marxism” and questioning whether “we live in a free country or not.”

    In response to Media Matters’ inquiry about VDare’s 2018 conference, a Cheyenne Mountain Resort spokesperson gave the following statement: “Cheyenne Mountain Resort respects the privacy of its guests and does not comment on groups or individuals that hold meetings at the resort.”

    VDare’s scheduled speakers for its 2018 conference have a history of pushing racist, anti-immigrant, and white nationalist views.

    Tancredo is a Breitbart columnist and a favorite immigration "expert" for White House chief strategist and former Breitbart head Stephen Bannon. His columns 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.” He claimed in January 2016 that “Muslim rape culture … could be coming to a town near you all too soon” because of immigration.  

    Tancredo has a long history of making anti-immigrant and racist statements. The former Colorado congressman once suggested that the United States bomb Mecca; criticized Miami, FL, for purportedly becoming “a Third World country” because so many people speak Spanish there; and proposed a “civics literacy test before people can vote.”

    Derbyshire was fired from the National Review after he penned a column suggesting that white and Asian parents warn their children about the supposed threats posed by black people. Derbyshire has stated of his views: “I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one, and those things are going to be illegal pretty soon, the way we are going.”

    In a profile of Brimelow, SPLC wrote that he “is one of the leading voices in the anti-immigrant movement. Interestingly, he is himself an immigrant (from England), a fact that he regularly brings up when he worriedly notes that his son, with his ‘blue eyes’ and ‘blond hair,’ could grow up in an America in which whites have lost their population majority. For Brimelow, immigration itself is not the problem — it's the influx of non-whites that is destroying America.”

    *Updated with additional information. 

  • Yosemite Venue Cancels White Nationalist VDare Event Booking After It Learns Of Group’s Views

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    The venue for the 2017 public conference for VDare has canceled the white nationalist group’s booking after it “became aware of the nature of” the organization.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) states that the nonprofit VDare Foundation is a white nationalist organization and that its website, VDare.com, “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.”

    The website heavily supported President Donald Trump’s campaign, and leader Peter Brimelow donated a small amount of money. Brimelow attended Trump’s inauguration and wrote, in a piece about his experience, that Trump “was the clear choice of the founding stock of the Historic American Nation -- 63 % of white males and 53 % of white women voted for Trump.” The Republican National Convention displayed a tweet from VDare during the convention.

    VDare scheduled its “first-ever public conference” on March 31 through April 2 at Yosemite National Park at Tenaya Lodge. A description for the event states that it will “celebrate our well-earned victory and the hope afforded by the new Trump administration” and “bring together the prophets of our movements.” Speakers at the event include Brimelow, Breitbart columnist and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and white nationalist leader Jared Taylor, who has argued that “the races are not equal and equivalent.”

    Media Matters criticized the event on January 23 and noted that White House chief strategist and former Breitbart head Stephen Bannon previously praised event speaker Tancredo as “one of the top immigration experts in this country” and said the columns he’s “been doing for Breitbart are just amazing.” SPLC also wrote about the conference and said it “presents a noticeable shift away from the organization’s strategy of using the Internet to propagate racism toward one of real-world activism -- a shift echoed by other white nationalist groups like Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute and fueled by a sentiment widespread on the far-right that President Trump’s election offered a legitimizing win for white nationalism.”

    After the publication, a spokesman for Tenaya Lodge contacted Media Matters on January 24 and said in a statement that the venue took “steps to immediately cancel this booking” when it “became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation. … Unfortunately, at the time of booking we did not realize this group has values that are in conflict with our embracement of diversity among our employees and guests, including people of different cultures, lifestyles, creeds, nationalities, races and ages.” From a statement by a spokesman for Tenaya Lodge:

    Tenaya Lodge today became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation, an organization that several weeks ago booked meeting space and rooms from March 31 to April 2.

    Unfortunately, at the time of booking we did not realize this group has values that are in conflict with our embracement of diversity among our employees and guests, including people of different cultures, lifestyles, creeds, nationalities, races and ages. We are also concerned that providing meeting space and rooms to this group could be disruptive to our other guests’ enjoyment of Tenaya Lodge and the services we provide to those guests.

    In response, we’ve taken steps to immediately cancel this booking. We regret the mistake and want to assure our employees and guests that in no way does Tenaya Lodge endorse this group.

  • UPDATED: Breitbart Columnist Tom Tancredo To Speak At White Nationalist Conference

    White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon Praised Tancredo As “One Of The Top Immigration Experts In This Country”

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    UPDATE (1/24/17): The venue for the 2017 public conference for VDare has canceled the white nationalist group’s booking after it “became aware of the nature of” the organization. Read more here.

    Bretibart.com columnist Tom Tancredo will speak at an upcoming conference for the anti-immigrant white nationalist group VDare. Tancredo is a former Republican congressman from Colorado who has a long history of pushing white nationalist and anti-immigrant views -- much like the pro-Trump propaganda website he writes for.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center states that VDare.com is a white nationalist website that “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.”

    VDare heavily supported President Donald Trump’s campaign, and leader Peter Brimelow donated a small amount of money to Trump’s campaign. Brimelow attended Trump’s inauguration and wrote in a piece about his experience that Trump “was the clear choice of the founding stock of the Historic American Nation -- 63 % of white males and 53 % of white women voted for Trump.” The Republican National Convention displayed a tweet from VDare during the convention.

    VDare is currently selling tickets to its 2017 conference at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park. Tancredo is scheduled to speak alongside Brimelow and white nationalist leader Jared Taylor, who has argued that “the races are not equal and equivalent.” Taylor also attended Trump’s inauguration and wrote that he sat in “the VIP section” thanks to fellow attendee and white nationalist radio James Edwards' "media connections."* 

    Tancredo is a Breitbart.com columnist and a favorite immigration "expert" for White House chief strategist and senior adviser Stephen Bannon, who previously led the site. During a June 26 appearance on the Breitbart News Sunday radio program, Bannon introduced Tancredo by saying he’s “one of the top immigration experts in this country” and that the columns he’s “been doing for Breitbart are just amazing.”

    Tancredo’s Breitbart columns demonize immigrants as dangerous and disloyal invaders. His columns carry 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.” He warned last January that “Muslim rape culture … could be coming to a town near you all too soon” because of immigration.  

    Tancredo has a long history of making anti-immigrant and racist statements. He once suggested that the United States bomb Mecca, criticized Miami, FL, for purportedly becoming “a Third World country” because so many people speak Spanish there, and proposed a “civics literacy test” for voting.

    *Inauguration sentence updated for clarity. 

  • Tancredo: Shred The 14th Amendment

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    Writing for the Daily Caller, nativist crank Tom Tancredo argues that we're missing the big picture regarding the U.S. government's killing of terrorism suspect -- and U.S. citizen -- Anwar al-Awlaki:

    Lost in this debate is whether al-Awlaki was ever really an American citizen.

    Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico in 1971. Both of his parents were Yemeni citizens in the United States on student visas. As a child, he moved to Yemen along with his parents. He returned to the U.S. as an adult on a foreign student visa.

    Under the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment, al-Awlaki is considered an American citizen. Section 1 of the amendment opens, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The operative phrase is "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." During the ratification debates in 1866, Senator Lyman Trumbull, who was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said that the phrase meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else" and that "partial allegiance if you please, to some other government" is disqualifying. It goes without saying that neither al-Awlaki nor his parents had any allegiance to America.

    Anwar al-Awlaki was born in the United States. His parents were not in the service of a foreign government. Therefore, as laid out in the Constitution, he was an American citizen. Period. Full stop. QED.

    What Tancredo describes as "the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment" is actually the historical interpretation going all the way back to Reconstruction and reaffirmed many times over by the courts. The only people who dissent from this established concept of American citizenship are post-birthers who refuse to give up the ghost regarding President Obama's citizenship, and anti-immigrant bigots (like Tancredo) who deliberately misunderstand the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" phraseology in order to argue against conferring citizenship on the children of undocumented immigrants.

  • Tancredo Escapes From Attic, Hits Perry For Not Hating Muslims

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    Former Republican Congressman and nativist crank Tom Tancredo wrote an op-ed this morning for the Daily Caller titled: "Governor Perry's Muslim blind spot." Tancredo's thesis is that Perry, currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, is unacceptable because he has "connections to Muslim groups in Texas" that "are well documented."

    This might not sound particularly controversial to you or I, but for bigots like Tancredo a cordial relationship with the Muslim community is a deal-killer. And in marshaling evidence for his anti-Perry, anti-Muslim jeremiad, Tancredo veers into self-clowning buffoonery:

    Perry's close ties to Muslim groups led the political blog Salon to headline a recent story: "Rick Perry: The pro-Sharia candidate?" Evidence in support of that theme comes from Gov. Perry's refusal to support legislation sponsored by Texas Republican legislators to outlaw Sharia law in Texas.

    The title of that blog post, authored by Salon reporter Justin Elliot, was quite clearly a poke at reactionary Islamophobes like Tancredo who view anything short of outright hostility to Muslims as a de facto endorsement of Sharia law. Perry's rhetoric, Elliot wrote, "presents a stark contrast to some other members of the GOP presidential field, who have variously called for resistance to Islamic cultural conquest and outright restrictions on Muslims in public life." And, as it turns out, in the same piece Elliot noted that Perry's relationship with the Muslim community could become a target for "right-wing bomb-throwers."

    And then there's the issue of the Daily Caller publishing Tancredo in the first place. He's only grown more extreme since leaving Congress, bemoaning the lack of "civics literacy tests" as a prerequisite for voting (a throwback to Jim Crow which would be very much illegal) and calling for the impeachment of President Obama over an issue that he concedes is completely false. He also famously accused Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor of membership in the "Latino KKK" (his term for the National Council of La Raza). His is a voice that doesn't merit broader dissemination.

    The problem is that Tancredo's "Rick Perry doesn't hate Muslims" attack, despite its hateful incoherence, will likely have more than a few heads on the conservative right nodding in approval.

  • Eric Bolling Hosts Tom Tancredo To Rant About "Black Thugs" And Guns

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

    Eric Bolling, host of Fox Business Netork's Follow the Money, invited former congressman and failed Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo onto his show to discuss the ongoing investigation into Fast and Furious, the controversial operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Tancredo, a notoriously intolerant fear-monger, didn't take long to shift the conversation to the topic of race, calling African-American Attorney General Eric Holder "the guy that refuses to prosecute blacks -- black thugs who intimidate people at the polls."

    Tancredo's statement is an obvious reference to the long-discredited New Black Panther Party controversy, a voter intimidation case featuring African-American defendants that some conservatives say were let off the hook by the Obama administration. His claim, which echoes a wider conservative narrative that President Obama's administration is racist, is demonstrably false.

    In fact, the DOJ obtained a judgment against an African-American defendant in the NBPP case after the Justice Department under President Bush decided not to pursue criminal charges against the NBPP. The Obama DOJ has also requested injunctions against black Democratic Party officials in Mississippi who were found to have discriminated against white voters.

    TANCREDO: Eric Holder knows. No other agency of this government is so politicized. Remember this is the guy that refuses to prosecute blacks -- black thugs, who intimidate people at the polls.

    There's another, even more I think, insidious -- potentially more insidious -- reason for the, for Operation Gunwalker. I think they wanted guns in Mexico so they could eventually say, "look at the flood of guns from the United States into Mexico causing all this violence. Let's do something about guns in the United States." I think that was behind all of this.

    In typical Tancredo fashion, he adds fuel to the fire when he followed up his racially-infused comments with the latest conservative conspiracy theory, claiming that the Obama administration is purposefully allowing guns to enter Mexico in an attempt to gain popular support for tighter gun laws in the U.S. Conservative proponents of the far-out notion admit that they "do not have any direct evidence" of its veracity. Far be it for someone like Tancredo to let something as trivial as "proof" stand in the way of a good sound bite.

  • Obama Derangement Syndrome rages on in Wash. Times with calls for impeachment

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

    The "summer of rage" heats up in The Washington Times' editorial pages today, with two op-ed contributors -- who both suffer acutely from Obama Derangement Syndrome -- calling for President Obama's impeachment.

    First up is former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has previously said that Obama was elected due to the lack of a "civics literacy test" requirement for voting. In his Washington Times op-ed -- titled, "The case for impeachment" -- Tancredo calls Obama "a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda" who "consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution."

    The crux of Tancredo's "case for impeachment" would be laughable if it wasn't so dishonest. Tancredo argues that Obama's "most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans' desire to negotiate a 'comprehensive' immigration bill."

    Why is this so dishonest? Because not only has the White House flatly denied Kyl's accusation, but Kyl himself reportedly walked back that accusation, saying that his comments were "taken a bit out of context" and referred to "the president's base" and not the administration.

    Tancredo's "case for impeachment" is further undermined by the fact that the Obama administration -- as Media Matters has documented -- has taken numerous steps to boost border security and immigration enforcement. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times reported in June that the Obama administration "has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and on deportations."

    That brings us to chronic ODS sufferer Jeffrey Kuhner, whose unhinged attacks on Obama have found a welcome home in The Washington Times. In his latest anti-Obama screed, Kuhner declares: "Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall."

    Kuhner's case for impeachment is predictably based on a litany of falsehoods. He falsely claims that the health care reform bill included the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" -- which, in reality, was removed from the bill. He falsely suggests that the health care bill contains federal funding for abortion, which he insists will result in "a cultural civil war." Kuhner falsely claims that the compensation fund agreed to by BP and the Obama administration for those affected by the oil spill was an example a private company's assets being "raided to serve a political agenda." He then completely baselessly asserts that "much of" the money will be distributed "to Democratic constituents."

    And Kuhner's just getting started.