DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver mayoral race has seen many endorsements from high-profile politicians, but none has created a stir like the one announced this week.
Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo knows how to liven things up, but in this case he insists he had no idea he was stepping in a hornet’s nest.
Tancredo doesn’t live in Denver, hasn’t followed the race, and is a staunch Republican. And yet he’s the focus of the latest dustup in a race that, of late, seems hyper-focused on anything but issues. Tancredo is known for shaking things up, but even he’s surprised by the commotion he’s caused in the Denver mayoral race.
“How can this happen that I could be so innocent?” Tancredo joked with CBS4 political specialist Shaun Boyd.
Tancredo has always been known to say provocative things. He’s now become the one endorsement Michael Hancock and Chris Romer are running from. It all started when Tancredo made an off-the-cuff remark at a luncheon.
“I said, ‘Well if I lived in Denver I’d probably vote for Hancock,” he said.
Not because he likes his positions, but rather, his ads.
“I had just seen the commercials,” Tancredo laughed.
But the next thing that happened — Romer’s deputy campaign manager fired off an e-mail saying Tancredo endorsed Hancock. Hancock denied it and said if he did, he’d reject the endorsement.
When asked if he really thought that Tancredo endorsed Hancock, Romer responded, “Look, the dividing line between support and endorsement is in the eye of the beholder.”
Romer repeated the same answer two more times when pressed if he really believed it was true.
Hancock says Romer is playing dirty. Tancredo thinks he’s being used.
“And abused — absolutely,” he said.
Boyd asked Tancredo if he wanted to set the record straight. “Yeah, I’ve endorsed Roy Romer,” he joked and laughed.
The truth is Tancredo doesn’t endorse either candidate.
A pro-Romer political action committee also has played up the Tancredo angle with an automated phone call that also says Tancredo has endorsed Hancock.